In June the American actress, Angelina Jolie, and the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, opened the first international summit in London for the purpose of banning sexual violence against women during conflicts and the use of rape as a weapon of war. The summit was part of a campaign that the British Government has been working on for quite a while, as Minister Hague himself explained in the September 2013 issue of Women Church World. For the first time therefore, representatives of more than 100 countries – including US Secretary of State John Kerry – and more than 900 military and legal experts, members of non-governmental organizations and humanitarian associations, as well as religious spokespeople, addressed this tragic phenomenon. These four days were the official occasion during which Hague and Jolie asked that the document with a plan to put an end to the impunity of rape in war zones be openly supported by all the world’s governments. Pope Francis also expressed his solidarity with the initiative in a Tweet sent to followers on the morning of the day the summit opened: “Let us pray for all the victims of sexual violence in conflict”, the Pontiff wrote, “and those working to end this crime”.
St. Peter’s Square
Dec. 8, 2019
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