Angelina Jolie says political action fails to stop sexual violence as a weapon of war

In 2014, nearly 150 countries signed the Global Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict🇧🇷 Promises were outlined in the document to help survivors recover, bring perpetrators to justice, end impunity, among other actions.

Almost ten years after the declaration of intentions, Angelina Jolie, well-known actress and special envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), comes denounce the lack of action by governments in supporting and defending victims of sexual violence.

“Deeply painful and frustrating”
In a decade “there has been some progress” writes Jolie in the British publication The Guardian🇧🇷 But “despite commitments made by governments, we have not seen significant and lasting action at the global level. This is deeply painful and frustrating.”

Jolie, who launched the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict (PSVI) Initiative with then-British Foreign Secretary William Hague in 2012, points the finger at executives for there is not “sufficient” progress in bringing perpetrators to justice, and adjusting priorities in helping survivors.

“We got together and discussed these horrors and agreed that they must not happen again. We promise to draw – and maintain – that line,” she stated.

“But when it comes to tough choices about how to implement those promises, we always face the same problems🇧🇷 We found some members of the Security Council abusing their voting power, as in the case of Syria”denounces Jolie.

And he adds: “We are faced with economic and political interests being put first, treating some conflicts as more important than others. AND we are faced with a lack of political willwhich means that governments in recent years detracted from the importance of efforts to combat sexual violence in war zones, despite the direct link to international peace and security.”🇧🇷

In London, this Monday and Tuesday the PSVI Conference will take place to mark the decade of the work. With around 70 countries represented, ways to combat this type of crime in countries such as Ukraine, Ethiopia and Colombia will be discussed.

At the opening of the conference, the British Foreign Minister, James Cleverly, argues that “the very threat of aggression and sexual violence used as a weapon of war must be condemned internationally, immediately, to stop these attacks before they happen🇧🇷

“Today, we stand in solidarity to support survivors and bring justice. But also to send an unequivocal message to those who order, allow or perpetrate sexual violence: we will not tolerate it and we will press for perpetrators to be prosecuted,” he added.

The UK government has already announced the provision of €14.5 million over three years to combat violence. Most of the money will go towards helping survivors.

“Peace Harder to Achieve”
Nimco Ali, executive director of the Five Foundation, an organization that works for women and girls around the world, noted that pledging money is not enough.

“It is not enough to see renewed commitments”, said Ali. “It has proven that these commitments are not sufficient or credible. The Office for International, Commonwealth and Development Relations needs to embrace change and update its own priorities, putting the principles of gender equality at the center of its aid policies and diplomacy “.

Jolie recalls: “We are talking about crimes of extreme brutality. Assaults on women and men in front of their families. We are talking about collective rape of children – who were victims in almost half of all cases verified by the UN last year.”

“Sexual violence in conflict makes peace more difficult to achieve – and less stable. It increases the risk of domestic violence. Aggression drives displacement and prevents girls from going to school. It leaves scars of trauma and stigma that affect entire societies and cross generations” underlines Angelina Jolie.

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