Commenting on the UK Government’s launch of the Political Declaration on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence, Laura Kyrke-Smith, Executive Director of the International Rescue Committee UK, said,

“Ten years on from the launch of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI), the Political Declaration’s recognition of the critical work of women-led and women’s rights civil society organisations in preventing and responding to conflict-related sexual violence is encouraging, as is its explicit commitment to address the root causes: gender inequality and harmful social norms.

The IRC welcomes the UK Government’s focus on strengthening gender-based violence prevention and response in humanitarian settings through its ongoing support of the What Works to Prevent Violence programme and the Call to Action on Protection from Gender Based Violence in Emergencies.

The Declaration rightly commits to holding governments accountable. The Conference, Declaration and PSVI’s success will ultimately depend on governments and donors delivering their commitments, maintaining political prioritisation by embedding PSVI across foreign policy, and continuing to work with local partners through increasing multi-year and flexible funding to women-led organisations.

Only with actions, not words, will we ensure we are not hosting the same Conference in ten years time.”