Angelina Jolie to chair ExCeL global summit on sexual violence
08:00 14 May 2014
Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie will be arriving in Newham next month to chair a global summit to end sexual violence in the wake of the kidnapping of 300 school girls by Boko Haram in Nigeria.
The actress will appear at the ExCeL exhibition centre in Custom House to co-chair the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict with Foreign Secretary William Hague.
Jolie spoke out against Boko Haram when she attended the London premiere of her latest movie, Maleficent.
She said: “These men thought that they can get away with this, that they could abuse them in such a way, sell them, rape them, take them as property, because so many people have gotten away with this in the past because of this culture of impunity.”
She said the international community must “make sure this stops happening and that this is not something that people feel they can get away with, because right now it is and so it’s awful that it’s gotten to this point”.
The US actress, who is a special envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, has recently been to a conference on sexual violence in conflict in Sarajevo with William Hague. She praised Bosnia’s decision to include rape prevention in military training.
The Islamic militant organisation Boko Haram has admitted taking 276 girls from a boarding school in northern Nigeria on April 14. Its leader has threatened to sell them “on the market” and some of the girls have reportedly already been trafficked to neighbouring Chad and Cameroon.
Angelina Jolie is the latest in a long line of high profile people to lend their name and support to raise awareness of the girls’ plight.
The First Lady, Michelle Obama, recently posted a photo of herself holding a placard bearing the message #BringBackOurGirls.
Representatives from governments who have endorsed the UN Declaration of Commitments to End Sexual Violence in Conflict will be invited to the summit which will take place from June 10 to June 13.
Organisers have said it will be the biggest global meeting on this issue ever convened.