Advocacy Documents

International Women’s Day Disarmament Seminar Statement and Report

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8 March 2008
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We, women from many parts the world, take this opportunity to raise our voices, which are often suppressed or ignored, on disarmament, peace and security. The 2008 International Women’s Day Disarmament Seminar highlighted the crises of human security and sustainable development caused by military spending, war and weapon profiteering, and the persistence of ideas and expectations of gender that shape how war, women, and peace are considered.

This year’s Seminar included over 100 participants from non-governmental organisations from more than 40 countries and marked two significant anniversaries. The first is the 30th anniversary of the First Special Session on Disarmament of the UN General Assembly, possibly the highest point of consensus and vision ever achieved in multilateral disarmament diplomacy, which created the Conference on Disarmament we have today and set out its ten-part agenda.

Our seminar was directly linked to neglected items on the Decalogue, namely the reduction of military spending, the linkage between disarmament and development, nuclear disarmament, conventional weapons, and disarmament as confidence building.  We struggle to find language to express our dismay, our anger, at the failure of governments over the last eleven years to advance these agenda items, and their commitments made by consensus thirty years ago.

A 40 year-old treaty was also discussed; a treaty that has inhibited nuclear proliferation somewhat, but that has not yet delivered on nuclear disarmament.  If, indeed, “life begins at 40”, then the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) must gain a new lease on life if it is to deliver tangible results at the 2010 Review Conference.  The CD’s contribution to the success of this meeting is to start negotiating a verifiable Fissile Material Treaty.  States Parties must get serious about compliance with the disarmament obligation and commence negotiation of a Nuclear Weapon Convention.

Civil society has documented how small arms and light weapons are killing and wounding hundreds of thousands of people every year and how they threaten sustainable development throughout the world, but still this issue has met with a less than adequate international response. The unexploded remnants of cluster munitions, attractive in size, shape, and colour to children and other unwitting civilians, continue to kill for decades after conflicts are over, as do landmines that lay hidden in the earth. Conflict goods that fuel wars, repression and environmental damage are traded on our markets almost completely unhindered.  There are stricter international regulations on the trade of old postage stamps than on conventional armaments. And we are now witnessing another escalation of the nuclear arms race and the potential weaponization of outer space.

We are women from countries that experience war and peace, from countries that produce weapons and from countries that pay the high economic, social and human price of receiving them.  We, as women, unanimously call on governments to abandon narrow concepts of military security and instead focus our human and economic resources on addressing the real daily threats to the security of their citizens, such as poverty, hunger, insecurity, HIV and AIDS, climate change, and environmental degradation.

Weapons can do nothing to alleviate these security problems.  Instead, the acquisition of arms diverts enormous financial, technical and human resources from where they are really needed. This has been true for a long time, but the situation has never been more urgent than it is today. What is preventing progress? Who benefits from business as usual?  We reject the idea that the military industry, the weapons trade, brings jobs, prosperity or security. The arms trade has turned people into mercenaries and parts of our planet into cemeteries. The military-industrial-academic complex, that we were warned in 1961 as having the potential for a disastrous rise of misplaced power has truly achieved its potential when military spending exceeds $1204 billion annually in 2006 prices.(1)  Reducing military spending is on your agenda, you are mandated to address and curb this disastrous and misplaced political and economic power that military corporations exercise.

Reversing a real security threat, catastrophic climate change, for example, will require a paradigm shift in resource allocation.  We can meet this challenge, but only if we are prepared to face the fact that bombs, guns and landmines will not deter or remove the threat of a Tsunami, a hurricane, a flood, a virus, or a water shortage.  To do this we have to bring a halt to the organized crime of weapons profiteering and the CD has a role to play.  8 million lives could be saved with an investment of $57 billion.  We could achieve by 2015 the MDGS with $135 million in overseas development assistance.  These levels of investment are tiny in comparison with the level of military expenditure.

Compare military spending with efforts to finance gender equality for half the human population:

  • The combined budgets of UN bodies working on women’s issues is $65 million, is only 0.005% of world military expenditure;
  • The World Bank estimates the cost of interventions to promote gender equality under MDG 3 is $7-13 per capita. The world’s military expenditure in 2006 amounted to $184 per capita;
  • Of $20 billion in bilateral aid in 2001-2005, an OECD DAC study reports that only $5 billion was allocated to projects promoting gender empowerment; the cost of approximately 2 weeks of the occupation of Iraq.

Article 26 of the UN Charter emphasizes the need to stop wasting human and economic resources on armaments.  It is time for the Security Council to act in compliance with Article 26 by delivering a plan for reducing armaments.  If the Security Council had fulfilled this task, the disarmament machinery would not be so overburdened or stuck as it is today.

Conflict prevention involves confidence- and trust-building, and begins with reducing the role of nuclear and other weapons in security policies. Everything flows from this first step that, when taken, will move security thinking beyond the capacity to destroy to the capacity to share this planet’s finite resources sustainably, to enjoy life with the full spectrum of human rights. Rather than being utopian, these goals are entirely achievable, but trends in military spending must be reversed before they can be realised.

Participants in the 2008 International Women’s Day Seminar focused on the roles and responsibilities of women, outlined in Security Council 1325, to participate in conflict prevention, disarmament and all levels of security decision-making. Since the adoption of this resolution these issues have been newly and more deeply understood, governments and NGOs have undertaken some laudable work to implement it, we have seen some more highly competent and intelligent women appointed to engage in security and disarmament – of course we would like to see more because as the President of Chile said recently, “A woman who enters politics changes; a thousand women who enter politics change politics.” Without women’s equal participation, sustainable peace, sustainable development and true human security are unattainable. Women must be able to contribute their perspectives, help determine the direction of policy options, and have a greater say over budgetary allocations.

We need to examine the relationship between masculinity and war as much as the relationship between women and peace. Men and women experience war very differently, from war-making to peace-building and everything in between.  In any given army, 90 percent of the soldiers are men while in any given refugee camp, 80 percent of the adults of women. Gender roles help to explain why this is so – good human qualities like strength and honour get allocated to men and deformed into tools for violence and domination. Good human qualities like tenderness and care get allocated to women and deformed into the badge of submission. Both parts of humanity end up as less than fully human. If we want security for all, we need both women and men, working as equals, to take responsibility for our common security.  Wisdom about gender roles will contribute to the peace that can be achieved.

We women will continue to advocate for the vital changes – in terms of military budgets and doctrines – that must be made to achieve genuine human security. We as citizens hold you responsible, and we recommit to supporting and encouraging the CD in its work, and to educating our constituencies about its vital role.  We as women have addressed this body since 1984. We would like to be able to do this ourselves rather than through an intermediary. Indeed, not allowing us to read our own statement undermines the seriousness of CD in the eyes of people around the world. In this year of the 30th anniversary of SSOD1, is it not time to allow civil society organizations they chance to address the CD on a regular basis?  W e understand the danger inherent in armament, and we will continue for another 24 years, and as long is necessary, to advocate for disarmament negotiations in the CD, and for security and disarmament decision-makers to be accountable, transparent and democratic. We value all those of you who are helping in this endeavour and salute your efforts.

Share your thoughts and ideas

Not able to join the calls? You can still share your thoughts and ideas ahead of the call, or view the notes and comment on them afterwards!

Share your thoughts and ideas in any of the following ways:

  • Online form (AR, EN, FR, SP)
  • Video or voice message using the WILPF Studio app (Project ID is FUTURE – Get Started Instructions) – your video will not be public. It will only be viewed by WILPF’s Membership team.
  • Email to membership@wilpf.org
  • Voice/Text message via your regional WhatsApp/Signal group (or contact WILPF’s Membership Team if you need the phone numbers).

Développer et renforcer la
manière dont on travaille ensemble

‘Future WILPF’ est bien plus que le Programme International. Il s'agit de renforcer notre mouvement, d'équiper notre communauté mondiale afin qu’elle puisse au mieux agir pour le changement, et s’engager ensemble pour une vision collective d’une paix féministe. Au cours des appels nationaux, régionaux et mondiaux qui auront lieu dans la période précédant le Congrès, nous discuterons des lacunes que nous souhaitons combler, des politiques que nous devons changer ou créer. Nous réfléchirons aussi à comment ajuster au mieux nos manières de faire et processus de travail, et plus encore. Ensemble, nous chercherons des solutions, afin de réaliser notre vision collective pour l’avenir de WILPF.

Coordonné par le Groupe de coordination du développement organisationnel, mais mis en œuvre par l'ensemble de WILPF!
Ouvert

Join or host a consultation

From July 2021 onwards, you will have many opportunities to participate in discussions aimed at developing the vision, values, and actions of Future WILPF. Want to host a discussion? Contact membership@wilpf.org

Volunteer as a translator or interpreter

Do you speak multiple languages? If so, we need you! As we move through the process of developing the next International Programme, we will need help with translations of internal documents and small pieces of text. We will also need help with translations during breakout sessions on regional and global calls. We are primarily looking for individuals able to speak and write in two or more of the following languages: English, French, Spanish, and Arabic. If you are interested in providing your skills, please contact membership@wilpf.org for more information.

Co-create the next International Programme

Have your voice heard! WILPF’s next International Programme will be developed through a process of co-creation – meaning our entire worldwide community is invited to participate in regional, national, and global discussions about what our future should look like. Get involved today to share your thoughts on WILPF’s work, vision, values, and actions.

Start by exploring this page, checking out the Participation Pack, or joining one of the many upcoming discussions. You can also write to your regional representative to hear more about how you can participate on a national and regional level.

Overseen by the International Board.
Open

Organise and attend Congress
2022

WILPF’s next International Congress will take place in 2022, but the exact dates and format are still to be determined due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We will open this track as soon as we have more information about Congress and how members can participate.

Coordinated by the International Board and the Congress Steering Committee.
Opening soon

Nominate WILPFers to serve
as representatives

Each International Congress includes the election of WILPFers to join the International Board. This board is responsible for the overall leadership of WILPF, for setting the strategic and tactical objectives of the organisation as a whole, and for ensuring that WILPF stays true to its aims, values, and principles.

It is the role of the present International Board to establish a Nomination Committee, while the election process is coordinated by an Election Committee that will be constituted at the beginning of Congress.
Opening Soon

Build and strengthen the way
WILPF works together

Future WILPF is about more than the International Programme. It’s about building the strength and power of our movement, equipping our global community to take action for change, and committing deeply to a collective vision of feminist peace. During the national, regional, and global calls that will take place in the period leading up to Congress and in connection with the development of the International Programme, we will discuss gaps that need to be filled, policies we need to change, policies we need to make, work methods we need to finetune, and more. And we will seek solutions together, so we can fulfill our collective vision for a Future WILPF.

Coordinated by the Organisational Development Coordination Group, but implemented by all of WILPF!
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Partage tes pensées et tes idées

Selon tes attentes, quelles sont les 3 fonctions principales de la gouvernance de WILPF?

Rejoins ou anime une discussion

À partir de juillet 2021, les membres de WILPF auront de nombreuses occasions de participer à des discussions visant à développer la vision, les valeurs et les actions de Future WILPF. Tu souhaites animer une discussion ? Contacte membership@wilpf.org

Porte-toi volontaire pour être traductrice ou interprète

Parles-tu plusieurs langues ? Si c’est le cas, nous avons besoin de toi!
Au fur et à mesure que nous progressons dans ce processus, nous allons avoir besoin d’aide pour la traduction de documents internes et de courts texte.
Nous aurons également besoin d’aide pour les traductions lors des sessions en petits groupes pendant les appels régionaux et mondiaux. Nous recherchons principalement des personnes capables de parler et d’écrire dans au moins deux des langues suivantes : anglais, français, espagnol et arabe. Si tu souhaites apporter tes compétences, contactes-nous à membership@wilpf.org pour plus d’informations.

Participer à l'élaboration du
prochain Programme International

Fais entendre ta voix ! Le prochain Programme International de WILPF sera développé grâce à un processus de co-création – ce qui signifie que chaque membre de notre communauté globale est invitée à participer aux discussions régionales, nationales et mondiales au sujet de notre avenir. Impliques-toi dès aujourd'hui en partageant tes réflexions sur le travail, la vision, les valeurs et les actions de la WILPF. Commence par explorer cette page, consulte le pack de participation ou rejoins l'une des nombreuses discussions à venir. Tu peux également écrire à ta représentante régionale pour en savoir plus sur la façon dont tu peux participer aux niveaux national et régional.

Supervisé par le Conseil international.
Open

Organiser Le Congrès 2022
et y participer

Le prochain Congrès International de WILPF aura lieu en 2022, mais les dates exactes et le format restent à déterminer en raison de la pandémie de COVID-19. Nous ouvrirons cette piste dès que nous aurons plus d' informations sur le Congrès et sur la manière dont les membres peuvent y participer.

Coordonné par le Conseil international et le Comité directeur du Congrès.
Ouverture
prochaine

Désigner des représentantes
de WILPF

Chaque Congrès International comprend l'élection de WILPFers au Conseil International. Ce conseil est responsable de la direction générale de WILPF, de la définition des objectifs stratégiques et tactiques de l'organisation dans son ensemble et de la garantie que WILPF reste fidèle à ses objectifs, valeurs et principes.

C'est le rôle du Conseil international actuel que d'établir un Comité de nomination, tandis que le processus d'élection est coordonné par un Comité d'élection qui sera constitué au début du Congrès.
Ouverture
prochaine

Comparte tus pensamientos e ideas

Según tus expectativas, ¿cuales son las 3 funciones principales de la gobernanza de WILPF?

Build and strengthen the way
WILPF works together

المستقبلية هي أكثر من مجرد برنامج دولي. يتعلق الأمر ببناء قوتنا وقوة حركتنا، وتجهيز مجتمعنا العالمي لاتخاذ إجراءات من أجل التغيير، والالتزام برؤيتنا الجماعية للسلام النسوي. خلال المكالمات الوطنية والإقليمية والعالمية التي ستتم في الفترة التي تسبق الكونغرس والتي تتعلق بتطوير البرنامج الدولي، سنناقش الفجوات التي يجب سدها والسياسات التي نحتاج إلى تغييرها والسياسات التي نحتاجها لصنع طرق عمل. وسنسعى معاً إلى إيجاد حلول، حتى نتمكن من تحقيق رؤيتنا الجماعية لمستقبل WILPF.

يشرف على هذه العملية مجموعة تنسيق التطوير التنظيمي، ولكن يتم تنفيذها بمشاركة جميع عضوات WILPF!
مفتوح الآن

Participe en o organiza un debate

A partir de julio de 2021, tendrás muchas oportunidades de participar en los debates destinados a desarrollar la visión, los valores y las acciones de WILPF del futuro. ¿Quieres organizar un debate? Contacta membership@wilpf.org

Contribuye como traductora o intérprete

¿Hablas varios idiomas? Si es así, ¡te necesitamos! A medida que avancemos en el proceso de desarrollo del próximo Programa Internacional, necesitaremos ayuda con la traducción de documentos internos y pequeños textos. También necesitaremos ayuda con las traducciones durante las sesiones de trabajo en las convocatorias regionales y globales. Principalmente buscamos personas capaces de hablar y escribir en dos o más de los siguientes idiomas: inglés, francés, español y árabe. Si estás interesada en aportar sus conocimientos, póngase en contacto con membership@wilpf.org para obtener más información.

Ayuda a crear el próximo
Programa Internacional

Expresate! El próximo Programa Internacional de WILPF se desarrollará a través de un proceso de co-creación - lo que significa que toda nuestra comunidad mundial está invitada a participar en discusiones regionales, nacionales y globales sobre cómo debería ser nuestro futuro. Participa hoy para compartir tus ideas sobre el trabajo, la visión, los valores y las acciones de WILPF. Empieza por explorar esta página, consulta el Kit de Participación o únete a uno de los muchos debates que se plantearán próximamente. También puedes escribir a tu representante regional para saber más sobre cómo puedes participar a nivel nacional y regional.

Start by exploring this page, checking out the Participation Pack, or joining one of the many upcoming discussions. You can also write to your Section or regional representative to hear more about how you can participate on a national and regional level.

Supervisado por el Consejo Internacional.
Abierto

Organiza y asiste el Congreso
de 2022

El próximo Congreso Internacional de WILPF tendrá lugar a partir de julio de 2022; las fechas exactas y el formato están aún por determinar debido a la pandemia de COVID-19 en curso. Abriremos esta vía en cuanto tengamos más información sobre el Congreso y sobre cómo pueden participar las miembros.

Coordinado por el Consejo Internacional y el Comité Directivo del Congreso.
Próxima
apertura

Designe WILPFeras para
servir como representantes

Cada Congreso Internacional incluye la elección de miembros de WILPF para formar parte de la Junta Internacional. Esta junta es responsable de la dirección general de WILPF, de establecer los objetivos estratégicos y tácticos de la organización en su conjunto y de garantizar que WILPF se mantenga fiel a sus objetivos, valores y principios.

Corresponde a la actual Junta Internacional establecer un Comité de Candidaturas, mientras que el proceso de elección es coordinado por un Comité Electoral que se constituirá al inicio del Congreso.
Próxima
apertura

Desarrolla y fortalece las
maneras de trabajar conjuntamente
en WILPF

La WILPF del futuro es algo más que el Programa Internacional. Se trata de construir la fuerza y el poder de nuestro movimiento, de equipar a nuestra comunidad global para que actúe por el cambio y de comprometerse profundamente con una visión colectiva de la paz feminista. Durante las convocatorias nacionales, regionales y mundiales que tendrán lugar en el periodo previo al Congreso y en relación con el desarrollo del Programa Internacional, debatiremos sobre las lagunas que hay que cubrir, las políticas que hay que cambiar, las políticas que hay que construir, los métodos de trabajo que hay que afinar, etc. Y buscaremos soluciones juntas, para poder cumplir con nuestra visión colectiva de una WILPF del Futuro.

Coordinado por el Grupo de Coordinación de Desarrollo Organizativo, pero implementado por toda WILPF.
Abierto

شاركن آرائكن

سؤال الساعة: ما هي مبادئ وقيم الرابطة النسائية الدولية للسلم والحرية التي تشعرين أنها أكثر أهمية بالنسبة لك؟

الانضمام إلى/استضافة حوار أو نقاش

اعتباراً من يوليو ٢٠٢١ فصاعداً، سيكون لديكن العديد من الفرص للمشاركة في المناقشات التي تهدف إلى تطوير رؤية وقيم وأفعال WILPF المستقبلية. في حال رغبة إي منكن في استضافة مناقشة، الرجاء التواصل معنا من خلال: membership@wilpf.org

تطوعن كمترجمات للترجمة اللغوية أو الفورية

إن كانت لديكم المهارات اللغويّة، فنحن بحاجة لكن! بينما نتقدّم في عملية تطوير البرنامج الدولي التالي، سنحتاج إلى المساعدة في ترجمة المستندات الداخلية والنصوص. سنحتاج أيضاً إلى المساعدة في الترجمة أثناء الجلسات الجانبية للمكالمات الإقليمية والعالمية. نحن نبحث بشكل أساسي عن أفراد قادرين على التحدث والكتابة بلغتين أو أكثر من اللغات التالية: الإنجليزية والفرنسية والإسبانية والعربية. من لها اهتمام بتوفير مهاراتها، فيرجى التواصل معنا للحصول على المزيد من المعلومات، على العنوان التالي:
membership@wilpf.org

Co-create the next International Programme

ليكن صوتكِ مسموع! سيتم تطوير برنامج WILPF الدولي التالي من خلال عملية إنشاء مشتركة - مما يعني أن مجتمع WILPF العالمي بأكمله مدعو للمشاركة في المناقشات الإقليمية والوطنية والعالمية حول الشكل الذي يجب أن يتّخذه مستقبلنا. انضموا إلينا وشاركن أفكاركن حول عمل WILPF ورؤيتها وقيمها. ابدأن باستكشاف هذه الصفحة، أو استكشاف رزمة المشاركة، أو الانضمام إلى إحدى المناقشات القادمة. يمكنكن أيضاً الكتابة إلى ممثلتكن الإقليمية، لسماع المزيد حول كيفية المشاركة على المستوى الوطني والإقليمي.

يشرف على هذه العملية مجلس WILPF الدولي.
مفتوح الآن

Organise and attend
Congress 2022

سيعقد كونغرس WILPF الدولي القادم في عام ٢٠٢٢، ولكن لا يزال يتعين تحديد التواريخ والشكل الدقيق بسبب جائحة COVID-19 المستمرة. سنفتح هذا المسار بمجرد حصولنا على مزيد من المعلومات حول الكونغرس وكيف يمكن المشاركة فيه.

يشرف على هذه العملية مجلس WILPF الدولي واللجنة التوجيهية للمؤتمر.
سيفتح قريباً

Nominate WILPFers to serve
as representatives

يتضمن كل مؤتمر دولي انتخاب عضوات للانضمام إلى مجلس WILPF الدولي. هذا المجلس مسؤول عن القيادة العامة لـ WILPF؛ عن تحديد الأهداف الإستراتيجية والتكتيكية للمؤسسة ككل؛ و عن ضمان التزام WILPF بأهدافها وقيمها ومبادئها.

إن دور المجلس الدولي الحالي هو إنشاء لجنة الترشيح، بينما يتم تنسيق عملية الانتخابات من قبل لجنة الانتخابات التي سيتم تشكيلها في بداية كونغرس.
سيفتح قريباً

Share your thoughts and ideas

Question of the moment: What are the top 3 functions you expect from WILPF governance?