DUBAI // The Burj Al Arab will be illuminated with the hashtag #TimetoAct until Friday in support of “End Sexual Violence in Conflict”, an ongoing four-day global summit in London.
The British Embassy in Dubai will also host a “tweet up” – a gathering on Twitter – on Thursday with young activists to raise awareness in the UAE. The public can follow this on @UKinUAE and with the hashtag #TimetoAct.
“Rape as a weapon of war ruins the lives of women and men, boys and girls and destroys whole communities,” said Alan Duncan, the UK minister of state for international development, at a function in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday to discuss global action. “We need to ensure the spotlight of the world falls on the issue and brings public pressure to bear on governments and the international community that now is the time to act to end these crimes.”
In an editorial published in The National on Monday, actress and United Nations Refugee Agency special envoy Angelina Jolie, and William Hague, the UK's secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs, said they believe the fundamental issue is justice.
“There is no law that can be passed or treaty adopted that will abolish war zone sexual violence overnight. This is a cause for our generation,” the editorial said.
“And the truth is that governments will never achieve this by themselves. Ending sexual violence in conflict requires us to break the mould. We need governments and citizens and civil society to work together, in a new model for how we tackle vast global issues.
“It is in our power to remove rape as a weapon of war from the world’s arsenal of cruelty. And it is in our hands to treat victims not as social outcasts, but as courageous survivors.”