This Summit is just the beginning. We must apply the lessons we have learned and move from condemnation to concrete action. We must all live up to the commitments we have made. Having come together we must move forward with a collective responsibility, showing leadership at all levels on ending sexual violence in conflict.
Chair’s Summary – Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict
The cameras have been turned off. The microphones are silent. Foreign Ministers have moved on to the next hotspot. Posters, reports and informatics have been boxed up.
And the activists have returned to what they were doing before the Summit – working for change, for peace and for justice.
Positives and yet questions
The UK’s Foreign Secretary Hague said that he wanted a summit like no other. And it looks like he got it. The Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict was held in London last week. It brought thousands of activists, government officials, journalists, experts, academics, and celebrities together and certainly raised the profile of the issue.
On the positive side, the Summit saw the launch of International Protocol on the documentation and investigation of sexual violence in conflict, a tool outlining best practices. Leaders signed a Statement of Action. A global network of survivors of sexual violence was launched: Survivors United For Action.
The Summit was also an opportunity for activists and experts to exchange ideas, meet and learn.
However, there were also questions and more critical voices. The International Campaign released a statement expressing disappointment that the Summit ended with few tangible results. Nobel Laureate Jodie Williams lamented the exclusion of civil society organizations from the ‘official’ discussions. Our own WPSN-C blog included reflections from Carleton University professor Doris Buss on prevention, gender and limiting the focus to ‘rape as a weapon of war.’
Even though money doesn’t solve all problems, it is clear that resources are needed. On this front, there were surprisingly few announcements.