The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict on 10-13 June 2014 at ExCeL London will be the largest gathering ever brought together on this subject. Foreign Secretary William Hague will co-chair the summit with Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
All the governments that have endorsed the UN Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict will be invited, as will legal, military and judicial practitioners and representatives from multilateral organisations, NGOs and civil society.
The Summit aims to create irreversible momentum against sexual violence in conflict and deliver practical action that impacts those on the ground. Read more about the aims of the Summit ›
Today is the 102nd anniversary of Titanic’s maiden voyage tragedy
On 14 April 1912 at 11.40pm the Titanic collided with an iceberg. The impact caused underwater damaged to the ships first six compartments, the first five flooding out of control.
Learn more at TitanicBelfast.com ›
HMS Illustrious, the Royal Navy’s high-readiness helicopter and commando carrier, has been taking part in Exercise Joint Warrior this week, operating off the coast of the UK. The picture shows Royal Marines from 40 Commando moving from the ship’s cavernous hangar up to the flight deck to be projected ashore via Sea King helicopters from 845 Naval Air Squadron and RAF Chinooks.
The exercise, which began on 25 March, engages more than 35 warships, 25 different types of aircraft, and personnel from the various participating nations, which include the UK, USA, Turkey, Germany, Belgium, France, Holland and Denmark.
Photo by Leading Airman Will Haigh, Crown copyright
The UK government is gravely concerned about the situation in Crimea and in the east of Ukraine, where armed groups seized government buildings in Donetsk, Kharkiv and Lugansk. There can be no justification for this action, which bears all the hallmarks of a Russian strategy to destabilise Ukraine. Russia should be clear that a deliberate and further escalation of the crisis will bring serious political and economic consequences. I commend the Ukrainian Government for their clear and determined response so far.
The European Council has asked the Commission to draw up far reaching sanctions in the event of further escalation by Russia. It is alarming that President Putin has already sought authority to send armed forces into any part of Ukraine. Russia should be clear that the UK will consider any armed Russian presence in eastern Ukraine as a further and deliberate escalation.
We will be assessing events in eastern Ukraine carefully over the coming days. The strength and unity of the EU is vital for upholding a rules-based international system, and the Prime Minister and I have stressed to European partners the need to accelerate measures that will reduce European dependence on Russian gas. We are also convening an urgent meeting of G7 energy Ministers to discuss energy security ahead of the G7 Summit in June.
Foreign Secretary William Hague speaking after answering questions on Ukraine in the House of Commons.
After more than 10 years of campaigning and more than 7 years of negotiations, the UK ratifies the Arms Trade Treaty.
Foreign Secretary William Hague said:
I am delighted to have overseen the successful conclusion of negotiations and last week to have signed the agreement on behalf of the UK.
The Arms Trade Treaty is the result of outstanding collaboration between the government, civil society and industry all working together for a Treaty that will save lives, and I am proud of the part the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has played.
This Treaty will help make the world safer, by placing human rights and international humanitarian law at the heart of decisions about the arms trade. For the first time, countries have agreed international rules governing everything from small arms to warships. If these rules are implemented globally and effectively, they have the power to stop the arms from reaching terrorists and criminals, and fuelling conflict and instability around the world.
Our work does not stop here. We urge other countries - particularly the largest arms exporters - to ratify the Treaty and ensure it enters into force as quickly as possible. We will continue to support other nations in their plans to implement the Treaty, and Mexico’s efforts to plan the first Conference of States Parties.
Equal Marriage Comes to Britain!
Britain has had civil partnerships since 2005, but a clear majority felt that we needed full marriage equality. As of last Saturday, that’s what we have. Our view is clear: Marriage is one of our society’s most important institutions. By opening it to all, we strengthen that institution. We also strengthen society more generally, because, as James Madison once wrote, “Equal laws protecting equal rights” are “the best guarantee of loyalty and love of country.”
(Photo:The rainbow flag flew over the Cabinet Office in London this past weekend)
Source: The Huffington Post