In conjunction with the campaign around the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict (ESVC) taking place in London from 10-13 June 2014, the British Embassy yesterday organised a roundtable discussion on ‘ESVC and the challenges of working in conflict zones’.
Representatives from Qatar charities, the National Human Rights Committee, Arab, African and European Embassies joined the British Ambassador Nicholas Hopton to highlight the ESVC Summit as a unique opportunity to get countries to act to end sexual violence in war and to ensure that those responsible for this crime are brought to justice.
The British Foreign Secretary William Hague and Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, will co-chair the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. Some 140 countries including Qatar and international bodies are represented in the Summit, as well as NGOs and members of the military, medical and legal professions from around the world.
HE Nicholas Hopton said: ‘thank you to all those who participated in this discussion. Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative is a good example of how we are working closely with Qatar on a wide range of issues. Last April Qatar was one of the countries who endorsed the declaration on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, and currently the Foreign Minister Dr Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah is attending the ESVC Summit in London which we hope that will be an opportunity for the world to say that this crime is not an inevitable part of war’.
Notes to editors:
In May 2012 the UK Foreign Secretary, William Hague, and the Special Envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Angelina Jolie, launched the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI). Its goal is to end the culture of impunity for the use of sexual violence both as a tool and a side-effect of war worldwide.
Since the launch of the Initiative the UK has worked with many governments around the world, the UN, including the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura, and other multilateral organisations and civil society to achieve greater global awareness of the issue and change how the international community perceives and responds to it. In April 2013, G8 Ministers in London agreed a Declaration on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict. This was followed up at the UN General Assembly in New York in September 2013 where the Foreign Secretary launched a Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict.
As of April 2014, 144 governments have endorsed this Declaration. But we now need action to translate the Declaration’s political commitments into a programme of practical action that delivers real progress on the ground in the fight against sexual violence in conflict. For this reason the Foreign Secretary will co-host with Angelina Jolie the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. The Summit is taking place in London from 10-13 June 2014.