At MOVE:DC we hosted a Global Summit on the LRA which consisted of a panel of leaders from countries and global institutions with the highest stake in ending the LRA crisis. It was the first time that all of these international leaders gathered to discuss the ongoing conflict and what steps need to be taken to stop Joseph Kony once and for all. Watching it was like taking a crash course in geography, politics, and sociology, and I’m pretty sure everyone felt smarter just being in the same room as these people.
Below we featured a few of the leaders with their photos and our favorite quotes (or three). If you want to watch the entire Global Summit for yourself (which we totally support), it’s on YouTube in four parts.
“Thank you to Invisible Children for enabling and inviting the International Criminal Court to participate and contribute to this extremely important global summit on the LRA. And I wish to thank every single one of you here today. Your passion, your commitment, and your drive. That commitment to international justice is truly inspiring, so thank you.”
-Dianne Luping, ICC
“Twenty-six years ago, the LRA attacked northern Uganda. At that time I was a young person,and I wish we constituted ourselves into what you’ve done today–Kony wouldn’t have gone very far. I thank you, the young people [for] what you are doing.”
“You’ve made a statement for the whole world. And your statement is to us the leaders and others who are not leaders. You are saying you do not agree with impunity, and I would like to say that the future of the world is bright with you on the wheels like you’ve studied. Thank you, the young people.”
- Honorable Rebecca Otengo, Uganda
“…These activities need to be continued in South Sudan, in DRC, and in Central African Republic. It must be reinforced. The defection program that the Invisible Children are implementing in these regions, together with many other activities they are carrying out, is already producing wonderful and substantial results.”
“It must continue. The humanitarian agencies must be given the required means to continue the work of saving lives in a situation of despair. Where, without their assistance, lives would definitely be lost.”
- Ambassador Francisco Madeira, African Union
“I also want to let you know that in Europe the young people are also mobilized. I can tell you because all the letters that are addressed to the high representative for foreign affairs of the European Union come to me and I have to answer them all and boy there are many of them.”
“At the end of the day the European Union is a political body and as you know politics is about setting priorities, and priorities depend often on lobby groups and interests, and how much we continue to do on the LRA issue depends very much on what you say and how you say it. So carry on, keep pushing ’cause what you do encourages us to do more. We need your support. Thank you.”
- Philippe Maughan, European Union
“I’m inspired to be with you today. Your presence sends strong signals that people across the globe, especially young people like yourselves, will not stand by and be silent as armed groups commit senseless atrocities and terrorize innocent communities across central Africa. The results may not always be direct or immediate, but know this – your voices make a powerful difference. As the late Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends constantly toward justice.'”
“Great distances and different worldviews often divide us. However, particular events in history break down those barriers and connect us on a personal level, on a very human level. They touch our sense of what is fundamentally right and wrong. The Lord’s Resistance Army is one such phenomenon. As President Obama said two years ago, the LRA’s actions are an affront to human dignity. Those abducted must be freed, those wounded must heal, and those responsible for these violent acts must be brought to justice.”
- Johnnie Carson, United States
And now some behind the scenes photos (compliments of our CEO Ben Keesey) of before & after the Global Summit on the LRA.
Special thanks to