final day of the summit. closing plenary
This photo (taken on the tube after the summit) expresses how we feel about what happened (or didn’t happen today)
The day started with much anticipation and the room filled up with participants eager to hear concrete results after days of talk
our MC introduced a video greeting from the UN SG
Then Bill and Ang spoke briefly (Hague promised a more in depth speech later)
we watched an award winning brief film and then Panzi hospital’s Dr Mukwege spoke
At this point we are all wondering when the commitments for action start to be revealed?
enter Lieutenant General David Morrison, AO Chief of the Australian Army who has a track record of speaking out against abuses and about the need for diversity and inclusion in the Australian Army. Check Twitter and the literature for discussions of whether including more women in armed forces is the answer, but you have to give him credit for taking the issue seriously and being concrete (that’s how low the bar is at the moment)
We have a film interlude (trailer for the film The Prosecutors)
Then we see a short series of film clips with commitments from country representatives and others. Very little is pledged (Australia 5 million to be used in 4 specific countries, Germany 1 million Euro , Finland 2 mil) ICC commits to prosecutions, Sweden to standalone gender equality goal in the post 2015 development agenda. Others do not say much of anything including Bosnia & Herzegovina and Uruguay.
and then appropriately it is time for Chief Persecutor of the ICC Fatou Bensouda to speak. She raises commitments by her office to do more to prosecute sexual violence and integrate gender considerations in all their work. As part of that staff will now be trained on appropriate interaction with survivors. Ok, but worrying that this hasn’t already been put in place.
We watch a book trailer for the international protocol launched by the UK at the summit and then it is time for the main event- US Sec of State John Kerry who had apparently just gotten off the plane
He referenced new funds for NGOs providing services to survivors and vaguely referred to it as a doubling of funding for the Safe from the Start initiative (10 million?). He also spoke about the need to strengthen national justice processes and his Feb 2014 instruction to US missions to deny visas for the US to perpetrators ” of widespread or systematic violence, war crimes, crimes against humanity, or other serious violations of human rights” It is not clear how this is actually to be implemented.
Then the carefully chosen (by their peers) youth reps presented the views and recommendations of the youth delegation. Too bad they were not more integrated into the summit itself
Zainab Bangura spoke and then introduced a video message from former POTUS Jimmy Carter
and time for the BIG FINAL ANNOUNCEMENT from William Hague … but all he said was thank you, we are great and goodbye (much more eloquently but that is the gist)
Final tally based on announcements at the summit. (drumroll please)
At most 30 million USD. A mere fraction of what it is estimated the US spent PER DAY fighting the war in Iraq and a drop in the bucket when compared to the needs.