Actress Angelina Jolie visited NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday to discuss combating sexual violence and empowering women in conflict zones.
"I'm very honored to make my first visit to NATO," said Jolie, a United Nations special envoy. "Sexual violence is an increasing feature of conflict and insecurity worldwide."
"There can be no lasting peace and security without equal rights and participation for women in all societies," Jolie said.
She added, "peace is far harder and far more costly to achieve. It, therefore, has a direct bearing on NATO’s efforts to protect stability and manage crises that affect ... global security."
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, "Special Envoy Jolie and I have decided to work together, focusing on three points: training, monitoring and reporting, and awareness. ... NATO has the responsibility to be a leading protector of women’s rights."
Jolie added, "We are going to focus on training, reporting, monitoring and awareness as a way of ending impunity."
Jolie was asked if NATO and the resolute support mission is doing enough to protect boys and girls from sexual violence in Afghanistan by NATO-trained forces, referring to the report released by the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction on the failure of international troops to stop the sexual abuse. She replied, "Yes, there are things ... that have been focused on, there's been some improvement, [but] there is a lot more work to be done."
"I am here because I believe that ... we need those who have the capacity to make change, to be focused on the right things, and doing the right things,” Jolie said. "All the countries within NATO ... if they are activated and focused ... they can make a change."
Stoltenberg said that "we must shine a bright light on these darkest of crimes."
Jolie will meet with Deputy Secretary-General Rose Gottemoeller, as well as the Alliance’s new Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security, Clare Hutchinson. She will also meet with the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, and receive briefings from NATO’s gender advisers in Afghanistan and Kosovo, according to NATO.