AFP

WASHINGTON-Hollywood screen idol Angelina Jolie is joining forces to co-host a high-profile summit this year focused on ending rape as a weapon of war.

She pledged Tuesday that the four-day London gathering in June would “be a summit like no other” bringing together foreign ministers from 140 countries as he was awarded the 2014 Hillary Clinton prize for Women, Peace and Security.

It was Jolie’s film “In the Land of Blood and Honey” which first opened his eyes to the extent of sexual violence in conflict zones, he told the award ceremony at the prestigious Georgetown University in Washington.

“Sexual violence is often one of the first things that happens as soon as conflict or instability take hold,” She said. “Yet it is usually the last thing to be taken into account by those ending wars or rebuilding nations,” he added, stressing that “women bear the worst of the burden of war.”

“We must remove rape and sexual violence from the world’s arsenal of cruelty,” he insisted. The June 10-13 meeting would be the largest gathering ever to focus on sexual violence in conflict, and would also bring together armed forces, police units and legal experts, she explained. It would ask countries “to write action against sexual violence into their military training and doctrine and their peace-keeping missions overseas,” as well as launch a new international protocol on investigating such crimes.

“But we are going to be even more ambitious than that. We are setting out to change the whole global attitude to these crimes, as well changing bureaucracies,” She said. The hope was to create “so much momentum that we begin to shatter the culture of impunity,” he added. 

“If women are still treated in this abhorrent way in times of war, they will never be treated as equals in times of peace, and that cannot be tolerated.” In presenting the award, former secretary of state Clinton said “women, peace and security- must be perceived as being integral” to all other global issues such as the conflict in Syria.

Also honored was Doctor Denis Mukwege, founder of the Panzi hospital in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which has treated tens of thousands of rape victims. “The bodies of women become the battleground of conflict,” he said, warning many assaults on women are carried out by child soldiers brainwashed by the adults who have kidnapped them.