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Annual Report 2013-14

Feature articles

Chief of Army addresses the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict


Photograph of General David Morrison standing at the podium and pictured on a large screen behind him, giving his address at the summit.

Chief of Army Lieutenant General David Morrison, AO addresses the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, held in London 10 to 13 June 2014

According to the Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison, AO, ‘Sexual violence in conflict is in absolute contradiction to the principles of human decency and respect. It goes against everything we, as professional soldiers, are trained to think, value and achieve’.

Lieutenant General Morrison was a key speaker at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, held in London from 10 to 13 June 2014.

Natasha Stott Despoja, AM, Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls, led the Australian delegation to the summit. The event is a key element of the United Kingdom’s Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict initiative, of which Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is an official champion.

At the summit, Lieutenant General Morrison joined the Right Honourable Mr William Hague MP, then British Foreign Secretary; Mr John Kerry, United States Secretary of State; and Ms Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The summit was the largest international event that has yet been held on the issue of sexual violence in conflict, and aimed to create both an irreversible momentum and practical action that has an impact on those in combat.

Lieutenant General Morrison said he was honoured to be invited to attend and to present at the final plenary session on 13 June 2014.

‘As the Chief of Army, I am proud to represent both the Australian Army and the Australian Defence Force at this very significant event’, Lieutenant General Morrison said.

‘Sexual violence in conflict is not just a by-product or a weapon of war. It is an act that devalues people and destroys communities.

‘Stopping sexual violence in conflict begins at home, by promoting diversity and inclusion in our workplaces and in our communities, as well as in our armed forces.

‘We must not accept any act that degrades or dehumanises others’, he said.

Lieutenant General Morrison’s address to the summit is available at United Nations International Women's Day Conference.