WILPF International Statement
International Day of Peace – 21 September 2009
The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom urges all governments, organizations, schools and individuals to commemorate the International Day of Peace in our homes, communities and between nations.
Demonstrating that one day of peace is possible and achievable helps make the case that a permanent peace is possible and practically achievable.
Military expenditure now surpasses Cold War levels. If nations are really serious about the peace they committed to by signing the UN Charter, they will stop investing billions of dollars and millions of brains towards weapons that kill and mutilate more precisely.
This not only drains resources from where they are really needed such as education and health care, it also contributes to violent and competitive power relations between nations that further impede trust and cooperation. This renewed arms race could derail the prospects for planning and cooperation needed to avoid catastrophic climate change.
Weapons are useless in facing the challenge of a hungry humanity on a warming and finite planet. Not only is war more expensive, it is also more toxic and fast becoming an ecological impossibility. Rather than simply the backdrop for human actions, the theatre for war is a finite and fragile planet that cannot bear the weight of more carbon intensive war or preparation for war.
On this International Day of Peace 2009, WILPF calls for peace in the Middle East between Israelis and Palestinians through recognition of an independent State of Palestine within the borders delineated by the armistice agreements prior to the 1967 war and an end to the Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.
Established in 1981, the International Day of Peace is marked by governments around the world and millions of individuals and communities highlighting efforts to end conflict and promote peace. Since 2001 it has also become a ceasefire day to enable relief workers to reach civilians in need with food, water, and medical supplies.