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New Zealand backs UK campaign to stop sexual violence in war zones


16:45, February 26, 2013

WELLINGTON, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- The New Zealand government is to support a United Kingdom-led initiative to prevent sexual violence in armed conflict and post-conflict situations, Justice Minister Judith Collins announced Tuesday.

"Sexual violence is an abhorrent crime, which too often stands in the way of conflict resolution," Collins said in a statement from her office.

"New Zealand strongly supports initiatives to eliminate sexual violence in situations of armed conflict and post-conflict situations, including in our own region. However this is an issue that must be addressed on an international scale and New Zealand is proud to support UK efforts to do so."

Collin is currently visiting London to speak with senior UK officials leading the initiative.

"New Zealand continues to support efforts at the United Nations to raise this issue and has called on all states to put in place effective methods to prevent and respond to sexual violence," Collins said.

"Through our aid development programme New Zealand has actively engaged in Afghanistan and the Pacific, supporting the protection and promotion of women in post-conflict societies," she said.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague launched the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative in May last year with the aim of strengthening international efforts and co-ordination to prevent and respond to sexual violence in conflict, eroding the culture of impunity, increasing the number of perpetrators brought to justice internationally and nationally, and supporting states to build capacity.

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