Avatar photo

Daniel Pruce

British Ambassador to the Philippines and to Palau

Part of FCDO Human Rights UK in Spain

26th November 2013 Madrid, Spain

Time to act

cross foto

Yesterday, 25 November, the Embassy hosted a discussion of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI). It was particularly appropriate that we did so yesterday, as it was the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. And the start of the 16 days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign.

I was very grateful to the representatives of the Spanish Government, Congress, NGOs, aid organisations and other Embassies who took part. You can see a video of the event

I opened the event by setting out the context of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI).

PSVI was launched by the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague in May 2012. Since then the British Government has worked closely with the UN and our international partners, including Spain, to build an international consensus to take action against this issue.

In September William Hague chaired a meeting at the UN General Assembly at which 135 countries – 2/3 of all UN member states – signed up to a new Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. Spain was among those who signed the Declaration.

Our objective now is to host a major international conference in London in June 2014 – bringing together those 135 countries, international agencies, NGOs and other representatives of civil society. We want to turn political commitment into practical action.

So, with that in mind, the Embassy’s aim yesterday was to identify how we could all work together to raise awareness of this issue in Spain, with a view to helping ensure the success of the June conference.

You can read the full text of my speech here.

Maria Jesús Vega, from the UNHCR, explained the work of the UN in this area, including details of some very harrowing cases. The UNHCR Special Envoy, Angelina Jolie, has worked very closely with William Hague on PSVI. And the British Government strongly supports the UNSG Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Mrs Zainab Hawa Bangura.

The UN, national governments and NGOs all have decisive roles to play in building an international consensus on this issue.

All of us in the room yesterday agreed that we wanted to work together to raise the profile of PSVI ahead of the June 2014 Conference in London. Our discussions came up with lots of practical ideas for how, working together, we can contribute to the Conference’s success.

So please keep an eye on this blog and on my Twitter account (@DanielPruce) for more details soon.

And if you want to get involved please do reply to this blog, or e-mail enquiries.madrid@fco.gov.uk

2 comments on “Time to act

  1. Querido Daniel Pruce, un gran informe en el momento adecuado. Y también mal necesario. Para usted y el policy de la Embajada Británica y su equipo. But seguramente también para OGN ‘s como PSVI. Nás toda esta OGN ‘s activistas contra Género Campana de Violencia Basada.
    Felicidades de Stuttgart, Ingo-Steven Wais

  2. Dear Daniel Pruce , a great report to the correct time. And also badly needed.For you and the policy of the Briritsh Embassy in Madrid. But surely also for NGO `s like PSVI. Plus: As “Masterplan ” of “How do we act next?” for your team and all this NGO ‘s activists against “GENDER _ BASED _ VIOLENCE”-CAMPAIGN.It was high impressive to me by raeding of what , NGO `S , Governments and UNHCR have already achieved in this fight.But I also do think, there is still a lot to do.
    Ghoete once wrote : “Every great succes in humaity started with a 1st.step. :Jeder grosse Schritt weiter in der Menschheitsgeschicht fing mir einem ersten an.”
    BW ‘s + take care, Ingo-Steven Wais, Stuttgart

Comments are closed.