The United Kingdom (UK) has welcomed Bangladesh’s endorsement of the Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict.
Bangladesh, Nigeria and Pakistan have announced their endorsement of the Declaration this week, launched as part of the UK’s Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative.
“I thank and congratulate the foreign ministers and governments of Bangladesh, Nigeria and Pakistan for taking this important and welcome step this week,” said British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Friday.
The Foreign Secretary mentioned that these three countries are all major contributors to UN and international peacekeeping missions, and they bring invaluable experience and expertise, according to a British High Commission media release.
“We’re steadily building the global momentum needed to end the use of rape and sexual violence in conflict once and for all,” Hague said adding that these crimes have ruined the lives of millions of women, men and children in our lifetimes.
“We’ve an opportunity, at last, to transform global attitudes to the use of rape as a weapon of war and shatter the culture of impunity,” said the British Foreign Secretary.
Three quarters of all UN Member States endorse the Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict.
This brings to 148 the total number of countries supporting this effort: over three quarters of all UN Member States. It sends a powerful message about the growing international resolve to end sexual violence in conflict and bring perpetrators to justice.
All countries that endorse the Declaration are invited to take part in the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, hosted by the Foreign Secretary and Angelina Jolie, the Special Envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, in London from 10-13 June.
The Foreign Secretary and the Special Envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Angelina Jolie, launched the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative.
The goal of their campaign is to end the use of rape and sexual violence as instruments of war worldwide and end the culture of impunity that exists for perpetrators.
From June 10-13, they will co-host a Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London. It will be the largest international event ever held on this subject.
It will bring together the governments from all countries who have endorsed the Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict.
It will involve militaries, judiciaries, civil society and UN agencies. It will be open to the media and members of the public.
Countries involved will be ask to support a new International Protocol aimed at increasing accountability for those culpable of sexual violence in conflict, to ensure their militaries can prevent and respond to rape and sexual violence, to pledge practical support for survivors of rape; and to join in partnerships to help conflict-affected countries.