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Posted by on Feb 9, 2012 in General News

HAMILTON VOICE OF WOMEN FOR PEACE RECOMMENDS THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF PEACE:

HAMILTON VOICE OF WOMEN FOR PEACE RECOMMENDS THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF PEACE:

Implement Manifesto 2000 and the Culture of Peace at all levels of government.

Finance and mandate Peace Education and Conflict Resolution in all levels of educational institutions.

Finance and support a Non Violent Civilian Peace Service

Focus on early warning signs and deploy conflict resolution professionals as needed.

Provide a career path for Peace Studies students

Provide Non Violent skills building for Parliamentarians and Civil Servants

Ensure an annual consultation with NGO’s on Foreign and Defence policy

Model a Culture of Peace, openness, accountability and transparency in the House of Commons and in all committees.

Focus on the Abolition of nuclear weapons

Ensure that whenever the Responsibility to Protect policy is invoked all non-violent options be explored and debated before any military intervention is considered.

Give Canadians an option to direct their taxes to the D of P rather than the DND and the military.

Support and finance Interfaith Remembrance Day commemorations with a focus on peace and war prevention.

Work toward the Delegitimization of War using existing International Covenants and the work of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions as the basis for a new body of precedent setting international law.

UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 1325

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, adopted unanimously on October 31, 2000, called for the adoption of a gender perspective that included the special needs of women and girls during repatriation and resettlement, rehabilitation, reintegration and post-conflict reconstruction.

It was the first formal and legal document from the United Nations Security Council that required parties in a conflict to respect women’s rights and to support their participation in peace negotiations and in post-conflict reconstruction.

Research suggests that women and children are vulnerable in times of conflict and war. Emerging patterns in conflict show that civilians have become the target, majority of which are women and children. Sexual and gender-based violence has become ‘weapons of war’ turning women’s body into a “war-land”. Even in their everyday lives, women are exposed to abuse when fetching water or gathering firewood. They are restricted access to credit and are prohibited to inherit or own land. In disaster events, women refugees are often forced to trade sex for survival and “fear of retribution, powerlessness, lack of support, breakdown of public services, and the dispersion of families and communities” prevent them from reporting abuses. Relief policies likewise tend to favour refugee men over women.

The adoption of the Resolution is an historical moment where women are no longer seen as simply victims in conflict and war, but that they can be agents of change and contribute towards a more peaceful world.
The objectives of the UNSCR 1325 are as follows:
• The prosecution of crimes against women;
• The appointment of more women to UN peacekeeping operations;
• Women in negotiations, peace talks and post-war reconstruction efforts;
• Increased participation and representation of women at all levels of decision-making;
• Attention to specific protection needs of women and girls in conflict;
• Gender perspective in post-conflict processes;
• Gender perspective in UN programming, reporting and in Security Council
missions;
• Gender perspective and training in UN peace support operations.

The DEPARTMENT OF PEACE should therefore ensure that women make up 50% of all positions at every level of the new ministry and of DEFAIT AND DND.

SPENDING FOR WOMEN & CHILDREN*

Consider that the federal Conservative government cut the funding to the regional Status of Women offices and eliminated the funding to the court challenges program in 2006. Canada has slipped further down the ranking in the /Save the Children Mother's Index/ and on the /OECD

Survey on child care and early learning/. The budget for the Office of the Status of Women Canada is $30,241,746 (approximately 1/10^th of the military budget) and the Children’s benefits transfer payment is $12,655,756,000 (half of the military budget). According to the 2011Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Canada/, 1 in 10 Canadians still live in poverty — that’s 639,000 poor children in this country. The DEPARTMENT OF PEACE  should therefore support a gender based budget analysis.

INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW

Governments have now explicitly recognized the centrality of international humanitarian law (IHL) in the field of nuclear weapons policies. The 2010 NPT Review Conference expressed “deep concern at the catastrophic consequences of any use of nuclear weapons” and reaffirmed “the need for all states at all times to comply with applicable international law, including international humanitarian law.”

IHL governs the use of weaponry and force in war. For example, a weapon’s inhumane and indiscriminate effects are a basis for its prohibition though the weapon may have military utility. Based on IHL principles, nations of the world have long agreed not to use potential weapons such as the plague or mustard gas. Applying IHL to nuclear weapons policies provides a fresh, persuasive approach to disarmament efforts, and one which has worked successfully in campaigns to eliminate other classes of weapons.

 

See the following two recent articles on IHL and nuclear weapons:” International Humanitarian Law and Nuclear Weapons: Irreconcilable Differences,” published inThe Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

“Nuclear Weapons and Compliance with International Humanitarian Law and the Nucl ear Non-Proliferation Treaty,” published in the Fordham International Law Journal

If humanitarian arguments worked effectively to help outlaw chemical and biological weapons and advance outlawing landmines and cluster munitions, the DEPARTMENT OF PEACE  should explore whether such an approach can be effective in addressing threats posed by nuclear weapons.

THE HUMAN RIGHT TO PEACE

On 3rd December 2011 a symposium of civil society and academics was held in Nagoya, Japan, in which all speakers supported the human right to peace.  There were 68 representatives from the academic field, human rights experts, lawyers and peace activists.

At the end of the event the Nagoya Declaration on the Human Right to Peace was adopted by acclamation, in which, among other things, civil society representatives urge the Human Rights Council and its Advisory Committee to take duly into consideration the Santiago Declaration on the Human Right to Peace, adopted on 10 December 2010; request the Human Rights Council at its twentieth session (June 2012) to establish an open-ended working group on standard-setting to deal with the ongoing codification of a draft Declaration on the human right to peace with the participation of civil society; and request to the General Assembly of the United Nations to adopt the Universal Declaration on the Human Right to Peace by no later than 2015.  The DEPARTMENT OF PEACE  should pursue the Human Right to Peace as a serious policy objective.

Joy Warner, Chair, Hamilton Voice of Women for Peace, and National Board Member Canadian Voice of Women for Peace.          February 4 2012