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Committee hears from Prime Minister's Special Representative

8 December 2015


The Sexual Violence in Conflict Committee took evidence from Baroness Anelay, the Prime Minster's Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict. The Committee also took evidence from senior officials at the Ministry of Defence, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development.


Tuesday 8 December in Committee Room 3, Palace of Westminster

At 2.15pm:

  • Sir Simon McDonald, Permanent Under-Secretary and Head of Diplomatic Service, FCO

At 2.45pm:

  • Ms Lindy Cameron, Director of Middle East, Humanitarian and Conflict, DfID
  • Lieutenant-General Gordon Messenger, Deputy Chief of Staff (Military Strategy & Operations) and MoD Champion for Women Peace and Security and PSVI, MoD

At 3.45pm:

  • Baroness Anelay, Minister of State and Prime Minister's Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, FCO


The first session with Sir Simon focused on:

  • his recent comments that human rights is no longer one of the FCO's "top priorities" and the implications of this on the campaign to end sexual violence in conflict.
  • whether the FCO intends to ring-fence spending on programmes to reduce sexual violence and defend human rights in the face of departmental spending cuts in the Autumn Spending Review.

In the second session the Committee asked DfID and the MoD:

  • how each department approaches preventing sexual violence in conflict.
  • how the MoD has incorporated the prevention of sexual violence into its military doctrine and training 
  • whether DfID supports the suggestion that the UK Government should make its engagement with peace processes and reconstruction conditional on women's participation.

The final session, with Baroness Anelay, focused on:

  • how far Government initiatives on preventing sexual violence have been incorporated into planning for military action in Iraq and Syria
  • how the Government plan to build on the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict which it hosted in 2014
  • how perpetrators of sexual violence in Syria and Iraq will be held accountable
  • what action the Government will take on UN peacekeeping if reform attempts fail.  

Further information

Image: PA