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Youth debating Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict a success

21 Namibian students debated in a Model UN simulation the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative and came up with a declaration.

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On 07 June, Youth For Human Rights Namibia participated in a Model United Nations summit on the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict jointly organized by the British High Commission, the Human Rights and Documentation Centre of the UNAM Law Faculty and the UN agencies in Namibia, ahead of the global summit on Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict in London, 10th – 13th June 2014, hosted by British Foreign Secretary William Hague and UN Special Envoy Angelina Jolie.

21 Namibian students, representing 21 different countries, debated in a Model UN simulation the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative and came up with a declaration to feed into the discussions of the global PSVI summit taking place in London starting tomorrow.

British High Commissioner, HE Marianne Young, said: “Sexual violence in conflict remains one of the greatest, most persistent and most neglected injustices. It inflicts unimaginable suffering and represents one of the most serious forms of violation or abuse of an individual’s human rights. I am delighted that Namibian youth have risen to engage this pressing challenge and produced a powerful declaration that will be fed into this week’s groundbreaking event in London.”

See the full speech here: Speech by HE Marianne Young, British High Commissioner to Namibia (MS Word Document, 40KB)

Ambassador George Liswaniso, Head Multilateral Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told the students: “Namibia refused to be a silent spectator, but manifested her global responsibility by spearheading a resolution at the UN Security Council in 2000, entitled Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security”. At the end of the event, SWAPO Chief Whip, Prof Peter Katjavivi, MP, received the declaration on behalf of the Namibian government. Hon. Katjavivi will attend the conference together with officials from the Ministry of Defence and the Namibian High Commissioner to the UK. The Summit in London will be the largest international gathering ever held on the issue of Sexual Violence in Conflict. All 144 States who have endorsed the Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict have been invited at Ministerial level. Over 1,200 delegates, including government officials, international organisation representatives, and a broad range of domestic and international experts are expected to attend.

The declaration by the Namibian youth calls upon all UN member states to strongly condemn any act of sexual violence in conflict situations; to end impunity so that perpetrators shall not escape from the hands of justice including governments that find themselves guilty of this crime; to establish a commission of inquiries to ensure that there shall be accountability to deal with perpetrators of sexual violence; to provide expertise in the investigating, documenting and prosecution of acts of sexual violence; to mobilize funds for the victims of sexual violence to provide various services to victims of sexual violence; to make concerted efforts to educate the victims of sexual violence on their rights and the available legal remedies open to them; to integrate education efforts for security personnel to be able to deal with gender based violence responses and the promotion of gender equality.

See the full declaration here: Youth for Human Rights Namibia: Declaration on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict (MS Word Document, 97.5KB)

Published 9 June 2014