Press Release

Media Advisory: International Symposium on Sexual Violence in Conflict and Beyond

16 Jun 2006

UNITED NATIONS, Brussels/New York — The International Symposium on Sexual Violence in Conflict and Beyond will be the first major international assembly dedicated exclusively to the issue of sexual violence among war-affected populations. Sponsored by the Government of Belgium and the European Commission, and convened by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, the three-day meeting will raise awareness among international actors and the public about the enormous impact of war-related violence by highlighting the social, cultural and development costs of sexual violence and the benefits of prevention and care. Through knowledge sharing, mobilization of political and financial support, and development of comprehensive national action plans, the Symposium will also be a vehicle for ensuring that measures to prevent and address sexual violence are integrated into all humanitarian response and recovery and development programming.

Participants will include policy makers, parliamentarians, donor representatives, representatives from United Nations agencies, non-governmental organizations and the media, as well as delegations from the following conflict and post-conflict countries and territories: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Central African Republic, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Indonesia, Liberia, the occupied Palestinian territory, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Uganda.

When: 21-23 June 2006

Where: Palais d’Egmont, Brussels, Belgium.

A joint press conference will be held at 12:15 on Wednesday 21 June. The symposium will open immediately after the press conference, at 1:00 p.m., and will include addresses by Belgian Minister of Development Cooperation Armand De Decker, UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, and a high-ranking official from the European Commission.

Journalists interested in attending the press conference or other parts of the symposium should contact Mme Frida Heremans at +32 (0) 2 501 8043 or

Journalists interested in arranging interviews with symposium speakers should contact David Del Vecchio (English) at +32 (0) 498 62 45 09 or or Angela Walker (French and English) at

For more information on the symposium, including an agenda and participants list, please visit: /emergencies/symposium06.

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