FIJI: YWCA Members Mobilize For Peace

Tuesday, January 6, 2009
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Peace Processes

Members of the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) in Suva are rallying together to convene a peace vigil to amplify the collective call for peace in The Middle East - Peace in the World.

The Peace Vigil will be staged from 1230 to 2pm on Thursday 8th January at the Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral in Suva is an opportunity for a multi-faith response by women and men committed to building just and sustainable peace says Suva YWCA President Tauga Vulaono-Nacanaitaba:

"Many people around the world are living in the middle of wars, and are calling out for peace and justice. The peace vigil is our way of expressing solidarity with those people. We will also be praying for the world and for Fiji".

The vigil is also in response to a call to action by member associations of the World YWCA for the YWCA of Palestine who will be staging a candle light vigil on January 8th in commemoration of the victims of the recent attacks Gaza and for a non violent approach to bring about lasting peace in the Middle East.

This initiative builds on the long and rich history of the YWCA in Fiji and Pacific advocating for Equality, Peace, Justice and Human Rights.

The World YWCA has said that both Hamas and Israel must cease attacks and begin dialogue to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict. The World YWCA adopted two resolutions at its Council in July 2007 that mandate the organisation to work towards peace and security in the Middle East through monitoring and promoting the UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women, war and peace, which specifically addresses the impact of war on women, and women's contributions to conflict resolution and sustainable peace. A second resolution calls on the YWCA movement to promote negotiations for a just and sustainable settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and elimination of military occupation of Middle East territories.

And according to PPSEAWA President and Suva YWCA member Mavis Toganivalu Clerke: "We stand in solidarity for Peace as we will remember the innocent victims of greed, economic, political and social destruction in this world. Let us allow " Peace To Begin With Me " for love and kindness have a far greater influence than punishment upon the improvement of human character"

And in solidairty for the Palestine YWCA initiative on January 8th femLINKPACIFIC is calling on all Fiji Islanders to light a candle for peace: "Let us take time to reflect from our own faith experiences the need for non violent approaches to achieve sustainable peace - from our homes and communities and throughout the world. Let us take time to reflect how as a result of political conflicts women and children face the brunt of violence as well as economic insecurities, " says Coordinator Sharon Bhagwan Rolls, who is also a member of the Suva YWCA "This is also a critical time in our own country to reaffirm the need for peace and a just solution to our own political crisis, and women must have an opportunity to take up their rightful place in also determining the way forward."

Bhagwan-Rolls adds that Peacewomen are hopeful that Pacific Leaders, including Fiji, which has been a long time troop contributing country for peacekeeping efforts in the Middle East, will also come out strongly to support the United Nations efforts for diplomatic and non violent interventions to bring about an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.