LONDON (Reuters) - Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie and British Foreign Secretary William Hague vowed on Tuesday to produce practical action from the world’s first summit on ending sexual violence in conflict to punish those responsible and help victims.
Up to 1,200 government ministers, military and judicial officials and activists from about 150 nations will attend the June 10-13 summit that is a call for action to protect women, children and men from rape and sex attacks in war zones.
Hague and Jolie, special envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said the conference was the culmination of two years of work and they wanted concrete action to capture and punish those responsible for these crimes and support victims.
“It has been a long time in coming,” Oscar-winner Jolie told a crowd of media as she arrived at the ExCel centre in London’s docklands.
Hague said the summit, that will be attended by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, will push for international standards on recording and investigating crimes such as rape.
A recent run of shocking cases of violence against women including the kidnapping of 200 Nigerian girls, the stoning to death of a pregnant woman in Pakistan and the gang-rape and murder of two Indian teenagers is expected to raise the pressure on the world community for action rather than just promises.
On Wednesday, the summit will agree the first international protocol on how to document and investigate sexual violence in conflicts and a ministerial meeting on security in Nigeria and the missing schoolgirls will be held Thursday.
Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith; editing by Stephen Addison