Hollywood star Angelina Jolie was applauded by world leaders on Thursday (11Apr13) as she called for a global fight against sex abuse in war zones.
The Tomb Raider star, who is a leading humanitarian campaigner and a United Nations (U.N.) Goodwill Ambassador, jetted in to London to attend a summit of G8 leaders during which the issue of rape in armed conflicts was addressed.
Leaders of the eight nations - the U.K., U.S., Canada, Russia, Germany, France, Japan and Italy - including British Foreign Secretary William Hague, announced a commitment to "work together to end sexual violence in conflict".
Jolie then stood at the podium to deliver a two-minute speech in which she thanked the G8 leaders for their support for the campaign.
The actress said, "The perpetrators have learned that they can get away with it and victims have been denied justice, but rape isn't inevitable. This violence can be prevented and must be confronted.
"I have heard survivors of rape from Bosnia to the Drc (Democratic Republic of Congo) say that they feel that the world simply does not care about them. And who could 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, 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, and I want to thank the governments of the countries that have made funding commitments... I welcome the pledge by the G8 to regard rape and sexual violence in armed conflict as grave breaches of the Geneva Convention and to give no amnesty to those who commit these crimes."
Turning to the summit leaders, she added, "Millions of people have been waiting for the commitments that you have just made and they will be watching to see them implemented... Rape is not a women's issue or a humanitarian issue, it is a global issue, and it belongs here, at the top table of international decision-making, where (Hague) has put it.
"So I look forward to campaigning with him at the U.N. and I call on other governments to make this cause their priority. If they do, this will be the start of a new global alliance against war zone rape and sexual violence, and finally an end to impunity."