WILPF at CSW59: PeaceWomen Meet and Greet

Tuesday, March 10, 2015
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
General Women, Peace and Security
United Nation Theme: 

Maria Butler opened the event with a brief introduction of WILPF’s work and the momentous year ahead. After contextualising the WPS Agenda in post-2015, she shared some of WILPF’s highlights this year, including the launch of Peace Women’s new website and the WILPF100 Conference in April.

Madhuri Sastry led an energiser, “Yes, because” to spark conversation and create a safe space for discussion. The theme of the energiser was women and peace, and began with the phrase, “women have the power to stop war…” and the next participant followed up with, “yes, because…” linking to the previous statement. Each peace women leader added their own personal flair, leading to excited conversation, long applauses and a sense of shared empowerment.

Maria Butler followed up by introducing WILPF branches from around the world, and provided them the opportunity to share their country highlights. Australia’s delegation spoke on the difficulty of producing real action on Resolution 1325 from politicians and the lack of civil society consultation after the initial phase. They noted that the Australian NAP was only adopted in March 2012, and the NAP document devotes considerable attention to what Australia has already been doing to support the full implementation of Resolution 1325. However, WILPF Australia continues to hold politicians accountable, and will be hosting a parallel WILPF 100 Conference in Australia. Further, YWILPF continues to engage with young Australians to broaden the movement.

Kozue Akibayashi, from WILPF Japan, gave an engaging history of disarmament in Japan. She relayed that despite Article 9 of the Japanese constitution, forbidding a standing military, this has been effectively nullified since 1954. Despite Japan overturning its ban on military fighting overseas in recent years, the public still believes that Japan does not have military capability. This makes any real action or discussion on disarmament particularly challenging.

Robin Lloyd and Mary Harrison, from WILPF US, gave a broad overview of the history of WILPF. After the country highlights, participants mingled and engaged in a number of the inclusive activities: a video, photo-booth and community art project.