Jolie and British Foreign Secretary William Hague are co-hosts of the four-day conference, the largest of its kind, with 140 countries represented. The summit is the result of a two-year campaign to raise awareness of the issue, and is meant to inform the world that sexual violence is not an unavoidable part of war.
Hague noted, in his opening comments, "From the abolition of slavery to the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty, we have shown that the international community can tackle vast global problems in a way that was once considered to be impossible. There is power in numbers, and if we unite behind this cause, we can create an unstoppable momentum and consign this vile abuse to history."
He cited an estimated 50,000 women who were raped in Bosnia in the conflict in the 1990s, few of whom had received justice.
A Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict has been endorsed by 141 countries since Hague and Jolie began the campaign.