Abolishing Arms: From New York to Geneva

Written by: Cristina Chahine and Shafferan Sonneveld

For us at the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), it is clear: there can be no peace or development without disarmament and women's full and equal participation and human rights. This month, we shed light on the need for disarmament at three separate events – two in New York and one in Geneva.

New York
On the morning of March 11, WILPF Nigeria's Joy Onyesoh and WILPF's Reaching Critical Will (RCW) Director Ray Acheson spoke on the panel of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) 58 event “Nuclear Proliferation and the Peace and Security Agenda: the Challenges it Poses for the MDGs for Women and Girls in Africa.” The event examined how African women's engagement in the nuclear weapons discourse can set the agenda for a global movement working towards the prospects of a ban on nuclear weapons and examined the challenges that nuclear proliferation poses to development.

On the same morning, WILPF hosted the CSW 58 event titled “No Development without Disarmament”, bringing together regional and global perspectives on women's peace activism to discuss how to strengthen an integrated approach to peace as part of a post-2015 development agenda. According to WILPF Secretary General Madeleine Rees, an integrated approach that prevents conflict by reducing militarism and arms and strengthening women's participation and rights is critical to sustainable development and peace. Read the summary of this event here >>>

On the occasion of International Women's Day, WILPF attended the Conference of Disarmament (CD) in Geneva to give a civil society statement. On behalf of WILPF's RCW, Mia Gandenberger reminded States that disarmament treaties should “prevent civilian casualties, prevent humanitarian catastrophes, and should prevent armed violence and escalation of armed conflicts.” Read the summary of this event here >>>

As we continue to advocate for disarmament, WILPF calls to include the issue of disarmament in the post-2015 development framework as essential for achieving sustainable development. For more information on how to get involved, see the website of WILPF's Disarmament Programme, RCW.