10 June 2014 - ”Rape is not a women’s issue. It is a global issue”. Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Angelina Jolie says it well. Conflict-related sexual violence is as destructive as any bomb or bullet, and inflicts unimaginable suffering on women and men, girls and boys. It contributes to enduring poverty and insecurity, and impedes reconciliation, peace and reconstruction.
As a response to deal with this grave human rights violation, the UK government and the UN have teamed up to create the largest summit ever on this subject: The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. Kicking off today in London, the event brings together all the governments that have endorsed the UN Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, as well as legal, military and judicial practitioners and representatives from multilateral organizations and civil society.
The UK Foreign Secretary William Hague and Angelina Jolie will be co-chairing the event, which main aim is to intensify the efforts to replace the culture of impunity with one of deterrence. Perpetrators have to be brought to justice, international efforts to prevent and respond to the violence needs to be strengthened and the national capacity of states should be supported.
“I hope to hear more and louder outcries against sexual violence”, says the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement regarding the Summit. “I will be raising my voice – and I count on all of you to join our chorus demanding action around the world”.
You can follow the latest updates on the Summit on its Facebook page and Twitter account, and join in by using the hashtag #TimeToAct.
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