Women's Working GroupWorld Peace ForumVancouver, Canada23-28 June, 2006
We the participants in the World Peace Forum Women’s Program, held in Vancouver, B.C. Canada, June 23 to June 28, 2006 have gathered and exchanged stories from many countries. We have come to the conclusion that poverty, violation of human rights, inequality, environmental destruction, militarization and violence are increasing as the plans for a globalized, privatized world moves forward.
We have examined the economic and social effects of militarization, war and violence on the peoples of the world and are resolved to get at the root causes of war and expose the impact of war on women and their families round the world. Having shared our own experiences of militarism, and having learned from the experiences of all the women gathered here, we have come to the resolve that war is a crime against humanity.
We women understand the contribution we must make to break the silence and debunk the fallacious arguments that peace and security can be achieved through the strength of militarization and violence.
We women are resolved to organize, energize, mobilize and act to stop this dangerous direction our governments are pursuing. We are prepared to continue to work with others to create a greater international women’s movement in the struggles against colonialism, racism, sexism and environmental destruction. We will link with grassroots women, trade union women, homemakers, mothers, etc. in solidarity to ensure all violence ends against all women, children and others. We call on local governments to follow the lead of Mayors for Peace and Peace Messenger Cities in promoting non-violent, peaceful and sustainable cities.
Concepts of war and militarism are deeply gendered and represent significant barriers to effectively achieving peace and disarmament. Women are aware that something terribly important is being left out. Ideas, concerns interests, information, feelings and meanings are not reflected in the discourse dominated by its association with masculinity.
Women must be equally represented in economic and political structures and at the table in conflict resolution, this representation must reflect the diversity in our communities. We will work to have our governing bodies implement United Nations Resolution 1325.
We join women from the 2006 World Urban Forum, in calling for a new, independent, high level, and well resourced women-specific agency both at the operational and policy-making spheres be included in United Nations. And we will work to convince the Reform Panel to include this in their recommendations for reform of the UN.
The present annual spending, of well over one trillion dollars for war, must be stopped. That money must be used to fund human and planetary needs. We call for an immediate start by reducing military budgets by 50% to allow us to immediately address urgent life affirming needs. We can end poverty, provide free education, health care and reduce environmental damage among other needs. Debts of the poorest countries must be abolished.
The trade in arms and their production must stop. We will publicize the names of manufacturers and sellers of weapons, big and small, and expose them as human rights abusers. Call for the dismantling of foreign military bases, and demilitarize civilian life.
Call for education on war and peace. Implement training for genuine peace keeping.
We will work to end impunity. We will expose and bring to justice those who break the law by using sexualized violence against women, torture, the killing of civilians and the destruction of essential infrastructure. We will expose the war crimes and violations of international law committed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and elsewhere.
Women refuse to be manipulated into providing support for military and/or violent intervention.
We will expose the misinformation and lies that are propagated through the corporate media and work to develop media that expresses the voices of women.
We recognize that all of our actions have an impact and that a mindshift is required to think of ourselves as stewards of the land on which we live. Living in harmony with the natural world and with one another is our goal. Preservation, honouring and rejuvenating of the rural culture is a key consideration.
We desire to create alternative political structures that are more responsive to the diversity of both our urban and rural areas to empower civil society. We urge a boycott of all companies, involved in nuclear weapons, and weapons of mass destruction industries.
We will infuse systems thinking, women’s role in decision making processes and awareness of sustainable development principles into all training programs for peacekeeping.
We support cities and communities working together to end war and build a peaceful, just and sustainable world.
We call on the peoples of the world to support women’s equality in building a peaceful, just and sustainable world.
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