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Posted by on Jan 13, 2009 in VOW Statements & Endorsements

Ending the Crisis in Gaza – Building Peace in the Middle East

13 January 2009 – VOW Press Release

The Canadian Voice of Women for Peace (VOW), a non-partisan NGO comprised of women from across Canada and around the world, call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. VOW urges all involved parties in the region to come to the peace table without delay.

“Recognizing that the present violence in the region arises from a deep-rooted history of violence begetting violence, we are strongly convinced that a peace process is the only solution and that polarizing the conflict gains nothing. At the same time, the extreme humanitarian crisis which exists and is growing in Gaza demands immediate action now,” says Lyn Adamson, VOW member and professional conflict mediator who has helped train members of a nonviolent civilian peaceforce in Gaza.

An online petition has been released to encourage all concerned Canadians to sign onto the VOW Peace Call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and an end to polarization of the conflict. Click here for the petition.

VOW is calling on the Canadian government to strongly support ongoing demands for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, and to use its diplomatic influence to call on all parties to respect humanitarian law, human rights, and the Geneva Conventions. “We especially urge the Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs officials to encourage the new Obama administration to use its influence to bring a lasting peace to the Middle East, and to assist in any diplomatic way possible in furthering nonviolence, peacebuilding, and humanitarian approaches in the region,” states Dr. Janet M Eaton, VOW Co-Chair, academic and researcher.

VOW reminds the Canadian government and the UN Security Council to ensure that women, who promote peace, from all parties involved in the Gaza crisis, are at the decision-making table in accordance with Article 1 of Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (2000) which “Urges member states to ensure increased representation of women at all decision-making levels in national, regional and international institutions and mechanisms for the prevention, management, and resolution of conflict.”

“We further urge the international community, and especially the United Nations Security Council, to continue to work toward a ceasefire, and to ensure that combatants on both sides of the conflict respect international humanitarian law, human rights and the Geneva Conventions,” says Janis Alton, VOW Co-Chair.

Established in 1960, the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace (VOW) is a national Non Governmental Organization (NGO) with membership from across the country and around the world with consultative status with the United Nations Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC). VOW is also one of the NGOs cited by UNESCO’s standing committee in the working group report entitled “The Contribution of Women to the Culture of Peace.”

For further information and to set up interviews with peacebuilding experts, please contact Sandra Ruch, Administrative Coordinator, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, via email or phone 416-603-7915.