On January 28th, the National Committee hosted a panel discussion in cooperation with the Consulate General of the Republic of Kosovo in New York on combatting sexual violence in conflict. The panel, moderated by NCAFP president Susan Elliott, consisted of practitioners, survivors and national-level diplomats dedicated to calling attention to this global concern.
Pramila Patten, a Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for this precise issue, shared details on the work of her office, and the immense challenges she faces on a daily basis. She framed the topic as a truly global one - and urged the audience to consider oft-overlooked elements of sexual violence in conflict, including its use as a tactic in warfare, and the immense challenges faced by survivors in reporting their experiences.
Vasfije Krasniqi-Goodman, a survivor herself, shared her story from the war in Kosovo. Her powerful experience has also been heard by the U.S. Congress, as she works to chart a path forward for other survivors from that conflict.
The audience also heard from Ambassador Teuta Sahatqija, Consul General of the Republic of Kosovo in New York, a long-time advocate for survivors. She shared many of the ways that Kosovo is working to help make sexual violence in conflict a thing of the past, and the challenges of holding perpetrators to account.
A lively question-and-answer session focused mainly on the work of Special Representative Patten's office - and its difficult mandate.