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Welcome to this month’s issue of WILPF Membership News. This newsletter features the work of WILPF Sections, Branches and Members, as well as the work of the International Secretariat.

Strengthening Human Rights Implementation through Collective Action

A joint project between the Human Rights programme and Reaching Critical Will, WILPF will attend a one day conference on International Human Rights Day on 10 December. Organised by the Future of Human Rights Forum, it will look at ways to ”collaborate for collective action to strengthen human rights implementation.” In particular, it will stress the need for recognising human security as indispensable for human dignity; strengthening existing human rights mechanisms; promoting new ideas and youth initiatives.

WILPF will participate in the panel and ensuing discussion on “Human Security as a Prerequisite for Human Rights Advancement,“ focusing on gender dimensions of militarism and ways to challenge these effectively. Make sure to follow our live tweets on 10 December.

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence Campaign

WILPF has had a strong partnership with the Campaign for many years. This year’s theme is ”From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Gender Based Violence!”

It aligns particularly well with WILPF’s own Integrated Approach to advocating for peace by looking at intersecting issues of disarmament, human rights, women’s participation, peace, and security.

In support of the 16 Days Campaign, we are offering a special discount on Anniversary Conference tickets to all our members and regular participants who buy their tickets from 25 November to 10 December. For each day of the Conference, we will offer a €16 discount, so a total discount of €48.

WILPF is also celebrating the 16 Days Campaign by opening up the Anniversary Atlas to our partners for contributions. The Anniversary Atlas is an interactive timeline that enables you to view the past, present and future activities of women peacemakers all over the world. With the special blue markers, you can now explore our partners’ peacemaking activities as well as our own.

Read our blog to learn more about 16 Days and WILPF’s relationship. Follow the official 16 Days Campaign on Facebook and Twitter, and join the discussion by using the #16days and #EndVAW hashtags. We hope you will actively participate in spreading the word as widely as possible with us!

Update from Crisis Response Programme

MENA Agenda 1325 Project
MENA Agenda 1325 Project is organising a Regional Conference in Istanbul this week, which will bring together regional actors and WILPF members.

Update from PeaceWomen

Commission on the Status of Women (2015) Registration Now Open
Registration for next year’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is now open. CSW’s 59th session will take place in New York from 9 – 20 March 2015 with a main focus on the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which is in its 20th year.

If you or your Section are interested in or planning on attending, please email joann@peacwomen.org by 18 December 2014.

Because we will be focusing on Anniversary conference preparations, please note that WILPF will have more limited engagement at CSW this year, and all participation must be self-funded.

As per previous years, the total number of official representatives for WILPF is 20 individuals. Please be aware that everyone can attend the hundreds of NGO side events outside the UN Headquarters building, even without a pass. Please follow PeaceWomen’s monitoring of the next CSW and additional resources.

New Website and Information Portal Launch in 2015
PeaceWomen is pleased to announce that we will be launching a new and improved website and information portal in early 2015. The new website is aimed to expand the accessibility and impact of our work. Stay tuned for updates!

PeaceWomen to Join WILPF MENA Regional Conference
PeaceWomen Manager Abigail Ruane will support WILPF’s Middle East North Africa (MENA) partners at the WILPF MENA regional workshop this December 2015 in Istanbul and contribute resources on national implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325). If you are working on developing a National Action Plan (NAP) on UNSCR 1325, check out our NAP Development Toolkit or NAP monitor.

PeaceWomen to Join WILPF Colombia at 1325 National Action Plan and Strategy Meeting
PeaceWomen Director Maria Butler will support national action plan planning and strategy development in Colombia to be held by WILPF Colombia this December 2014.

Update from the Human Rights programme

In November, WILPF’s Human Rights programme monitored and reported on the review of Ghana by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), as well as the review of the United States by the Committee Against Torture.

In addition, we attended the Universal Periodic Review of Iraq and Egypt, and participated in the pre-session of the CEDAW to provide input on the women’s rights situation in Bolivia and Spain.

In December, we will have the pleasure to welcome Laura Alonso Cano from WILPF Spain and Sepideh Shahrokhi from WILPF Sweden, who will be coming to Geneva to deliver their statements for the UPR pre-session of their respective countries.

Moreover, the Human Rights programme is attending and reporting on the Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights.

Update from Reaching Critical Will

ICAN Civil Society Forum
On 6 – 7 December 2014, RCW will participate in ICAN’s Civil Society Forum in Vienna ahead of the next conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons. This is going to be the chance for civil society to inspire and be inspired, teach, and learn and tip the momentum for a treaty banning nuclear weapons over the edge.

Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons
The Austrian government will host the third international conference on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons on 8 and 9 December 2014 at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna.

This conference is aimed at contributing to the growing momentum to firmly anchor the humanitarian imperative in all global efforts dealing with nuclear weapons and nuclear disarmament.

It will look at the impact of nuclear weapon explosions, including nuclear testing, the risks of nuclear weapons use, challenges and capabilities regarding the use of nuclear weapons, and existing international norms and laws.

RCW will write an analysis of the conference and release a Conference Report. Subscribe today to our newsletter to be sure to receive this report. You can also follow along with social media on Twitter by following @RCW_ and @nuclearban and tweeting with the #hinw14 and #goodbyenukes hashtags. Follow RCW and ICAN on Facebook too!

Informal Consultations for the Conference of States Parties of the ATT
With the ratification by eight states at a signing ceremony in New York on 25 September, the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is now set to enter into force on 24 December 2014. In preparation of the first Conference of States Parties that will take place beginning of next year, the German government held a second informal meeting last week in Berlin. Procedural matters in preparation for the Conference of States Parties were discussed.

Reaching Critical Will monitored the session and will release a short summary report this week. Subscribe today to our “Arms Trade Treaty” newsletter to receive the report.

Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) 2014 Meeting of the States parties
The 2014 Meeting of the High Contracting Parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) took place from 13 – 14 November. During plenary meetings and side events, states and civil society addressed autonomous weapons, armed drones, incendiary weapons, mines, the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, and more.

Among other things, the CCW agreed to a mandate for further work on autonomous weapon systems next year. States parties will meet for five days from 13 to 17 April 2015 to continue examining the legal, technical, operational, and ethical aspects of these weapons.

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, of which WILPF is a member, is calling on states to make sure that future talks are aimed at developing new law that would prohibit weapons systems that operate without meaningful human control.

Read Reaching Critical Will’s CCW Report for more detailed info on what your government, as well as statements delivered at the CCW and other official documents.

Update on the Women’s Power to Stop War Webinar Series

The seventh episode of the Women’s Power to Stop War Webinar series explored ”Men, Masculinities, and Militarism”. Professor Claire Duncanson, Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Edinburgh, discussed the role of men and masculinities in sustaining militarism and war. The particular focus was on the challenges – both theoretical and practical – of transforming militarised masculinities as one crucial route to achieving peace and security.