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Angelina Jolie, UK's Hague, vow action against sexual violence in war

(Reuters) - Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie and British Foreign Secretary William Hague vowed on Tuesday to ensure the world's first summit on ending sexual violence in conflict resulted in practical action to punish those responsible and help victims.

Up to 1,200 government ministers, military and judicial officials and activists from up to 150 nations are attending the June 10-13 summit that is the result of a two-year partnership between Jolie and Hague to combat rape as a weapon of war.

The summit follows a series of violent incidents against women that was expected to raise pressure for action, including the kidnap of 200 Nigerian schoolgirls, the stoning of a pregnant Pakistani woman to death, and the gang-rape and murder of two Indian girls.Opening the four-day summit in London's docklands, Jolie, special envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said political will was needed globally to treat sexual violence as a priority and tackle a culture of impunity.

"It is a myth that rape is an inevitable part of conflict. It is a weapon of war aimed at civilians .. done to torture and humiliate people and often to very young children," she said.

"We need to see real commitment and go after the worst perpetrators, to fund proper protection for vulnerable people, and to step in to help the worst-affected countries."

Jolie's involvement in humanitarian issues dates back to 2001 when she traveled to Sierra Leone as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador and saw the impact of years of civil war when an estimated 60,000 women were raped.

Her link-up with Hague was sparked by her 2011 directorial debut "In the Land of Blood and Honey" that was set against the backdrop of the 1992-95 Bosnian war in which more than 100,000 people were killed and an estimated 20,000 women believed raped.

Last year the unusual partnership led to the launch of a declaration, now signed by about 150 countries, pledging to end impunity and provide justice and safety for victims but Hague said the summit would take this further.


Hague said the conference, to be attended by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, would agree a protocol to push for international standards on recording and investigating sex crimes to bring more people to justice.

Other practical steps would include strengthening laws in certain countries, training armies and peacekeepers, and increasing funding to help survivors, some of whose harrowing stories were retold in documentaries on show at a fringe event.

"There is power in numbers and if we unite behind this cause we can create an unstoppable momentum and consign this vile abuse to history," Hague said, unveiling a six million pound ($10 million) fund for victims from the UK government.

Organizations with stands at the meeting and members of the public attending the fringe event of theater and discussions said concrete action was critical and that the public and activists needed to ensure governments stuck to promises made.

"The momentum is with this summit, with Angelina Jolie and Hague and the news agenda - now is the perfect time for action on women's rights. This could be a turning point," said Nick Harvey, spokesman for healthcare charity Doctors Of The World.

Canadian lawyer Guylaine Grenier, on holiday in London with her niece from Vancouver, said this should be just the start.

"I hope it does not end here, that it goes further. This kind of event should happen every year so we can see what has really happened in the past year," Grenier, 45, told Reuters.

Join the discussion

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
kent_hern June 11 2014 at 8:46 AM

Classy lady doing great work, on a public and personal level. May God bless her efforts.

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3 replies
john.dean54 June 11 2014 at 10:48 AM

The extent of the hate and ignorance posted here is staggering. In the first place, doing a good thing and bringing attention to an awful act should never be ridiculed, no matter what the motives of the participants might be. Helping the helpless isn't done by good thoughts and wishes, it's done with action and participation.
When was the last time any of you got up and went to a council meeting and questioned your "representative" and maybe explained to him/her that they are bound to do what you tell them to not what their party or donors tell them? But at home or at work you complain about how messed up our government is without doing your part to fix it.
To her credit Jolie is trying, give her some support and maybe something positive will get done.
Stop hating

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2 replies
geldonski john.dean54 June 11 2014 at 2:01 PM

I don't believe she needs you defending her for actions. She would never do the same for you.

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8 replies
moeelmore john.dean54 June 11 2014 at 10:05 PM

Its not hating to tell the truth and facts of life. As for hating, another stupid comment I see all the time, you must be really progressive to consider anyone who disagrees with you as a "hater". How bloody naive and arrogant.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Alan Ebert June 11 2014 at 11:55 AM

Note to the Ignorant: You can't "steal" anyone's husband or wife
without the husband or wife being willing. You moralists should get
over yourselves. You don't know, no one knows except the two people
involved, what goes on in a marriage. Furthermore, it is no one's

Flag Reply +21 rate up
5 replies
Kymberly June 11 2014 at 9:33 AM

I'm happy she has lended her name to this cause, now maybe she can start a campaign to keep marriages together by encouraging women NOT to sleep with other people's husbands. I realize it takes two and I am not excusing Brad Pitt, but she is not a good person.

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5 replies
twalsh4440 June 11 2014 at 8:23 AM

About time someone is SPEAKING UP the world is a worse today than anytime in History. WE HAVE AN INCOMPETENT PRESIDENT BARF and the rest of the world is MASS MURDERERS

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6 replies
Bluemoon June 11 2014 at 9:54 AM

Jolie is a phony. When you do something good for someone, the whole world doesn't have to know about it. Keep it between you and the one(s) you are helping. She is such a show off. Can't stand her or her boyfriend!

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4 replies
Michael June 11 2014 at 9:20 AM

How do we get these perfectly incompetant older female actresses from assuming they are anything more than a good actors. This women obviously has poor judgement and a very skewed outlook on normalcy.

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7 replies
umatyly37 June 11 2014 at 9:41 AM

Her balloon never lands....the real world never touches her...how would she know anything.
Get another tatoo, buy another baby, or go throw up....just stop with your crap.
You are talking about WAR!

Flag Reply +7 rate up
6 replies
dawndee994 June 11 2014 at 9:51 AM

Remember she is a husband thief and not as holy as she'd have you think.no matter how many causes she takes up or how many kids she adopts she willfully set out to deliberately steal someone's husband using the same weapon- sex and that pretty much puts her in the same army.

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6 replies
Jeri-Anne June 11 2014 at 7:56 PM

When the headline said SHE DID IT AGAIN, I thought she stole another husband.

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1 reply
Kate Jeri-Anne June 11 2014 at 9:00 PM

Considering that she never stole one to begin with, you should probably try to control your lack of logic.

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1 reply
Kingfisher Farm Kate June 11 2014 at 9:15 PM

Kate: You know Jeri-Anne doesn't believe in no stinkin logic. I don't know why it is so hard for some to understand you cannot steal an adult man/woman. Humans are not property.

Flag +3 rate up
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