We see it especially in Goma, where one of us met in a hospital with young women so damaged by rape that they required surgery. And we see it in Syria today, where rape is being used as a tool of oppression. So is this personal to us? You bet.
As the British Foreign Secretary said today, "The longer we delay, the higher the risks and the greater the costs to present and future generations." That's why the UK has committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050.
Today at the UN General Assembly the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, with support from dozens of countries including the United States, will be calling for all countries to support a new Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict.
When "non-Westerners" make use of weapons of mass destruction, there is outrage and calls for military intervention from "the West," but when "Westerners" themselves use them, it is totally permissible, and the world can hardly react.
Why jump to any conclusions before/until the investigation is completed by the UN High Commissioner for Disarmament Affairs, Angela Kane? After more than two years of an absence of direct military response on the part of the West, what is the sudden hurry?
When Foreign Secretary William Hague raised the Union Flag over the new offices on April 25, the UK became the first EU country to return to the Somali capital since the ruinous civil war that began in the early 1990s.
"But I have to live here. I have nowhere to go. I don't know if the fighting has stopped [back home]. I live here, in misery. I can't explain how hard my life is." She looks down at the sleeping baby in her arms. "I don't even have socks to put on the baby."
Two weeks ago the crackdown on peaceful protests at the university in Aleppo triggered a hemorrhage of support for the government. The international reaction to the Houla massacre seems set to accelerate that erosion.
The Friends of Syria conference didn't address demands for regime change. Instead it sought the minimum: allowance for humanitarian aid. But Syria isn't pleading for aid from the international community.