The International Secretariat asks for all sectionsâ€™ support to make sure that Syrian women are included at the negotiation table for the proposed (and continually delayed) talks to end the horrific warfare in Syria. WILPF International Secretariat has been working with Syrian women to assist them with advocacy for a non-violent solution. In this endeavor, WILPF is using all available international channels including UN human right bodies such as the Human Rights Council and CEDAW Committee, as well as advocacy with member States. The Secretariat asks that all members write to our political representatives to urge them to bring all parties to the negotiating table and to include women in all delegations. Secretariat has drafted a template letter signed by Secretary General Madeleine Rees that all members can use and modify according to their needs. In particular, the Costa Rica Section of WILPF asks WILPF, US members to pressure our government to not back the Assad regime and make sure that humanitarian aid not be sent through the regime but directly to the war zones, as the regime only distributes aid to the areas under its control.
Dear IB members and Sections,
You will have seen that there continues to be little or no movement in organising the talks to end the horrific warfare being conducted in Syria. It was proposed for Nov. 23, this became December and now its being pushed back to January next year. Meanwhile the fighting between government forces and opposing groups continues to escalate, including in densely populated areas, causing widespread death, injury, and displacement. The UN estimates that more t
han 100,000 people have been killed. Deaths arising as an indirect consequence of the conflict will be even higher, particularly as winter and the lack of sufficient humanitarian assistance take their toll.
WILPF International Secretariat has been working with Syrian women to assist them with advocacy for a non-violent solution. In this endeavor, WILPF is using all available international channels including UN human right bodies such as the Human Rights Council and CEDAW Committee, as well as advocacy with member States. We continue to provide technical support on various aspects relating to working in humanitarian emergencies, transitional justice, documentation and participation in peace talks.
The UK has made it clear that women must be at the table for the peace talks, not in the corridors or in the margins, but at the table. This is good and as it should be. We know from experience and history that if women are NOT a part of peace negotiations, then the peace will reflect the power dynamics of conflict and will ultimately fail.
UN Security Council resolution 1325 and now the latest resolution, 2122 insist on women’s participation. We now need to make sure that States comply.
We need your support to make sure that women are heard at the Syrian peace negotiations!
At the Secretariat we are engaging with the missions here but we cannot do it without our WILPF sections engaging with governments on a national level!
We need you to write to your political representatives, lobby your governments, get your national media’s attention to the problem, harness your social media and do whatever else is needed to do to broadcast and get our message through. WILPF's message is:
- The parties must be brought to table for serious negotiation to stop the conflict.
- That women have to be present and play a role in the delegations.
- That there has to be gender expertise in the delegation that is open to having civil society representatives.
- That the women of Syria have to be present and shall have a voice in the negotiations themselves.
We have already posted an article on this issue on the International WILPF website. For more details please read, First Step Forward to Ensure Syrian Women's Participation. In addition, we include a letter template about Syria and the Geneva II peace talks with Madeleine Rees' signature to give to your national governments/representatives etc. Please feel free to customize it for your national governments by altering the wording and adding your own signatures.
Together, we can do this. Together, we can get women into the Geneva II peace talks.
The International Secretariat