122 countries endorse historic ‘Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict’

I welcome the resounding commitment expressed by Member States at the start of the 68th session of the General Assembly to protect women from violence, including egregious sexual violence that is being perpetrated in too many conflicts around the world.

The resolve of the international community was exemplified by the endorsement by 122 countries of a historic ‘Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict’. I commend the Government of the United Kingdom, and particularly the determined leadership of Foreign Secretary William Hague, for rallying so many behind this cause to eradicate a crime which is a blight on the conscience of humanity. I look forward to the universal endorsement of this Declaration and most importantly to its implementation on the ground.

Last week also marked the launch of a high-level advocacy initiative in which we will bring together a ‘Circle of Champions’ who will use their special influence to encourage the prevention of conflict-related sexual violence. I commend Presidents Macky Sall of Senegal, Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, Joyce Banda of Malawi and Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, who have already agreed to join the circle as African Champions. I also appreciate the explicit support to my mandate expressed by His Excellency Shinzo Abe the Prime Minister of Japan in his statement to the General Assembly. I stand in solidarity with the Prime Minister’s objective and commitment of creating a “global society in which women shine”.