Statement of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom -
United States Section - On Iran and Support for a Weapons of Mass
May 2, 2011
Justice Done or Missed Opportunities?
On Sunday, President Obama announced that the United States conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda, and strongly proclaimed “justice has been done.”  “Justice has been done” was then reiterated throughout our nation and the entire international community. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed Osama bin Laden's death claiming that he was personally “relieved that justice has been done.” Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berusconi, further stated that bin Laden’s killing was not only “a great result for the United States but also for all democracies,” and Palestinian Authority spokesman Ghassan Khatib said that “getting rid of bin Laden is good for the cause of peace worldwide.” Americans chanted in the streets and sang patriotic songs.
The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), US Section extends our hearts to all people who have suffered as a result of violent acts of terrorism, but deeply challenges the belief that “justice has been done” when the blood of another has been spilled – even if it was a person who caused great harm. In choosing, once again, to use force rather than to pursue justice through established rules of law, the US. Government missed out on profound opportunities to advance universal guarantees of human rights, strengthen peace and security, and open pathways for greater understanding and reconciliation.
Support Ratification of the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
Statement in Support of Ratification of the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
Submitted to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law
Senator Dick Durbin, Chair
November 13, 2010
The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), U.S. Section commends the U.S. Government for the timely submission of its first Universal Periodic Report to the Human Rights Council and for its involvement of local and state governments in completing the report. The U.S. properly sent the highest level delegates to meet with the Council in Geneva for the review and was innovative in its attempts to make the review accessible and participatory for civil society groups in the U.S.
Recalling this demonstration of positive commitment to human rights, WILPF now calls upon the U.S. Senate to immediately ratify the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which was signed on behalf of the United States in 1980. The U.S. is the only country to sign and not ratify this important women’s human rights treaty.
The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), U.S. Section, calls upon the U.S. Permanent Mission to the United Nations to fully support women’s participation in peace and security processes, as mandated by United Nations Security Resolution 1325.
On October 26, 2010, the United Nations Security Council commemorated the 10-year anniversary of the unanimous adoption of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325. Hailed in 2000 as a landmark in putting women’s participation, protection and relief and recover priorities on the security agenda, SCR 1325’s implementation over the past 10 years has been dire:
- Only 3% of signatories to peace agreements are women;
- Of 300 peace accords since 1998, a mere 18 reference sexual or gender-based violence;
- Of the 192 Member States of the U.N., only 20 have National Action Plans for the implementation of UN SCR 1325—the United States has yet to develop its own SCR 1325 NAP.
Invasion and Military Impunity
We the undersigned and organizations of our support network, categorically reject the U.S. military ships entering Costa Rican territory, as well as any further increase of militarism to attempt to solve conflicts in global politics.
We oppose the permission granted by the Costa Rican Legislature, which allows for joint patrols against trafficking of drugs into Costa Rica with up to 46 warships, 200 helicopters, 10 AV-8B Harrier aircraft and 7,000 marines.
With this action, the government of Costa Rica aims to join the U.S. military agenda in Latin America. The solution to drug trafficking is social, not military.
Response to the Report of Main Committee III: Chairman’s Draft on Substantive Elements
May 20, 2010
The NGO Abolition Caucus of the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference 2010 is generally opposed to the findings of the Report of Main Committee III: Chairman’s Draft on Substantive Elements released on Friday, 14 May 2010. In particular, the Caucus finds there is no evidentiary basis to support the Chair’s assertion in paragraph 6 that nuclear power contributes “in an important way to meet energy needs, improve health, combat poverty, protect the environment… thus helping to achieve the Millenium Development Goals…” The Chair's draft does not acknowledge that there is disagreement among states parties on the characterization of nuclear energy as sustainable and safe.
Indeed, numerous independent studies indicate that dollar for dollar nuclear power for electricity production is one of the most expensive ways to meet energy needs, when lifecycle costs are compared to solar, wind, geothermal, appropriate hydropower and biomass, as well as efficiency measures. This is also true for reducing carbon emissions as expensive nuclear power would actually exacerbate catastrophic climate change since there is less carbon emission prevented per dollar spent on costly nuclear technology compared to applying those funds to clean energy sources and efficiency.
The situation in the West Bank and Gaza has become so dire in the last two years that the majority of Israeli peace groups now support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). This includes the Israeli section of WILPF. BDS is a global campaign aimed at bringing an end to Israel’s brutal occupation of Palestinian lands. Contrary to what many defenders of Israel would have you believe, the campaign is not intended to destroy Israel. Its aim is to end the Occupation.
In order to accomplish this, various groups have targeted specific companies that further the Occupation. At its recent International Board meeting in India, a WILPF resolution regarding BDS was passed and is now a part of WILPF’s international program, which each section will implement in its own way. [Read the resolution at: http://www.wilpf.int.ch/resolutions/2010.html ]
“Measures to prevent ill health and disease are as important as the availability of appropriate medical treatment and care. It is therefore essential to take a holistic approach to health, whereby both prevention and care are placed within the context of environmental policy...."
The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), U.S. Section, calls upon the U.S. Senate to immediately ratify the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
This year marks the 31st anniversary of the CEDAW Convention, the historic international bill of rights for women’s human rights. As an international non-governmental organization with UN consultative status, WILPF was a vital part of the decades-long process culminating in the adoption of the CEDAW Convention. In 1974, WILPF formally instructed its sections in various countries to engage their governments in the crafting of an international human rights convention which would “bring together the various aspects of women’s rights to form international law,” because we understood that “only through the intensive participation of women can best possible development in each country . . . and world peace [be] achieved.”
The CEDAW Convention was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 18, 1979 and signed, on behalf of the United States, by President Jimmy Carter in 1980. Yet, thirty-one years later, this powerful treaty has yet to be ratified by the U.S. Senate. The US is the only country to sign but not ratify the Convention.
TO: Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittees on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
The undersigned organizations are writing to urge you to oppose the President’s FY2010 budget request for $2.775 billion in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for Israel, an increase of $225 million in military aid compared to FY2009. At this time of acute economic crisis, as well as from a political, legal, security, and moral standpoint, our country should not continue to provide Israel with this blank check.
Israel consistently misuses U.S. weapons purchased through FMF to commit grave human rights abuses against Palestinians and systematic violations of international law in its illegal 42-year military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip. Some of those violations are documented every year in the State Department's own human rights reports; far more are documented by the United Nations and human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
Statement on US Involvement in Afghanistan and Pakistan
The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, U.S. Section, opposes military action to resolve the armed conflict in Afghanistan. Specifically, we cannot support the sending of 30,000 additional U.S. troops into the country and the use of drone aircraft there and in Pakistan. We call for the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO military forces.
It should be self evident that the use of violent force by another country cannot lead to the elimination of violence and armed conflict within Afghanistan. The very people the U.S. claims must be protected from Taliban insurgents are actually endangered by the presence of U.S and NATO troops. According to figures provided by the United Nations, at least 2100 Afghan civilians died in conflict related deaths in 2008. Of these, at least 1000 were killed by Taliban or other insurgents, who often target communities where U.S. military forces have had a presence. At least 800 civilians were killed in 2008 by Afghan government forces or by occupying U.S. and NATO forces, and of these at least 445 were killed by air strikes. Afghan women’s organizations, such as the Revolutionary Association of Afghan Women, and women’s organizations involved in in-country initiatives, such as Madre and the Global Fund for Women, have consistently stated that the occupying U.S. military presence increases the level of violence in Afghan communities resulting in more civilian deaths and abductions and more dangerous conditions for women seeking to participate in public life, peace building, and civilian governance.
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
United States Section
11 Arlington St. Boston, MA 02116
Tel: 617-266-0999 Email: web(at)wilpf.org
The Honorable Jared Huffman
Chair, Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife
Sacramento, CA 95814
April 21, 2009
RE: Support AB 1242 (Ruskin-Jones)
Dear Assemblymember Huffman:
The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, U.S. Section, wholeheartedly supports AB 1242 that would amend the California State Water Code to read that "every human being has the right to clean and accessible water on an equitable basis".
April 16, 2009
The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW Room 7226
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Madam Secretary:
We write to urge that the current review of United States policy on the International Criminal Court [ICC] be completed quickly, and that it lead to three results: US participation in the Court’s meetings to complete its formation; extensive and thorough US cooperation with and support to the Court in its prosecutions and trials; and action to declare emphatically that US relations with the Court are in an entirely new era. The historic ICC arrest warrant for Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir makes these steps especially urgent. The United States is now in the odd and unsustainable position of strongly endorsing the most important action that the ICC has ever taken while evading any commitment to support or participate in it as an institution.
January 19, 2009
Dear President-Elect Obama:
We of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, United States Section (WILPF US), appreciate many of the priorities you expressed during your election campaign. A considerable number of them are our priorities as well, and we will certainly work to build support for each of those in our communities across this nation.
WILPF US Section Has Endorsed the 100 Days Campaign
*Why a 100 Days Campaign?*
Ever since Franklin D. Roosevelt became President in 1933, setting a new standard for action and imagination in his first 100 days in office, the
American people have watched closely the first 100 days of all new presidents. Numerous pundits have pointed out that-- not unlike FDR--
Barack Obama will enter the White House as the nation faces many crises.
In FDR's day, the promise was a "New Deal." Today, Obama is promising change. Some are very specific: Recently, for example, Obama told /60
Minutes/: "I have said repeatedly that I intend to close Guantanamo, and I will follow through on that. I've said repeatedly that America
doesn't torture. And I'm going to make sure that we don't torture."
*100 Days More is 100 Days Too Long *
After seven years of detaining hundreds of men without trial, 100 days more is 100 days too long. We go to Washington with high hopes that
President Obama will close Guantanamo on his first day in office. But if he does not, we will stand vigil for 100 days as a reminder of his
promise, and a reminder of those seven years of torture and indefinite detention carried out in our names.