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Posted by on Jan 2, 2018 in Blogs

New Year’s Reflections

As we find a new year upon us, we find with it a renewed sense of energy, hope, and peace. We can also use these moments to reflect on the past year.

Here are some thoughts about 2017 from VOW Board Co-Chairs Lyn Adamson and Janis Alton:

First, let us appreciate just how wonderful it is that one of our own members, Setsuko Thurlow, Hiroshima survivor, received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo on December 10th, International Human Rights Day.  She received it along with Beatrice Fihn, the Executive Director of the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). 

This win led to an enormous amount of media attention.  You can hear a CTV interview with Setsuko here. You can read the moving Nobel acceptances speeches here or view entire the ceremony here. (Setsuko is at 1 hour and 4 minutes in).

ICAN is a campaign supported by 468 groups across the world – including Canadian Voice of Women for Peace.  So we can celebrate this accomplishment as something we and others in Toronto have made a direct contribution too – and we can dedicate ourselves to the campaign to get Canada to sign the Nuclear Ban Treaty.  This week Ray Acheson, of Reaching Critical Will, is in Iceland to urge that NATO country to sign.  You can watch an interview here. (The intro is in Icelandic, the interview is in English.)

If you haven’t signed already please sign our VOW petition at this link.   And share!  Let’s send a clear message to government of our concerns!

This year we were delighted to host the premiere of Kasha Slavner’s award winning film The Sunrise Storyteller at the Special Session on Women at the UN in March.  This year we look forward to the Toronto premiere!

In the summer we held another successful summer camp, among many others held nationally, at Lee McKenna’s Hub and Hearth retreat centre, and in September we held our AGM and lobbying days in Ottawa. In October we celebrated SandraLaya’s contributions to VOW at a joyful retirement party.  

In December, Janis, Lyn, and Ellen Judd spent time in Ottawa with our colleagues from South Korea, meeting with Global Affairs and attending a special forum on how to address the challenges of the Korea crisis.  Our efforts to involve women at the peace table will bring several of us to Vancouver in January  where Canada is hosting a foreign ministers meeting. Marney represented VOW at the Nobel ceremony Dec 10th.

 Our work on climate change continues through our membership in the Climate Action Network and our support of ClimateFast.  Work on the national, provincial, and municipal levels are essential to resolving the climate crisis that casts a shadow over our future.  Solutions exist and together we can insist that our governments and communities make this transition to a renewable energy and sustainable future happens!

This work we do to raise women’s voices for peace cannot be done without YOU!  Our voices are needed to spread the word about building a culture of peace, about the shift we need from a dominance focused culture to one based on nurturance, of building power within and together with each other.  Your membership and your support are key to our success. Together we can really make a difference.

Looking forward to a year of working with all of you!

Lyn Adamson and Janis Alton

VOW Co-Chairs

Dec 22, 2017