Environmental Concern (Regarding Biotechnology)

July 24, 1989

The 24th Triennial Congress of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, 14-25 July, 1989 in Sydney, Australia:

First-world countries and their multinationals have immense power and resources to spend upon research which has far-reaching effects. This can be seen already, particularly in relation to food production, energy and pharmaceutical. Genetic and bio-technology are a clear extension of this power. The detrimental effects of this kind of experimentation are not widely known, even among scientists, yet these scientists are prepared to release into the world genetically engineered organisms, for which it is impossible to measure the environmental effects. Some scientists are furthering their research through experimentation upon women especially in third world countries.

The control over the social and economic basis in these fields is of strategic importance for humankind to survive. Measures to check in an effective way damage to human beings, destruction of the environment, and pillaging of the planet can only be taken on the basis of comprehensive political and economic principles and with a transformation of social consciousness. Women must play a decisive role in this as those concerned, and be critical observers as well as fighters for a radical vision.

This Congress Resolves:

1. To include the subject of genetic and biotechnology in the international action program and to ensure that as far as possible these problems are discussed and analyzed in the sections, and that in this process the related issues are also considered;

2. To cooperate with women and women’s groups and organizations that have already dealt with the subject of genetic and biotechnology and to plan and carry out common activities with them;

3. To show the inter-relationship between the destruction of the environment, the exploitation of resources, and the exploitation and oppression of women, and to publish the results in suitable magazines;

4. Instead of appeals after individual catastrophes have occurred to develop WILPF ‘s own comprehensive policy which anticipates the bases of economic, social, psychological and environmental problems.

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