Australia will next week participate in the largest ever global event aimed at stopping sexual violence in conflict.
Hosted by UK Foreign Secretary William Hague and Special Envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Angelina Jolie, the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict will take place in London from 10-13 June.
Rape, and other forms of sexual violence, are among the most devastating weapons of war, even though sexual violence is prohibited under international law. And yet we continue to see horrifying levels of sexual violence in situations of armed conflict around the world.
The Summit is an opportunity to identify, and commit to, practical action to prevent and respond to sexual violence. Representatives of governments, including military and judiciary, civil society, media and the public will participate in the Summit. Together, they will develop strategies to prevent crimes of sexual violence in conflict and to provide more support to survivors.
Natasha Stott Despoja, AM, Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls, will lead Australia’s delegation and will be joined by the Chief of the Australian Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison, AO.
As an official champion of the UK’s Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative, one of my key priorities is empowering women and promoting gender equality.
In support of this initiative, I recently announced funding of programs in Afghanistan, Timor Leste, Liberia and Uganda to help end violence again women and to support their participation in peacebuilding.
The Global Summit is a milestone in the international community’s determination to end such crimes.
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