Cross-posted from WPSN-C member World Federalist Movement – Canada TakeAction for June 2014.
This week in London, from June 10 to 13, there has been the largest gathering ever on the issue of sexual violence in conflict. The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, co-chaired by UK Foreign Secretary William Hague and Angelina Jolie, in her capacity as Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, aimed to build further on the current willingness to address the issue of sexual violence in conflict in a wide-ranging approach that is including Foreign Ministers, experts, multilateral organizations, NGOs, civil society and survivors.
The purpose of the Summit was to create momentum towards ending the use of rape and sexual violence in conflict through the development of practical agreements that focus the efforts of everyone (governments, NGOs, multilateral organizations and so on) towards specific actions such as better investigation and documentation when incidents of sexual violence in conflict occur, greater support for survivors, and the inclusion of women in peace processes.
But the work towards accomplishing these and related goals will not end with the conclusion of the Summit. Much work needs to be done.
The Canadian Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict would like to see Canada take a leadership role, along with clear and strong steps towards ending sexual violence in conflict.
The Campaign has a short list of things Canada can do, including signing the Arms Trade Treaty, making long-term commitments to survivors, and creating a global fund to support grassroots women’s organizations.
What can you do?
Write to Foreign Minister John Baird and thank him for attending the Summit. And then remind him that the issue does not stop here.
Ask him to make firm commitments to support women’s organizations worldwide who are working to address the issue of sexual violence in conflict.
Ask him to commit Canada to fully supporting survivors.
And ask that Canada follow the lead of countries like Australia and the United Kingdom and sign the Arms Trade Treaty.
You can watch UK Foreign Secretary William Hague’s opening speech from the Summit, as well as many other video clips on the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s YouTube channel.
International Protocol on the documentation and investigation of sexual violence in conflict written, as UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said when presenting the document, “to help all those who might be involved in documenting and investigating sexual violence in conflict, from community activists to heads of police to international organisations who work in conflict-affected areas.”
Statement of Action from the Summit, “in which signatories commit to tackling sexual violence in conflict and to support victims.”