Foreign Secretary William Hague and UN special envoy Angelina Jolie open a four-day international conference on sexual violence against women in conflict zones.

The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London will address key issues pertaining to sexual assaults. Scores of senior government officials, experts, law enforcement officials, NGOs and survivors from more than 100 countries are scheduled to take part.

The summit, hosted by Hague and the Hollywood actress Jolie, who is also special representative for the UN High Commission for Refugees, will take place at the Excel Centre in east London. This is said to be the largest gathering of its kind.

Ahead of the inauguration, US Secretary of State John Kerry, who will also participate, wrote in the Evening Standard newspaper: "Sexual violence plagues every country. Acts of sexual violence demean our collective humanity."

"We will pool our expertise, diplomatic skills and resources toward the common goal of relegating sexual violence to the annals of history where it belongs."

Hague also hopes the summit, the culmination of a two-year-long campaign, will be a "turning point" in tacking the issue.