Together we are strong! By Yusur Al Bahrani
It has been almost two months since the United Nation’s 57th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 57), but I am still nostalgic. The experience has been very rich and it is inspiring me everyday. I would not have gone to UN’s CSW 57, if the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace (VOW) hasn’t given me the opportunity to be part of the team of participants.
Months ago, before taking this spectacular trip to UN, attending CSW was a mere dream for me. I would always follow the decisions, resolutions, conclusions, or recommendations that come up after meetings at UN in New York, but I never knew that I could attend any of those meetings or even join the discussions that lead to those resolutions.
There are many exciting things to be shared regarding our trip to UN. However, there is one thing that I believe is very important to be shared. If you are a peace activist and you are passionate about a certain issue, you must participate in CSW and other similar events. Since years ago, I have been very passionate about the Arms Trade Treaty, believing that a treaty would make the human rights conditions better in many places. Countries signing the treaty, promise that arms exported or imported would not be used to violate human rights. Whether countries (that agreed) abide by those or not, they could be held responsible under the treaty. During the CSW, I attended non-governmental organizations meeting about the Arms Trade Treaty. Although it was not part of CSW, I could attend it because I am a member of VOW. I joined the discussion, and raised my concerns.
The Arms Trade Treaty was passed! I was very excited and extremely happy. I was also very pleased that I was part of the planning meeting. If you happen to be at the commission, there could be very important events that you might want to join, just like what I did.
The other extremely very important thing that made my experience very rich is meeting like-minded women from all over the world. Those women are just like us, passionate about peace-making, women’s rights and children’s rights. They were very interested in our VOW statement and petition (calling to abolish war). Building a network is very important as every one of us has something to share, and together we can make our world a better place with no wars, violence, or poverty.
I decided to participate in every CSW whenever possible. Together we are strong!