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HOME: International Symposium: Agenda

Agenda for the International Symposium
on Sexual Violence in Conflict and Beyond
21-23 June 2006, Brussels, Palais d’Egmont

UNFPA Belgian Development Cooperation EU
Download the agenda (MS Word format)

Day One – 21 June 2006

12:00 Registration  
13:00 Opening session  Welcome addresses and Overview of Meeting Goals
14:00-15:00 Session Two: Conceptualizing Sexual Violence in Conflict and Beyond:


Sexual violence in conflict situations is increasingly recognized as a fundamental human rights violation, a global public health problem and a development issue.  A growing body of research confirms that sexual violence has grave consequences for women’s physical, sexual, and mental health, as well as implications for the health and well-being of families and communities.*

While the responses of local and international organizations and institutions have been effective in some cases, they remain grossly inadequate to the magnitude of the problem. This session will provide an overview of sexual violence in conflict, post-conflict and development situations, illustrating the degree of the problem, including magnitude, historical trends, patterns and effects.  This session will also include a brief review of strategies for prevention and response throughout all humanitarian and recovery situations (emergency preparedness, conflict, post-conflict, transition, and development).

Chair: Florence Tercier,  International Committee of the Red Cross


15:00-15:30 Coffee Break  
15:30-16:30 Session Three Frameworks for Responding to Sexual Violence in Conflict and Beyond


This session will discuss opportunities for combating sexual violence in conflict, transition, and development recovery contexts, including the implications of new coordination and funding modalities.  The session will highlight different strategies for using these coordination and aid mechanisms to ensure that gender-based violence is always considered.

Chair: Pascal Grégoire, Councellor, Cabinet of the Minister for Development Cooperation, Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Belgium


Discussant: Manuel Carballo, International Centre for Migration and Health

16:30-17:30 Session Four

Prevention and Response: Focus on Democratic Republic of the Congo



In this session a panel of speakers will present the efforts in DRC to develop a comprehensive multi-sectoral national action plan that integrates health care, social support, security and legal redress in an effort to combat sexual violence and other forms of gender-based violence.  They will discuss how multiple forms of gender-based violence are addressed in the current national recovery and development planning.

Chair: Kris Panneels,  Director, Multilateral and European Programmes, Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Belgium


  • Faida Mwangilwa,  Minister of Women and the Family, Democratic Republic of Congo,  
  • Marie-Madeleine Kalala, Minister of Human Rights, DRC
  • Toussaint Muntazini, Colonel, Attorney General, DRC
  • Dr. Jean-Pascal Manga Okinye, Clinique Maternite sans Risque
  • Marie Mossi, RAF
  • Justine Masika Buhamba, Synergie des femmes pour les victimes des violence sexuelles

Discussant:  Rory Keane, DG Development, European Commission

17:30-18:30 Viewing of IRIN Photo Exhibit Broken Bodies, Broken Dreams: Violence against Women Exposed
18:30-19:30 Cocktails  
19:30-22:00 Seated Dinner  

Participants are invited to dine together and listen to comments from a panel of distinguished speakers:

  • Elisabeth Rehn, Independent Expert on Women, War, and Peace, ex- SRSG for Bosnia, and ex-Minister of Defense of Finland
  • Mark Bowden, Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, speaking on behalf of Mr. Jan Egeland, Emergency Relief Coordinator of the United Nations -- Biography | Presentation
  • Dr. Marleen Temmermans, Director, ICRH,  University of Ghent

Day Two – 22 June 2006

Session Five: Designing and Implementing National Action Plans for Addressing Sexual Violence for Conflict and Recovery: Examples from the Field Prevention of and response to sexual violence in conflict situations and beyond
Concurrent Sessions 

Presentations on the development of national action plans in  Sudan(GNU and South Sudan), Haiti, Liberia, Central African Republic, Occupied Palestinian Territories, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.  The presentations will consider how national action plans to address gender-based violence can be integrated into national development and recovery plans.

Programming experiences from the field have revealed that no single sector or agency can adequately address gender-based violence prevention and response.  Services to address sexual violence must include health and social services, and legal/justice and security sectors. The multi-sectoral model for prevention of and response to gender-based violence calls for holistic inter-organizational and inter-agency efforts, across the health, social services, legal and security sectors.


National Action Plans from Haiti and Liberia Meeting Protection Needs

Concurrent Sessions


Chair: Ambassador Patricia Brister, US Representative to the CSW

Presenters: Country delegation members from Haiti and Liberia, including:

Effective prevention of sexual violence must involve coordinated multi-sectoral actions that ensure the continuous analysis of risk factors and consequences for sexual violence in different settings.  This session will highlight innovative strategies for preventing sexual violence and protection of vulnerable populations, and it will include a range of innovative strategies from  Sudan (GNU), Uganda and Burundi.

Chair: Terry Morel, Chief of Section, Community Development, Gender Equality,  and Children, UNHCR



10:00-11:00 National Action Plans : Occupied Palestinian Territories,  Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Central African Republic Addressing the rule of law

Concurrent Sessions

5-C and 5-D

Chair: Marijke Van Hemeldonck,  Expert, EC programme to combat violence against women, children and youth

Discussant: Marleen Bosmans,  Ghent University


This session will analyze the human rights implications of sexual violence and humanitarian approaches to building the rule of law, increasing access to justice and promoting development and recovery and peace and security at individual, family, community and national levels. This session will also include a review of reparations experiences.

Chair:   Ilaria Carnevali, BCPR, UNDP


11:00-11:30 Coffee Break  
11:30-12:30 National Action Plans – Sudan Meeting health and psychosocial needs:

Concurrent Sessions

5-E and 5-F 

This session will include presentations from the Government of National Unity and the Government of South Sudan.

Chair:  Cecile Charot, Deputy Councillor, UN Service Multilateral and European Programmes, Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Belgium


  • Lona Elia, (UNDP) for Interagency Working Group

  • Dr. Attiat Moustafa, Ministry of Justice, GNU

  • Bedria Abdel Rahman Yousif

  • Mahbouba Abdel Rahman Ali Hamza

  • Roselidah Ondenko (UNFPA) for Interagency Working Group

  • Jeanne Ward, Interagency Working Group, South Sudan

In many contexts reproductive health care services provide an entry point for survivors of sexual violence accessing care.  While medical treatment must be available for immediate assistance to survivors to minimize the harmful consequences of physical trauma, other formal and informal services to support the emotional needs of survivors are critical to ensuring the welfare of the survivor.  Strategies might range from supportive counseling and/or case management, to promoting policies to ensure women’s and girls’ access to literacy and reintegration programs.  This session will include programming efforts to meet the health and psychosocial needs of women and girls.

Chair: Claudia Garcia-Moreno, Department of Women”s Health, WHO


13:00-14:30 Seated lunch  
14:30-15:30 Data Collection on Sexual Violence in Conflict-affected Situations: Collaborative Strategies  for Action (English only)

Concurrent Sessions

6-A and 6-B

Even in more stable contexts efforts to prevent and respond to sexual violence are confounded by data limitations, by immediate and long-term health-and stigma-related consequences, by entrenched cultural traditions, and by the global culture of silence.  This session will look at the methodological challenges for assessing and monitoring the problem through surveys as well as routine data collection strategies, and for evaluating interventions in different conflict-affected contexts.  

Chair: Debra Guha-Sapir, Director, Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters


Discussant:  Michelle Hynes,  U.S. Centers for Disease Control

Implementation of effective multi-sectoral strategies for protection, prevention, care for survivors  and ending impunity require well coordinated partnerships of all types – at the global, regional, national, and local levels. This session will highlight some existing partnerships for advocacy, policy change, capacity development, and service collaboration.

Chair:  Mukesh Kapila


  • Wilma Doedens, UNFPA Humanitarian Response Unit, for IASC GBV Task Force
  • Monique Kander, Secretariat of IC/GLR
  • Angela O’Neil, Irish Joint Consortium on GBV IAWG-Reproductive Health in Crisis Situations
  • Machteld Gheysen, IRC Burundi
  • Samantha Guy, IAWG-Reproductive Health in Crisis Situations
15:30-16:00 Coffee Break  
16:00-17:30 Session Seven: Round-tables on Key Elements for a Comprehensive Plan of Action

Concurrent Sessions

Round-table I

A discussion about integrating the continuum of needs for addressing and responding to sexual violence into all funding frameworks Emergency Funding (Consolidated Appeal Process, Central Emergency Response Fund, Humanitarian Donorship, Integrated Transition Funding) and Development funding (UN Development Action Framework, Poverty Reduction Strategies Papers based on the MDGs, and Country Strategy Papers) to prevent and respond to sexual violence and to promote gender justice and peace processes.

Chair: Jennifer Klot, Social Science Research Council

Round-table II

A discussion about the need for advocacy to raise awareness of multi-dimensional aspects of addressing sexual violence in conflict situations.

Chair: Jane Sanju Mpagi, Ministry of Gender and Community Development, Uganda

Round-table III

A discussion about national policy formulation to address sexual violence, including rule of law and gender justice in conflict, post-conflict, and development frameworks.

Chair: Katariina Leinonen, RELEX, European Commission

18:00 Book Launch:

Women in an Insecure World: Violence against Women Facts, Figures and AnalysisGeneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF)



  • Ambassador Herman af Troll, Swedish Ambassador to Belgium
  • Ambassador Theodore Winkler, Director DCAF
  • Jeremy Stickings, DFID
  • Pamela DeLargy, UNFPA Chief Humanitarian Response Unit
19:00-20:00 Cocktails  

Day Three – 23 June 2006

09:00-10:30 Session Eight:  Protection and the Security Sector

Chair: Geneva Center for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF)


  • Colonel J.  Massengue, Department of Peacekeeping Operations,  MONUC
  • Jamie Alberto Parra Cifuentes-Vicealmirante, National Army, Colombia
  • Benjamín Alongaboni, General – Joint Inspection Division, DRC

Discussant: Mamadou Diallo,  UNFPA Representative, Mali

10:30 – 11:00 Coffee Break
11:00-12:00   Session Nine   Moving Forward: Joint Action for Prevention and Response of Sexual Violence in Conflict Situations and Beyond


This session will include reports from the round-table discussions (building a comprehensive plan of action) and will include statements on ways forward from a panel of UN, government, and NGO speakers

Chair: Agnes Hubert, Policy Adviser, Cabinet President Barroso, European Commission

Recommendations for Action: Representatives of participant delegations

Panel of speakers includes:


Conclusions of the Symposium and Closing Addresses


This session will conclude a summary of the symposium and priority recommendations for follow-up action.

MS Word docBrussels Call to Action to Address Sexual Violence in Conflict and Beyond

MS Word docAppel de Bruxelles à l’action contre les violences sexuelles en période de conflit et au-delà

MS Word docLlamado a la Acción de Bruselas para responder a la violencia sexual en los conflictos y después

MS Word docBrüsseler Aufruf zum Handeln gegen sexuelle Gewalt in und nach bewaffneten Konflikten

Chair: Armand De Decker, Belgian Minister of Development Cooperation

Closing Statements by Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, Executive Director UNFPA and Senior Official, European Commission and Lieve Fransen

13:00   Closing Lunch Reception
Afternoon Optional: Networking and information sharing session “Market Place”

This session will provide a space for the country delegations – including EC officials – to learn from one another and brainstorm on advocacy efforts to garner local and international attention, and to change behavior and attitudes towards sexual violence.

Film Festival

A selection of documentary films from Colombia, CAR, DRC, Liberia, Sudan and other countries will be screened.

* While the Symposium organizing committee recognizes that certain types of gender-based violence can and do affect men and young boys, the consequences and characteristics of this type of violence remain largely unknown and should be the focus of future study.  For the purpose of this Symposium the focus is on sexual violence as it is experienced by women and girls as an entry point to comprehensively addressing gender-based violence.

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