End Sexual Violence in Conflict - A live discussion on 3 June
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A joint Vatican Radio - British Embassy to the Holy See initiative ahead of the London Global Summit
On Tuesday 3 June at 12 noon (Rome time), Vatican Radio English, in cooperation with the British Embassy to the Holy See, will host a studio discussion: “End Sexual Violence in Conflict: #TimeToAct”.
The panel discussion, which will be live streamed on Vatican Radio’s You Tube channel, is organised on the occasion of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, which will take place in London on 10-13 June 2014. The Summit, which will be co-chaired by the British Foreign Secretary William Hague and UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie, will be the largest international gathering ever held on this issue.
The live discussion will focus on three main aspects of the global theme of Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict: problem, progress, prevention. It will explore the role of the Catholic networks, their knowledge and expertise in conflict zones; it will hear the voices of religious women who are witnesses and assist victims of violence; it will examine root causes as well as promote practical actions that impact those on the ground.
The participants in the studio will be: Nigel Baker, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Holy See; Michel Roy, Secretary General Caritas Internationalis; Sr. Elena Balani, Comboni Missionary Sister (Makala, South Sudan); Sr Victoria Chiharhula, MSOLA (Congo). The panel will be joined by Pádraic MacOireachtaigh, Regional Advocacy officer for Jesuit Refugee Service Great Lakes Region, who will be web-connected from Burundi.
Launching the webcast, the British Ambassador to the Holy See Nigel Baker said:
We are steadily building the global momentum needed to end the use of rape and sexual violence in conflict once and for all. These crimes have ruined the lives of millions of women, men and children in our lifetimes. As witnesses on the ground, supporting and assisting victims, the Catholic networks have a big role to play in this international effort.
According to Vatican Radio Director General, Fr Federico Lombardi SJ:
We have to use every means of communication at our disposal in order to defend the most vulnerable, to give voice to those with no voice, and to increase awareness of our own responsibility in the face of suffering and violence”.
Michel Roy, Secretary General Caritas Internationalis, stated:
The Church provides medical assistance to the survivors of sexual violence in conflict, gives them shelter and counseling and confronts stigma. To the perpetrators, we must tell them to change their lives and to stop carrying out these heinous acts.
Jesuit Refugee Service International Director, Peter Balleis SJ said:
JRS community-based activities offer survivors of sexually violence space to rebuild their lives. Across the globe – from the remote hills of eastern Congo to urban areas of Colombia – we strive to build communities of hope. However, a more just future depends on the actions of governments needed to fund the provision of lifesaving medical and psychosocial services and enforce laws ensuring the perpetrators are held accountable for their crimes.
Note for editors
The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict will be the largest international gathering ever held on this issue. Over 1,200 delegates, including government officials, international organisation representatives, civil society organisations and a broad range of domestic and international experts, are expected to attend the London Global Summit.