Kansainvälisen WILPFin jäsenkirjeessä on yhteenvetoa liiton kolmivuotiskongressista sekä 100-vuotisjuhlaseminaarista. Tilaa jatkossa jäsenkirje suoraan itsellesi.
WILPF now has three new Sections and two new groups
On 22 April, around 300 WILPF members gathered in The Hague.
During the first day of Congress, we welcomed three new Sections: Cameroon, Ghana and Israel – which means that WILPF now has 33 National Sections.
We also officially approved two news groups: Nicaragua and Uganda.
Adoption of the WILPF 2015 Manifesto
The WILPF 2015 Manifesto, the official declaration of our organisation’s intentions, views and work, was adopted by a majority during the second day of Congress.
The new WILPF International President and Executive Committee
During the third and last day of Congress, Kozue Akibayashi of WILPF Japan was elected the new WILPF International President. In an interview made shortly after she was elected, she talked about her ideas for the future of WILPF.
Congratulations to Kozue and to the members of the new WILPF Executive Committee! Joy Onyesoh from Nigeria, Margrethe Tingstad from Norway, Catia Confortini from the United States, and Sameena Nazir from Pakistan were elected Vice Presidents and Kerry McGovern from Australia was elected Treasurer.
ANZAC day in The Hague
On Saturday 25 April, members from WILPF Australia and WILPF Aotearoa/New Zealand went to ANZAC day in The Hague to plant a symbolic olive tree.
ANZAC (Australian New Zealand Army Corps) day commemorates 100 years since the ’Aussies’ and ’Kiwis’ landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey as a part of Churchill’s strategy for World War I, which had devastating consequences. Planting the olive tree became a remembrance of all those who have suffered from war, as well as a silent protest against the fact that even today, some politicians seek to glorify World War I.
Aletta Jacobs statue unveiled at the Peace Palace
Aletta Jacobs was a leader in the Dutch suffragette movement and one of the founders of WILPF. On Saturday 25 April, 100 years after she brought over 1,000 women to the The Hague for the Women’s Congress where WILPF was born, a bronze statue of her was unveiled at the Peace Palace in The Hague.
She is one of the first women peacemakers to be honoured with a statue in the Peace Palace, and we hope that more will follow.
During the Congress, ten Congress resolutions were adopted.
Celebrating 100 years of peacemaking
While the Congress was devoted to the more formal organisational activities of WILPF, the Conference was all about substance. How can women come together and establish a new peace agenda for the 21st century?
Around 1,000 peacemakers – mostly women, but also men were represented – joined the three-day long Conference, which offered a daily programme of 15-22 sessions, a marketplace, an anniversary festival as well as a number of exhibitions, all telling and showing the history of WILPF.
Grand Opening of the Conference
The Opening started with our anniversary video, which was then followed by speeches by the four Nobel Laureates Leymah Gbowee, Shirin Ebadi, Mairead Maguire and Jody Williams, our very own ultimate WILPF member Edith Ballantyne and Secretary General Madeleine Rees.
The six speakers introduced the journey of the Conference and the role that participants (or “we” according to Jody Williams) must play together to establish a new peace agenda for the 21st century.
The Grand Opening was indeed “grand” and was moderated by Democracy Now! Executive Producer Amy Goodman, who also broadcasted live (insert clapping hands!) from our Conference all three days.
No peace conference without a public manifestation
Having gathered more than 1,000 peacemakers, it is important to let our voices be heard and to show the world that we are united. To do so our Disarmament Programme, Reaching Critical Will (RCW), together with UK WILPF activist and singer Penny Stone, organised a public manifestation right outside the World Forum building.
While Penny Stone sang peace songs, the activists literary moved more than 3,000 red poker chips from a big pile symbolising military spending to smaller piles symbolising health care, education and human rights.
Between us, we can tell you that the manifestation was highly dramatic for the RCW team as the truck with the red poker chips just arrived 30 minutes before the planned event!
Madeleine Rees comments on the conference discussion on refugee crisis
”During the Congress and the Conference one of the most recurrent concerns of members was the appalling situation of would be migrants fleeing war zones and poverty in the Middle East and Africa. It was rightly seen as one of the defining moments: how Europeans react, with humanity, indifference, or with appalling denigration of the causes of the suffering and the role of the West in creating them.”
”In this clip, Senegalese writer Fatou Diomé calls the response for what it is; rooted in racism and the othering of people who are defined merely by their difference from ”us”. She is so, so right. This is a basis for our advocacy. To speak the truth to those who would seek to excuse their conduct by speaking of security and nation states. We urge you to use what is said to draw attention to what needs to be done, to provide relief and assistance in the short term, status based on right under international law, and in the long term, to seriously address the root causes that have caused this catastrophe.”