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Angelina Jolie Speaks at G8 Meeting to Stop War-Zone Rape and Abuse

April 12, 2013 (4:40 am) GMT
The 'Mr and Mrs Smith' actress joins U.K.'s Foreign Secretary Wiliam Hague to urge nation leaders to take action, saying that war-zone rape victims bear 'the worst of the pain.'
Angelina Jolie Speaks at G8 Meeting to Stop War-Zone Rape and Abuse

, who serves as a special envoy for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, attended G8 meeting in London on Thursday, April 11. The Oscar-winning actress spoke in front of Ministers of foreign countries and Zainab Hawa Bangura, United Nations Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflicts, announcing agreement to fight rape in war zone.

"I have heard survivors of rape from Bosnia to the DR Congo say that they feel that the world simply does not care about them and who can blame them. For too long they have been the forgotten victims of war, responsible for none of the harm but bearing the worst of the pain," Jolie said. "But today I believe their voices have been heard and that we finally have some hope to offer. I welcome the long overdue stand the G8 has taken and this landmark declaration," she added.

"Hundreds of thousands of women and children have been sexually assaulted in the wars of our generation. But wartime rape is not inevitable. This violence can be prevented, and it must be confronted. It is encouraging to see men in leadership positions speaking out against rape. Rape is not a women's issue, or a humanitarian issue, it is a global issue," she said in front of the ministers.

G8 countries agree to provide 23 million pound sterling to tackle violence in conflict zones. U.K. contributes to 10 million pound sterling of the total amount. Some of the money will be used to train military and peacekeeping groups of other nations to respond to sexual violence in conflict areas.

British Foreign Secretary Wiliam Hague said, "We need to shrink and eradicate safe havens for those responsible for war-zone rape and this is a step towards doing that. This is an absolutely crucial step, since members of armed forces are often the first to come into contact with survivors and could also have an important role to play in helping to change male attitudes."

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