June 12, 2014 8:54 pm
Updated: June 13, 2014 10:51 am

Angelina Jolie joins world leaders to end war zone rape


Watch above: Canada, at a summit in England, joined 140 other nations in signing a protocol to prosecute rape as a serious war crime. Stuart Greer reports.

LONDON – Brad Pitt joined Angelina Jolie at a London summit on sexual violence Thursday, lending the couple’s star power to the campaign to end rape in war zones.

The four-day London conference is organized by British Foreign Secretary William Hague and Jolie, a United Nations special envoy.

READ MORE: Jolie, Hague hail Bosnia’s anti-rape training

They hope representatives of the more than 100 countries present will back a new protocol laying out how sexual violence in conflict zones should be investigated and prosecuted. They say they want to end the “culture of impunity” for wartime sex crimes.

US actress Angelina Jolie, right, Special Envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, hugs Neema Namadamu of the Democratic Republic of Congo at the \’End Sexual Violence in Conflict\’ summit in London, Wednesday, June 11, 2014. Namadamu formed an organisation that uses digital media to empower women demanding peace in eastern Congo. She formed it earlier this year after her own 25-year -old daughter was attacked.

Lefteris Pitarakis, pool/AP Photo

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Pitt watched from the audience as Jolie and Hague spoke to delegates at the east London conference venue.

Billed as the biggest-ever summit on the subject, the gathering has drawn diplomats, officials, charity representatives and survivors of wartime rape.

Jolie said the meeting, which ends Friday, was being held “for all the forgotten, hidden survivors who have been made to feel ashamed or been abandoned.”

“And for the children of rape – we want the whole world to hear their stories and understand that this injustice cannot be tolerated, and that sorrow and compassion are not enough,” she said.

WATCH: Angelina Jolie delivers impassioned speech on the issue of rape in war zones

Hague and Jolie have made an odd but effective double act as they’ve campaigned against sexual violence for the past two years.

Hague said the Maleficent star “has the power to speak to the whole world, to raise awareness, change attitudes. Governments like the one I am a member of hold in their hands levers of decision-making and action.

“And this combination can be formidable.”

© 2014 The Canadian Press

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