WILPF at CSW59: Beijing Peace Train

Friday, March 13, 2015
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
General Women, Peace and Security
United Nation Theme: 

Panellists: Robin Lloyd, Chair of WILPF US Development Committee; Ms Regina Birchem, former WILPF International President; Ms Litha Musyimi-Ogana, Africa Women’s Peace Train Story to Beijing & Beyond; Ida Harslof, WILPF Norway; Zora Radosevich and Reshma Pattni, New Moon Magazine for Girls and Girls International Forum. 

Organised by: WILPF


In commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, WILPF-US hosted Beijing Peace Train and Beyond. WILPFers shared memories and testimonials of the Beijing Train which traveled from Helsinki, Finland to Beijing, China for the Fourth World Conference of Women.  

After an introduction by the moderator Ms. Lois A. Herman, the Coordinator of the Women’s UN Report Network (WUNRN), who noted that this was the first Beijing Peace Train panel to held at the United Nations, Ms. Robin Lloyd, Chair of the the WILPF US Development Committee presented an excerpt of her film on the Peace Train and the Fourth World Conference. The film comprised amazing footage of the women on the peace train and gave a background of how the concept of a ‘peace train’ from Helsinki to Beijing was developed. 

Ida Harslof gave her presentation next and  through a series of pictures recalled her experience on the peace train and explained the artwork she did for WILPF at this time. Of the peace train, she recalled, “we got to know each other and connect with each other….every time we passed borders we would be wakened by a policeman saying “passports please!””  The first stop of the peace train was St. Petersburg, Russia, then stops were made in Kiev, Ukraine; Romania and; Istanbul, Turkey before moving on to Beijing. 

After a presentation by Ms. Angela Dolmetsch on the Peace Train 10 workshops with Global Women, Ms. Litha Musyimi-Ogana then described how African women joined the journey to Beijing. They planned a similar ‘peace train’ from Kampala, Uganda to Johannesburg, South Africa and from there, the women would fly to Beijing.

Before a time of audience reflection, Zora Radosevich and Reshma Pattni, explained that New Moon Magazine for Girls and Girls International Forum had the only girls’ delegation to the Beijing Conference. Pattni, who was one of these ‘girl delegates’ in 1995 reflected on her experience through a series of photographs. 

The event was then closed by Ms. Regina Birchem, former WILPF international President.