World news story

Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict - Greece

The British Embassy participated in the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI) Event Relay

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


On 11 June 2014 the British Embassy participated in the 84 hour Global Summit PSVI Event Relay – a series of consecutive events around the world for the 3.5 days of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. The Summit is taking place in London; it started on 10 June and will be concluded on 13 June.

Representatives from the media, academia and Government officials discussed the reasons the PSVI is relevant to Greece. Although not directly implicated, the country either deals with some consequences of the sexual violence in conflict, such as trafficking and illegal migration, or faces it as an issue for Greek NGOs and military missions abroad.

In his opening speech, the British Ambassador said:

Now is the time for the international community to commit itself to this task and support the first International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict. This will help investigators preserve information and evidence in the aftermath of an attack and improve the chances of someone being successfully prosecuted later and protect victims and survivors from further trauma.

In London, the Foreign Secretary and Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, are co-chairing the Summit which brings together governments from all countries who have endorsed the Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. It involves militaries, judiciaries, civil society and UN agencies. This is the largest gathering event brought together on this subject, with a view to creating irreversible momentum against sexual violence in conflict and practical action that impacts those on the ground.

Greece is one of the countries that have endorsed the UN Declaration. More than 145 countries have now endorsed the Declaration, over three quarters of all UN Member States. This sends a powerful message about the growing international resolve to end sexual violence in conflict and bring perpetrators to justice.

Notes for editors:

  • On 29 May 2012 the UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Angelina Jolie, launched the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative to tackle the culture of impunity for sexual violence crimes. Sexual violence in conflict affects women, men, girls and boys and engrains conflict and instability.

  • In April 2013, the UK achieved an historic milestone when the G8 Foreign Ministers agreed the Declaration on Sexual Violence in Conflict which contained a combination of political and practical commitments.

  • In September 2013, the UK Foreign Secretary William Hague and UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Bangura launched a new Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict (PDF, 254KB, 3 pages) .

  • Countries involved in the Summit will be asked to support a new International Protocol aimed at increasing accountability for those culpable of sexual violence in conflict, to ensure their militaries can prevent and respond to rape and sexual violence, to pledge practical support for survivors of rape and to join in partnerships to help conflict-affected countries.

  • Other cities that participate in the Relay: Canberra, Ottawa, Taipei, Dushanbe, Abu Dhabi, Juba, Washington, Lima, Boston, Luxembourg, Mexico City , Suva, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Beijing, Jakarta, Nicosia, Yerevan, Beirut, Aman, Baghdad, Riyadh, Colombo, Oslo, Nouakchott, Stockholm, Riga, Kigali, Khartoum, Dar es Salaam, Bogota, La Paz, Prague, Pristina, Sarajevo, Kinshasa, Havana, Santiago de Cuba, Caracas, Vancouver, Wellington, Seoul, Manila, Lilongwe, Tallinn, Chișinău, Panama City, New York, Tunis, Dubai, Zagreb, Rabat, Berlin, Tripoli, Vienna, Singapore, Kathmandu, Doha.

Published 11 June 2014