International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
WILPF 2008 International Day of Peace
On 30 November 1981, the
United Nations General Assembly, in resolution A/RES/36/67,
declared an international day of peace. This resolution recognized that
"the promotion of peace, both at an international and a national level, is
among the main purposes of the United Nations, in conformity with its
Charter". Since 1915, the Women's International League for Peace and
Freedom (WILPF) has worked to promote peace by non-violent means, promoting
political, economic and social justice for all.
World military expenditures
are estimated to have been USD 1,339 billion in 2007, or about 202 spent for
every person on earth.
Article 26 of the UN Charter obliges the UN Security Council to "promote
the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security with the
least division for armaments of the world's human and economic resources",
and the Security Council has failed to meet this obligation. You get what
you pay for, and when governments of the world decide to prioritize peace
building through education, health care, strengthening public infrastructures,
and sustainable development over the purchase of arms, then these governments
will begin walking down the path towards peace and break the military spending-
WILPF calls on all
governments to allocate one day of their military expenditures USD
3,668,493,151 towards addressing a real security threat such as catastrophic
climate change. We must have a paradigm shift in resource
allocation. We can meet this challenge, but only if we are prepared to
face the fact that bombs, guns, cluster bombs and landmines will not deter or
remove the threat of a Tsunami, a hurricane, a flood, a virus, or a water
shortage. WILPF rejects the idea that the military industry and the
weapons trade bring jobs, prosperity or security. The arms trade has turned
people into mercenaries and parts of our planet into cemeteries.
Misusing words such as
'safety' and 'protection', military security concepts and weapons profiteers
develop machines that threaten and violate the human right to life and
freedom. This year, 2008 marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, and in order that all peoples enjoy all human
rights military and national security concepts that rely on weaponization and
militarization must shift towards a holistic human security concept that
recognizes people not profits, sustainability not strife, multilateralism not
In the name of 'democracy',
powerful actors make profits at the expense of our planet its finite resources
and the rights of future generations to exist. In the name of 'increasing
women's role in peace and security', more women are militarized and sent to war
zones, which is a distorted application of the UN Security Council resolution
1325 on Women, Peace and Security. WILPF believes that the concepts of safety
and security must shift so that they include the full enjoyment of all human
rights for all away from military and national security concepts.
Peace is more than the
absence of war. On this International Day of Peace, WILPF calls for the
peoples of the world to lay down their arms and raise their voices for peace
and freedom, for there cannot be one without the other.
The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) is the oldest women's peace organization in the world, established in 1915 to oppose the war raging in Europe. It has been working ever since to study, make known, and abolish the causes of war, and to support human rights and general and complete disarmament.
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