(NEW YORK) — Angelina Jolie appeared before the United Nations Security Council on Monday and pressed its members to adopt a resolution that would punish people who engage in sexual violence during conflicts.
Jolie told the 15-member council the crimes are often done in a violent manner, leaving the victims physically scarred, according to Newsday.
The actress called the assaults a “tool of war,” an “act of aggression and a crime against humanity.” She told the council members that “sexual violence threatens international peace and security” and “addressing war zone sexual violence is, therefore, your responsibility, as well as the duty of the governments in countries affected by it.”
Jolie also criticized the inaction that often paralyses the Security Council saying, “I understand there are many things that are difficult for the U.N. Security Council to agree on, but sexual violence in conflict should not be one of them.”
Jolie serves as a special envoy of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. Her speech came a few days after she met with refugees of the civil war in Syria.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Laura Smith-Spark and Jose Manuel Rodriguez, CNN
Emanuella Grinberg, CNN
Angela Dewan and Max Blau, CNN
Kareem Khadder, CNN