(Excerpt from the Huffington Post in which WILPF Secretary General Madeleine Rees is interviewed by "Huff Post Live" on the Syrian Peace Negotiations.)
Next month in Geneva, rebels will sit down to talk to representatives of President Bashar al-Assad's government about a peace plan to end Syria's civil war -- a conflict that has killed over 100,000 people since 2011 and driven a third of the population from their homes. In the room alongside the rebels and government officials will be a whole slew of negotiators from various Western countries and Russia. See more and watch the video of Madeleine Rees' interview.
by the Advancing Human Rights Issue Committee
Ensuring that women have better access to and control of natural resources such as land, water, forests, and minerals can improve the chances of long-term peace and recovery in war-torn countries, according to a new report released by the United Nations on Nov. 6.
“At a practical level, women form the majority of resource users and managers in peacebuilding settings, but this responsibility seldom translates to the political or economic levels. This has to change,” said Achim Steiner UN Under-Secretary-General and UNExecutive Director. “Part I of the report examines the EP relationship between women and natural resources in peacebuilding contexts, reviewing key issues across three main categories of resources: land, renewable and extractive resources.
Part II discusses entry points for peacebuilding practitioners to address risks and opportunities related to women and natural resource management, focusing on political participation, protection, and economic empowerment. This report was developed by the United Nations Environment UNEP, UN Women, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and UN Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO), whose members contributed critical guidance and expertise to the project.” —from Woman and Natural Resources: Unlocking the Peacebuilding Potential. Read the Executive Summary here . . .
by Nancy Price, Earth Democracy Issue Committee
Salt Lake City resident Raphael Cordray of Peaceful Uprising and Utah Tar Sands Resistance. The Grand America Hotel in the background is where the TPP delegates were meeting.
Ministers from the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries who believe that global trade will lift all boats convened in Asia from Dec. 3-10. More than 90 Indonesian organizations and social movements called for a Global Day of Action on Dec. 3, the WTO opening day, but these were not covered in the US corporate-owned media.
The 9th Ministerial Meeting of the WTO was held Dec. 3-6 in Bali, Indonesia. With little success over the past 12 years, this meeting was crucial to the future of global trade and to head off possible WTO collapse in favor of the two large regional trade agreements now under negotiation: the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and The Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) between the US and 28 EU countries.
The TPP Ministers met in Singapore Dec. 7-10 after the secret preparatory meeting of chief negotiators and experts before Thanksgiving in Salt Lake City, where local groups and the Backbone Campaign organized street protests, Teach-Ins, and evening light-shows. Read more . . .
by Odile Hugonot Haber, Co-Chair, MIddle East Issue Committee
Two WILPF women have just returned from the Haifa, Israel and the International Conference for a Middle East Free of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Odile Hugonot-Haber, representing the Middle East Issue Committee, and Jackie Cabasso, representing DISARM/End Wars, will be available to WILPF-US Branches and their communities with action tools for all of us in the months ahead.
The Haifa conference was organized by a preparatory committee including former members of the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) and dedicated Israeli anti-nuclear and human rights activists.
Iranʼs nuclear policy has raised the issue of nuclear policy in the Middle East as a whole, including that of Israel itself. Read more . . .
by Marie-Louise Jackson-Miller on behalf of the WILPF-US Nominating Committee
The Nominating Committee is excited to seek applicants among our members to serve on the WILPF-US Board. Let us know if you are interested in this opportunity by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are due by Jan. 1, 2014. If you would like to encourage a colleague or friend in WILPF to apply to our board, please nominate them! Board applications and nominating forms can be found on our website under Leadership Opportunities. It is good practice to contact the person you’d like to nominate and let them know your plans.
Our WILPF-US board positions include: president or team of two co-presidents for a term of two years; secretary for a term of one year; treasurer for a term of three years; two program committee chairs – 1st place candidate will serve a three-year term and 2nd place candidate will serve a one-year term; personnel committee chair for a term of three years; development committee chair for a term of two years; nominating committee chair for a term of two years; membership development committee chair for a term of three years; and two at-large board members – 1st place candidate will serve two years and 2nd place candidate will serve one year. After these initial staggered terms are completed, all subsequent terms will be three years. Brief descriptions of these positions can be found in our WILPF Bylaws on our website. Read more . . .
A Recap of the Drone Summit in Washington, D.C. Nov. 16-17, 2013
by Marjorie Van Cleef, DISARM/End Wars Issue Committee
Code Pink organized the weekend meeting on weaponized drones, attended by over 300 people, with five WILPFers among them. Panels included speakers who presented information on the legal questions regarding drone use in warfare, guests from Yemen who reported on the effects of drone attacks in their communities, even though the US is not at “war” with Yemen. Representatives from Germany, UK, Israel, discussed the proliferation of drones in their countries. The UK, Israel, and the US are the manufacturers at this time. Two women from Afghanistan and two former US military personnel discussed their differing view of the drone war. The film “Wounds of Waziristan” is highly recommended.
Sunday was spent in well attended organizing workshops—how and where do we influence the military, manufacturers, researchers, politicians who participate, promote and profit from drone attacks. It's clear we have a major challenge to stop this “war on terrorism,” the given rationale for drone attacks. Read more . . .
by Rita Maran, WILPF-US member
WILPF-US member Rita Maran attended the 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, held March 2013 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. She has kindly shared this extensive report of her experience.
In 2014, WILPF welcomes the following Local2Global program participants:
Leila Dabbagh of Bloomington, Indiana