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UIA CONGRESS : Speech of the Nobel Peace Prize in Dakar

Sexual violence in conflict zones is an endemic evil in human history. In Europe, it was thought to be a subject of the past. But the war in Ukraine is awakening these old demons.

Dr Denis Mukwege spoke at the opening ceremony in Dakar on 26th of October 2022 about the importance of restoring the rule of law in the Democratic Republic of Congo, about his fight for the adoption of a holistic national strategy for transitional justice in the DRC.

The Nobel Laureate also intervened in the very successful Special Session on Violence against Women in Conflict Areas on 27th of October 2022. This session was co-organized and co-moderated by Me Alain GROSJEAN.

How to fight against impunity for these crimes ? How to provide effective support to the victims ? How to guarantee effective justice and the right to reparation ? These questions are unfortunately current.

Denis Mukwege is a Congolese gynecologist (D.R.C.), born on 1st of March 1955 in Bukavu.

He studied medicine and specialized in gynecology and obstetrics. He holds a PhD in medical sciences from the Université Libre de Bruxelles. For more than 20 years, Dr Mukwege has been treating survivors of sexual violence and women with serious gynecological problems at the Panzi Hospital, which he founded in 1999. The hospital and the Panzi Foundation are recognized for their pioneering work on gender-based sexual violence, as well as their implication in defending the rights of Congolese women and empowering them.

Dr Mukwege is a strong advocate for the rights of the survivors of sexual violence. He is co-chair of the Global Survivors Fund, which he co-founded. He is also a member of the WHO Scientific Council.

His work and dedication have been recognized worldwide through various awards such as the United Nations Human Rights Prize (2008), the Sakharov Prize (2014) and the Nobel Peace Prize (2018). He has also received honorary degrees from multiple universities.

His testimony, as well as the interventions of several speakers specialized in these issues, was not only be edifying and a learning experience but also necessary.

We were honored to welcome Céline Bardet, a lawyer specialized in war crimes, international criminal justice and cross-border crime, and founder of the NGO "We are NOT Weapons of War" (WWoW), which fights against sexual violence in conflict zones, as one of the keynote speakers of the session.

The WWoW association has set up a web application based on blockchain and artificial intelligence, which aims to collect evidence of abuses in conflict zones. This tool was built with the support of the Stand Speak Rise Up! initiative created under the impetus of HRH the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.

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