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Deputy PM Kosor addresses UN Security Council on violence against women during armed conflicts

NEW YORK, June 19 (Hina) - The Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Family Affairs, War Veterans and Intergenerational Solidarity, Jadranka Kosor, addressed the UN Security Council on Thursday during a debate on violence against women during armed conflicts.

Kosor spoke of women who were victims of violence during the wars in Croatia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the first half of the 1990s, saying that "the aggressor used rape as a method of intimidation and terror or as an instrument of ethnic cleansing."

Kosor said that Croatia, a non-permanent member of the Security Council, supported the US initiative that the Security Council should take concrete steps to stop violence against women being used as a tactic of war. She called for greater participation of women in UN peace missions, and stressed that Croatia was already actively implementing this initiative in some of the 15 missions in which it was currently participating.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in her address that the international community had recognized systematic violence against women in armed conflicts as a threat to the security and stability of the affected countries.

A US-sponsored resolution, which the Security Council was to adopt later in the day, says that in some cases sexual violence is used as "a tactic of war to humiliate, dominate, instill fear in, disperse and/or forcibly relocate civilian members of a community or ethnic group."

The resolution calls on all parties to take immediate measures to protect civilians from sexual violence and recommends that such crimes be excluded from amnesty and that the Security Council consider imposing sanctions on parties that commit them.

Later on, Kosor told reporters that before the debate she had briefly met with Rice, and that they talked about violence against women and refreshed their memories of US President George W. Bush's visit to Croatia in April.