Cairo (IINA) – The United Nations and the Arab League signed here on Monday an agreement to strengthen collaboration on prevention of conflict-related sexual violence in the Arab region, according to UN News Center.
The agreement, signed by UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Hawa Bangura and Secretary General of the Arab League Nabil Elaraby, meant to form the foundation on which to mobilize political commitment and collaborate in combating rape and other instances of conflict-related sexual violence, particularly in Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Bangura, who is also a UN Undersecretary General, said the agreement will give a platform to join efforts to build a comprehensive response in the security, justice and service sectors.
The agreement also cited the role of civil society, as well as religious and traditional leaders “to help shift the stigma of sexual violence from the victims to the perpetrators”, said a press statement from the Office of the Special Representative.
While in Egypt, the UN envoy met with Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb.
During the meeting, Sheikh el-Tayeb assured Bangura of his commitment to speaking out against conflict-related sexual violence, particularly in the context of acts by extremist groups such as Daesh and Boko Haram, according to the statement.
“This is an affront to the most sacred and fundamental tenets of Islam as a religion of peace and tolerance,” Bangura said, referring to what she called “perverting” of Islam by groups that attempt to give religious justification for sexual slavery and other acts of violence against women and girls.