On April 10-11, 2013, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to London for the G-8 Foreign Ministers Meeting. The group addressed a number of international issues and made a number of commitments, including endorsing the Declaration on the Prevention of Sexual Violence in Conflict. The group called for urgent action to address the culture of impunity and to hold perpetrators to account for acts of sexual violence committed in armed conflict.
Impunity for sexual violence undermines the resolution of conflict and the building of peaceful societies. To address this issue, the United States is committing $10 million to support new and ongoing efforts that align with the United Kingdom's <a data-cke-saved-href="https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/fil... href="https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/fil... title="Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative" target="_blank'>Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative</a>. Today's pledge is just one portion of the United States' overall commitment to addressing and preventing gender-based violence around the world, which in 2012 totaled more than $100 million. Such commitments are further complemented by the United States' substantial support for women's participation in peace negotiations, conflict prevention, and peace-building processes, and the U.S. <a data-cke-saved-href=" http:="" www.state.gov="" documents="" organization="" 196726.pdf"="">National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security and the U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally.
While in London, Secretary Kerry also held meetings with UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, and Syrian opposition leaders to discuss matters of mutual interest.
With respect to the conflict in Syria, the G-8 Foreign Ministers called for greater humanitarian assistance and reaffirmed their commitment to supporting a Syrian-led political transition. The group also addressed Iran and North Korea's continuing nuclear and ballistic missile activities, and discussed the need to create lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East through direct negotiation. You can read more about their discussions in the G-8 Foreign Ministers Meeting Statement.
During a break in the G-8 meetings, Secretary Kerry observed the changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, where an Argentinian tourist recognized the Secretary and stopped for a photo. Secretary Kerry also posed for a photograph with Tony Smith, an employee of the U.S. Embassy in London for 47 years, and commended Smith for his service.
Secretary Kerry also signed the condolence book for former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. In a statement, Secretary Kerry said, "The United States has lost a dear friend, and the world has lost a transformative leader who broke the glass ceiling in global politics. ...We celebrate especially the way, with a hand outstretched across the Atlantic, Lady Thatcher strengthened the Special Relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom -- a relationship that remains a driving force for freedom, justice, and democracy."
Secretary Kerry departed London for the Republic of Korea, China, and Japan, where he will meet with his counterparts April 12-15. Follow @StateDept on Twitter and go to www.state.gov for the latest on his trip.