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UN Approves Watered Down Resolution On Sexual Violence Amid U.S. Veto Threat

The UN resolution was approved on April 23 with Russia and China abstaining. (file photo)

The United Nations Security Council has adopted a resolution on sexual violence during war after the removal of a clause on women’s reproductive health to avoid a U.S. veto.

The resolution, introduced by Germany, was approved on April 23 by a vote of 13-0, with Russia and China abstaining.

But it was approved only after a reference referring to the need for UN bodies and donors to give timely "sexual and reproductive health" assistance to survivors of sexual violence in conflict was cut, raising the ire of some members such as France.

The United States was said to have threatened to use its veto over a reference in the text to reproductive rights, seen by Washington as an encouragement of abortion.

"It is intolerable and incomprehensible that the Security Council is incapable of acknowledging that women and girls who suffered from sexual violence in conflict -- and who obviously didn't choose to become pregnant -- should have the right to terminate their pregnancy," French UN Ambassador Francois Delattre told the 15-member body.

Russia and China had voiced concerns over several issues before the vote, including Germany’s push for expanded UN monitoring of sexual violence in conflict.

The two nations circulated their own draft resolution, though it was never put to a vote.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and CNN