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Today the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London came to a close with concluding remarks from summit co-chairs U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague and Special Envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Angelina Jolie. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivered the keynote address in which he highlighted U.S. commitments to prevent and respond to sexual violence in conflict. The U.S. commitments include:
- Launching an Accountability Initiative to support the development of specialized justice sector mechanisms that will improve access to justice for survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) and bring perpetrators to justice in partner countries ravaged by war, violence, and insecurity.
- Building on the Safe from the Start initial commitment of $10 million announced by Secretary Kerry in September 2013 for international organization partners, the release of a new funding opportunity available to NGOs to develop innovative programming to prevent and respond to GBV in refugee emergencies. Safe from the Start is a joint State-USAID effort that focuses on addressing GBV from the earliest stages of a humanitarian response.
We have to speak out loudly and clearly against one of the most persistent and neglected injustices imaginable. And we have to fight to hold the criminals accountability and end the age of impunity. Instead of shaming the survivors, we have to punish the perpetrators. And we must support the victims afterwards as they work to try to rebuild their lives.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict assembled government representatives from more than 120 countries, and over 1,000 experts, faith leaders, youth organizations, and representatives of civil society and international organizations. The U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office has published a summary on the ways participants agreed to turn commitments into action to ending sexual violence in conflict.
A Statement of Action was also issued in which signatories commit to tackling sexual violence in conflict and to support victims. The statement reads, in part, “We stand shoulder to shoulder with all victims and those affected by sexual violence in conflict. We assure them and the communities with which they work that we are committed to providing the support they need and to holding accountable those who perpetrate or are otherwise responsible for these crimes with all means at our disposal.”
We hope you found these updates of interest this week and look forward to sharing news and information from other related national and international events around the world.