The Countess of Wessex, newly returned from a whirlwind trip to New York and Canada, today took numerous meetings with filmmakers and government officials associated with the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI) on Monday at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London. She also attended a luncheon with survivors of sexual violence.
Unfortunately, as with many of her engagements, was not documented by the press and so we have no photos to share with you.
Sophie announced her patronage of PSVI and the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda last year on 3rd March, International Women’s Day, with a reception at Buckingham Palace.
The organisations recognise the disproportionate impact of conflict on women and girls and the positive role women play in building peace and stability.
Since becoming patron, the Countess has participated in numerous events and conferences at home and abroad, including the United States, India, and Kosovo.
PSVI has a diverse and impressive list of partners, including the United Nations (UN) Development Programme, the UN Department of Peacekeeping, UN High Commission on Human Rights, and UNICEF. Charitable institutions are also on board, such as Care International, Save the Children, Human Rights Watch, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Academia is represented as well, and previously this year the Countess attended a film screening at the London School of Economics’s Centre for Women, Peace, and Security, alongside actress and activist Angelina Jolie.
HRH has recently met with people working to prevent & respond to sexual violence in conflict.
? HRH at the #PSVI Film Festival in 2018 with @PennyMordaunt, Secretary of State for International Development & Minister for Women & Equalities and UN Special Envoy Angelina Jolie. pic.twitter.com/jTZcK1vLtz
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) February 27, 2019
London was host the “Time for Justice” conference this week, which would have convened participants from PSVI’s diverse and impressive list of partners; however, the decision was made to postpone the event to 2020 due to the upcoming general election on 12th December.
Lord Ahmad, the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, issued a statement confirming the government’s commitment “to ensuring survivors and their views, needs, advice and expertise are at the heart of the international response,” according to 4 November press release.
Next Sophie hosted an afternoon reception at St James’s Palace in her role as Global Ambassador to the Women of the Future Programme. The organisation hosted its annual Kindness and Leadership 50 Leading Lights competition previously this year, and winners were treated to tea and conversation.
Joanna Kingston-Davies, the Chief Operating Officer of the Jackson Lees Group, was selected for her kindness and authenticity, two qualities not normally associated with high-profile law firms.
Inspiring speeches at St James’s Palace today. Kindness & success: not mutually exclusive. The importance of kindness in leadership has never been so important.
Honoured to feature on the "Kindness & Leadership, 50 Leading Lights 2019" list.
— Joanna K-D (@JoannaKingstonD) November 18, 2019
The full list of Leading Light awardees can be found here.
And, towards the end of an exceptionally busy day, the Countess received Ms. Joanna Roper, the FCO’s Special Envoy for Gender Equality.