From Cameroon’s Ground to the UN Meeting Rooms and Back
WILPF works on the premise that in order to ensure real and lasting peace and freedom, it is fundamental for us to look at the realities on the ground and in communities to learn what is needed. Therefore WILPF encourages all Sections to have a lively exchange, although it is always special when members come to visit the International Secretariat in Geneva.
One of the most recent visitors was WILPF Cameroon communicator and activist Guy Feugap. He came to Geneva for the first time in June thanks to our project of empowering African sections funded by Channel Foundation. Guy was here to speak about the possession of firearms by civilians and the impact on women’s human lives, at a WILPF-organised side event for the 32nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. His presentation highlighted the gendered impact of firearms in the hands of civilians.
Meeting the International Secretariat
During his visit, Feugap gained a greater understanding of the organisation’s work and really enjoyed visiting WILPF International Office in Geneva.
“From a personal point of view,” explained Feugap “it was great to see how the work is organised among the different programmes and this is something I can share with our section in Cameroon.”
WILPF voices from the ground
This is a great example of how the local-global-local loop works within WILPF. Local activists, such as Guy Feugap, enter the international arena and contribute with their experience to ongoing reunions at the UN, while at the same time they bring home what they have learnt to later share with their Sections.
In Geneva, Feugap shared the work WILPF Cameroon is doing on promoting the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons and the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to reduce gender-based violence. He also spoke at the Conference on Disarmament Civil Society Forum, particularly on the links between disarmament and development.
Visits like this one help to bring the unique WILPF perspective to the UN conference rooms that tend to be slightly disconnected from the out side world. Feugap was able to share WILPF Cameroon’s actual experience on the ground, which both strengthens WILPF’s international work as it ties together the different levels of engagement and, at the same time, makes multilateral fora, such as UN disarmament meetings which are more accountable and relevant.