Timmermans to attend summit on sexual violence in conflict

On Thursday 12 June, Minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans will attend an international summit in London against sexual violence in conflict. The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict is an initiative of the UK Foreign Secretary, William Hague, and the Special Envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Angelina Jolie.

Rape and other forms of sexual violence are used as weapons by parties to armed conflict all over the world. This ruins the lives of women, men, boys and girls and destroys entire communities. The political will to take action against these horrific crimes is growing by the day. The summit will bring together representatives of governments, civil society organisations and the media, as well as lawyers and defence specialists, to transform that political will into practical action. Action that must result in an end to the culture of impunity and provide ongoing support for victims, better harmonisation between policy and implementation, and more international coordination.

While at the summit, Minister Timmermans will visit a Diplohack on this subject, hosted by the Dutch Embassy in London, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, volunteer organisation Chayn and MakeSense, a movement of social entrepreneurs. Diplohack is Swedish-Dutch initiative bringing together diplomats, IT professionals and subject matter experts from civil society to develop effective digital solutions to problems, working in small teams like start-ups. Eighty participants have registered so far.
Mr Timmermans will also attend the launch of Survivors United for Action, an initiative of five female Nobel Peace Prize laureates. It is a show of worldwide solidarity on the part of governments and civil society organisations with survivors of sexual violence. The Minister, the Nobel Prize laureates, and other government ministers will each introduce a victim and invite them on to the stage. Minister Timmermans will introduce Hania Moheeb from Egypt.