The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict will take place at ExCel London on 10 – 13 June 2014.
Foreign Secretary William Hague will co-chair the summit with Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
This Summit will welcome over 100 countries and over 900 experts, NGOs, survivors, faith leaders, and international organisations from across the world that share our commitment to end sexual violence in conflict. It will be the biggest global meeting on this issue ever convened.
What does the summit aim to achieve?
Shatter the culture of impunity
We want to shatter the culture of impunity for sexual violence in conflict by launching a new International Protocol with international standards for documenting and investigating sexual violence in conflict zones. The International Protocol will help to strengthen prosecutions for rape in conflict, increasing the prospects for successful convictions. It knocks down one of the key barriers that have prevented successful prosecutions in the past. We will urge countries to strengthen their domestic laws so that those responsible for sexual violence in conflict can be reliably prosecuted both in and outside the countries where they committed their appalling crimes. This includes introducing laws which support the aims and objectives of the International Criminal Court.
Take practical steps
Second, we will take practical steps to reduce the dangers women face in conflict zones around the world. We will call for all soldiers and peacekeepers to be trained not only to understand the gravity of sexual violence in conflict, but to prevent it and to protect people.
Third, we will increase support for survivors of sexual violence, and for the human rights defenders who shine a spotlight on these crimes often at serious risk to themselves. The UK government has already committed more than £140m to this effort, and we will call on others to join us so many more traumatised men, women and children who can access critical support.
Fourth and finally, we want this Summit to produce a seismic shift in attitudes. We want to debunk the myth that rape in war is somehow inevitable or a lesser crime, to demonstrate the scale of this problem and its impact on every continent, and on men and boys as well as women and girls. We want people, governments, faith leaders and civil society across the world to condemn the horrors of warzone sexual violence, to see the cycles of conflict it creates and to grasp the role they have to play in ending this crime once and for all.
The summit will take place from 10 – 13 June, with working-level meetings on 11 June and Ministerial-led sessions on 12 and 13 June. NGOs and civil society will participate actively throughout these discussions. Our aim is to make as much of the summit as possible open to the media.
There will be three days of free events open to the public in the Summit Fringe, alongside the formal meetings. These will explore a broader range of issues related to sexual violence in conflict including conflict prevention, women’s rights and participation, men and boys, children affected by conflict, international justice and wider issues of violence against women and girls. These will be an opportunity to showcase successful programmes and policies from around the world. Events will include film showings, performances, exhibitions and panel discussions. These will be globally representative and are open to summit participants as well as the media, civil society and the public.
British Embassies and High Commissions around the world will take part in an 84-hour global relay of events to coincide with the Summit.