Pages Menu
TwitterRssFacebook
Categories Menu

Posted by on Sep 1, 2015 in Blogs

Statement to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, 51ST Session, 26 February – 9 March 2007

On the thematic issue: – “The elimination of all forms of
discrimination and violence against the girl child”

Building A Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Girl Child
Prepared by Joan Russow, Janet M Eaton, and Janis Alton

Canadian Voice of Women for Peace
203 – 761 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON M6J 1G1 Statement to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women
Canada

Tel. 1-416-603-7915
Fax 1-416-603-7916
E-mail: vow@ca.inter.net
www.vowpeace.org

15 December 2006

Building A Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Girl Child
What has happened to the children and particularly the girl child in
a world of never-ending war, religious fundamentalism, rampant
discrimination, environmental destruction, trafficking, child
pornography, and increasing domestic violence? We must implement the
treaties that would protect them.
In 2007, we are living in the Orwellian world where “self-defence”
is interpreted as legitimizing an act of revenge, where the
precautionary principle has been revamped as legitimization for pre-
emptive/ preventive aggressive attack, and the “responsibility to
protect” has become justification for militarism, military build-up,
and military invasion.
In 1984, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the
Right of Peoples to Peace: it was not intended to be Orwellian
doublespeak. We are 23 years past this declaration. In it the
following commitment was made to the global community: “that the
preservation of the right of peoples to peace and the promotion of
its implementation constitute a fundamental obligation of each
State.” We are six years past both the UN Security Council
Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, and the Declaration of
the Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children
of the World. It is time for their implementation.
A. COMMITMENTS MADE AND OBLIGATIONS INCURRED
(1) THE DECLARATION OF THE RIGHT OF PEOPLES TO PEACE
In The Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace, adopted by
General Assembly resolution 39/11 of 12 November 1984, member states
committed themselves to the following rights, obligations, and
actions:
Solemnly proclaims that the peoples of our planet have a sacred right
to peace; Solemnly declares that the preservation of the right of
peoples to peace and the promotion of its implementation constitute a
fundamental obligation of each State; Emphasizes that ensuring the
exercise of the right of peoples to peace demands that the policies
of States be directed towards the elimination of the threat of war,
particularly nuclear war, the renunciation of the use of force in
international relations and the settlement of international disputes
by peaceful means on the basis of the Charter of the United Nations;
This commitment is yet to be fulfilled.

(2) INTERNATIONAL DECADE FOR A CULTURE OF PEACE AND
NON- VIOLENCE FOR THE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD
In 2000 the International Year the UN, under Resolution 52/15,
proclaimed the year for the Culture of Peace and under resolution
53/25, proclaimed the period 2001-2010 as the International Decade
for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the
World.
The international community has passed the mid point of the decade
devoted to a culture of peace and non-violence, and yet we live at a
time when states have defied the rule of international law and the
fundamental purpose of the United Nations — to end the scourge of
war; a time when states have ignored Chapter VI of the Charter of the
United Nations – to settle disputes peacefully, and have failed to
seek advice from the International Court of Justice.
In these declarations there is an enlarged concept of peace and non-
violence for the children of the world. A culture of peace can only
be attained if there is compliance and implementation of years of
obligations under international conventions. It should be emphasized
that “all persons” includes the girl child. Therefore, all of the
instruments related to persons are applicable to the girl child.
States by not signing and ratifying the body of instruments have
deprived not only all persons but also the girl child of rights that,

if guaranteed, would bring the global community closer to the
eradication of violence and the prevention of the scourge of war.
This commitment is yet to be fulfilled.

(3) UNSC 1325 RESOLUTION ON WOMEN, PEACE, AND SECURITY.
Again in the year 2000, the UN Security Council incurred obligations
under UNSC 1325 Resolution on Women, Peace, and Security. In this
resolution, the members of the UN Security Council agreed to:
Reaffirming the important role of women in the prevention and
resolution of conflicts and in peace-building, and stressing the
importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all
efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security, and
the need to increase their role in decision-making with regard to
conflict prevention and resolution, This obligation is yet to be
fulfilled.

(4) YEARS OF INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS, TREATIES, AND COVENANTS
NEGOTIATED THROUGH THE UN SYSTEM
There is a sufficient body of UN conventions, covenants, and treaties

related to “true security”—Olof Palme’s common security – peace, environment,
human rights, and social justice that apply to all persons.
All of the following international agreements likewise pertain to
ensuring the rights of the girl child to a world free from violence:
from international instruments (i) to ensure social justice, such as

the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
(ICESCR); (ii) to guarantee civil and political rights, such as the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and
first and second optional protocol; (iii) to prevent discrimination
on any ground, such as the Convention on the Elimination of all
Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention for the Protection of
Migrant Workers and their Families, the Convention on Refugees, the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against
Women and its optional protocol, ILO 169 Convention on Indigenous
Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, etc. (iv) to
guarantee labour rights, such as those protected by International
Labour Organization agreements; (v) to protect the environment,
such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Framework
Convention on Climate Change and its protocol, the Basel Convention,
the Vienna Convention on the Depletion of the Ozone Layer, etc; (vi)
to prevent war and conflict and devastation resulting from
militarism, such as the Geneva Conventions and Protocols, the Treaty
on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and the Convention
on Certain Conventional Weapons, etc.;

to international instruments resulting from UN conferences´ action
plans and from declarations and resolutions adopted by the UN General
Assembly

In 2004, the UN listed human rights instruments and referred to a
chart of state compliance. The UN then declared that “as at 09 June
2004, all 191 Member States of the United Nations were a party to one
or more of these treaties.” Being a party to only one or some of the
treaties is not good enough. If the global community is to attain a
Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World, the
optional signing and ratifying of agreements is not sufficient. All
states must sign and ratify the conventions, treaties, and covenants
and enact the necessary legislation to ensure compliance.

B. ACTIONS PROPOSED TO WORK TOWARDS THE IMPLEMENTATION
OF THE CULTURE OF PEACE
In 2007, at the meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women, the

CSW should call upon the member states to do the following:
(1) strengthen the role of the established committees of experts
“treaty bodies” to monitor implementation of the wide range of
international instruments that would benefit humanity and
specifically the girl child;
(2) strengthen the role of the UN General Assembly, and invoke
Chapter VI of the Charter of the United Nations – – the peaceful
resolution of disputes; under Chapter VI, urge the UN and its
system to find ways to oblige states to go to the International Court

of Justice, respect the jurisdiction of that court, and act on its
decisions;
(3) call upon the UN General Assembly to grant more powers to
international organs such as UNDP, UNIFEM, UNESCO, UNEP, UNCHR,
etc., to inform states about precedents which bind states, so that
states do not continue to ignore precedents and agree to do less than
they are obliged to do;.
(4) call upon the UN General Assembly to invoke Article 22 of the
Charter of the United Nations and set up an international tribunal to
address “impunity and to prosecute those responsible for genocide,
crimes against humanity, war crimes including those relating to
sexual violence against women and girls, and in this regard, [stress]
the need to exclude these crimes, where feasible from amnesty
provisions” (SC 1325);
( 5) promote disarmament, and urge all states to sign and ratify
all of the five Geneva Protocols, end the production of arms
including cluster bombs and use of Depleted Uranium in munitions,
which will have long term health and environmental consequences for
children and the girl child, and institute a fair and just transition
program under the ILO for workers displaced by the transition;
(6) recognize the only way to prevent war and end violence against
children is to declare that, given the human, social, environmental ,
economic, and psychological irreversible consequences of war, under
no conditions or circumstances is war just or legal.