New Program to Support Delegates from Active WILPF branches at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women
WILPF members attending the 54th meetings of the Commission on the Status of Women push to reallocate government dollars from military expenditures to basic human needs. A pamphlet produced as the result of our strategizing at the International Board meeting about how to unify WILPF's talking points is available: Click here to view or download the pamphlet as a pdf file.
The Practicum, the NPT and the Future
|Bobbie Paul, left, with fellow WILPF member Judi Mohling in New York. Mohling is with Rocky Mountain Peace & Justice Center in Boulder, CO, and planned the Hibakusha events at schools in NYC during the NPT.|
WILPF’s Practicum in Advocacy at the NPT Review, a one-week residential program that included faculty-led seminars and special activities, was modeled on WILPF's highly successful Practicum in Advocacy at the CSW. At the request of members, this Practicum was open to women of all ages and backgrounds. WILPF co-sponsored the Practicum with the Center for Women's Health and Human Rights, the Peace and Justice Studies Association and Women in International Security.
Bobbie Paul, a new WILPF member from Georgia who attended the Practicum said, “We actively pursued the peace process on one of the biggest international stages, accompanied by thousands of people from all over the world. Perhaps one of the most memorable experiences was marching for a nuclear weapons free world on Sunday May 2, with thousands of nuclear abolitionists, many of whom had traveled to NYC – even from as far as Japan.”
During the Practicum, Bobbie heard Japanese A-bomb survivors talk about their experiences first hand. “They told us, ‘We don’t hate the people who did this to us, we just hate the bomb.’ It was a sentiment we heard the Hibakusha -- Japanese A-bomb survivors – express frequently, including when they went to talk to 10th grade students at Martin Luther King High School on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. These victims had their stories translated from Japanese into English in front of hundreds of students during the first week of the NPT, holding them in rapt attention and helping them to imagine the unthinkable horrors of an A-bomb blast.”
The Disarm: Dismantle the War Economy Committee developed two PDFs for use in Tax Day vigils:
Federal Budget Resources (pdf) includes an extensive list of resources for Tax Day vigils and to develop a feminist, progressive federal budget that dismantles the war economy and moves towards a peaceful society.
Cutting the Military Budget (pdf) includes suggestions on ways to cut a significant chunk of the US military budget and how to spend the savings.
WILPF and the UN
The U.S. has been the only nation in the world to vote NO on a United Nations resolution to Prevent an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS). However a PAROS treaty is our best alternative to space weaponization and war in, from and through space. Critical votes on this issue will again come before the U.N. General Assembly in November and December.
WILPF created a petition addressed to United States Senators, urging them to support the UN Resolution and to vote yes when it comes up for a vote again.
The petition was closed to new signatures on October 24, 2008 and over 190 individuals signed it.
WILPF is in the process of distributing the petition and the signatures to our Senators.
Dear Reaching Critical Will friends and advisors,
The sixty-second session of the General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security closed on Friday, 2 November 2007. It was a rather uneventful session, with a few key highlights (see below). Most delegations continued to lament the lack of progress in disarmament and non-proliferation, especially in the Conference on Disarmament (CD). They called for the adoption of the comprehensive programme of work in the CD at the beginning of 2008, and expressed hope for success at the next nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Preparatory Committee. It would be preferable if First Committee itself was used more effectively to advance the cause of disarmament and international security, rather than as a stage from which to "urge" consensus in another forum. In his remarks on 18 October, Ambassador Landman of the Netherlands paraphrased Victor Hugo, announcing that the time will come when the instruments of war, and in particular weapons of mass destruction, "will be on show in museums in the same way as today one can visit and inspect instruments of torture, fashionable in the Middle Ages and thereafter. And we would all be wondering that such weapons have existed and their use ever contemplated." To reach this point, governments, diplomats, and civil society need to not just theorize about the new (collective) security environment they envision, but to work towards it.
Ray Acheson, Project Associate