On September 25, 2012, the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict together with UN Women, the United Kingdom (UK) Mission to the United Nations and the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, co-hosted a High Level side event to the UN General Assembly in New York.
Nobel Laureates Leymah Gbowee and Jody Williams, joined UN Women's Executive Director Michelle Bachelet, the United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary William Hague, Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Bangura, and Major General Patrick Cammaert - former UN Force Division Commander for the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) spoke at the event, "Preventing Sexual and Gender Crimes in Conflict and Securing Justice for Survivors."
The panel addressed the challenges and possibilities of stopping sexual violence in conflict and opportunities for countries to promote justice for survivors. Country representatives, including foriegn ministers from around the world, attended the discussion along with prominent activists on this issue.
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague commited to contributing £1 million to the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict.
The newly appointed Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Bangura expressed her committment to addressing this issue.
In her introductory speech, Executive Director of UN Women Michelle Bachelet remarked that, "access to justice means more than punishing the perpetrators. It means redress and reparations that enable women to recover losses, alleviate poverty and promote women’s long-term empowerment to become full and equal members of society."
The co-chairs of the Campaign Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee and Jody Williams emphasized the need for political will to translate into concrete action and to put the spotlight, and stigma, on perpetrators instead of survivors. The Laureates noted that while there has been progress, more must be done by the countries currently experiencing widesrpead sexual violence in conflict.
Stronger actions needed to prevent conflict-related sexual violence - UN and partners, UN News Centre, 25 September 2012.
Nations pledge new UN effort to end use of rape as weapon in conflicts, Montreal Gazette, 25 September 2012.
Perpetrators mssing from anti-violence platform, UPI.com, 2 October 2012.