The American actress Angelina Jolie announced Wednesday her intention to collaborate “in the months and years to come” with NATO to step up the fight against sexual violence in conflict.
“This effort must deliver concrete results that will make a real difference on the ground, in conflict-affected areas, and change attitudes towards women around the world,” said Jolie at a news conference. at the headquarters of the Alliance in Brussels.
The actress, a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) who founded an NGO to fight sexual violence in conflict, denounced sexual violence and “rape as a weapon of violence”. war “.
“It’s used as a tool for political control, terrorism and ethnic cleansing. This is a major cause in the creation of refugee flows, “she said. Where rape has been practiced, “peace is harder and more expensive to achieve,” she added.
“Sexual violence is a tactic of war (used) against women and girls, but also men and boys. NATO is already doing a lot to respond to this problem, but we can do more, “said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at his side.
The US-dominated Atlantic Alliance, which brings together 29 Western countries, is already training its troops on the issue of sexual violence before deploying them, and is dispatching specialists to the commanders of its missions, for example in Afghanistan or Iraq, he explained.
NATO is also involved in the training and military training of many partner countries. “We will look at how to strengthen our trainings on how to combat sexual violence,” said Stoltenberg.
The official also promised that the Alliance would put in place a system to “inform more quickly and more systematically” the NATO chain of command when its troops, whether deployed on mission or for training, are informed of cases of sexual violence.
Trip to Afghanistan
“It is also about having more women in the armed forces and one of the issues we are working on with our partner countries, for example, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Jordan … it’s about having more female and female police officers, “he said.
Jolie spoke of a trip to Afghanistan as the first possible realization of her new role as a “humanitarian” adviser to NATO, which is conducting a vast program of assistance and training of the Afghan army.
In this country where the United States and NATO have been fighting the Taliban for 17 years, women are still extremely vulnerable. Young boys are reduced to sexual slavery under a tradition that is difficult to eradicate, as practiced even by police officers, the “bacha bazi”.