The final day of the fringe at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict saw discussions on the Post-2015 agenda, a screening of Angelina Jolie’s recent film In the Land of Blood and Honey, and a performance of the play written for Human Rights Watch: Breaking The Silence.
Lynne Featherstone, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development, announced the UK government’s support for a target on ending violence against women and girls. Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire, the Force Commander of UNAMIR who attempted to stop the Rwandan genocide, spoke at Bond’s discussion on protecting children's rights in conflict. He spoke of the 350,000+ children slaughtered in Rwanda, and of the use of children as a weapon of war.
The Royal Commonwealth Society spoke to many people who were interested in our research. Our map and accompanying report are both now available on our website: [link]
Following the summit, the closing plenary saw UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, United States Secretary of State John Kerry, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensuda, and Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zeinab Bangura pledge their support for the initiative. Two youth delegates also had the opportunity to put forward their recommendations to governments for ending sexual violence in conflict.
The strongest message, delivered by Foreign Secretary William Hague at the close of the Summit, was that this is only the beginning of the global action which will lead to the eradication of sexual violence in conflict. The Royal Commonwealth Society welcomes this emphasis, which was echoed by most people at the summit, and which will be vital if we are to see real change on the ground. It is important to note that this change must be structural, and must involve combatting the social norms that allow gender-based violence to be accepted.