September 27, 2016 — As the end of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s term approaches, global women peacemakers urge him to leave a legacy of peace for the Korean Peninsula by using his power to initiate a peace process to replace the 63-year old Armistice Agreement that halted the 1950-53 Korean War with a binding peace accord.
What: Press Conference by Co-organized by Women Cross DMZ & WILPF. Speakers include:
• Cora Weiss, President, Hague Appeal for Peace (USA)
• Kozue Akibayashi, President, WILPF (Japan)
• Suzy Kim, Professor of Korean History, Rutgers University (USA)
When: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 11 a.m. Eastern Standard Time
Where: Church Center for the United Nations, 8th Floor, Boss Room 777 United Nations Plaza (corner of 1st Ave and 44th Street)
In an open letter signed by over 100 prominent women from 35 countries including many that participated in the Korean War, women leaders urge Ban to definitively deliver on a commitment he made in 2007, “Beyond a peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue with North Korea, we should aim to establish a peace mechanism, through transition from armistice to a permanent peace regimen.” The proposed working group must have a significant representation of women, pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
“The Secretary-General has the opportunity to build on his legacy as the world's most important peacemaker,” says Cora Weiss. “Mr. Ban can demonstrate that nuclear threats can be met with a diplomatic recipe of engagement, lifting sanctions, and promise of trade and aid, in exchange for North Korea giving up its nuclear ambition.”
“The only so-called communication now taking place among Pyongyang, Seoul and Washington is in the form of nuclear tests, B-1 bombers, and threats of surgical strikes,” says Kozue Akibayashi, WILPF International President.
“This dangerous situation which threatens everyone in the region necessitates dialogue, especially the voices of women peacemakers.” After claiming four million lives, the Korean War was halted on July 27, 1953 when military leaders from the United States, North Korea and China signed the Armistice Agreement and promised to return within three months to work out a peace deal. Suzy Kim, Rutgers University Professor, explains, “The dangerous brinkmanship we witness today, from nuclear weapons tests to military exercises, stems from the historic fact that a peace treaty was never signed.”
Women leaders call on Secretary-General Ban to take steps now to formally end the Korean War with a peace treaty, which would lead to greater security, not only in Korea, but also globally by countering the escalating militarization in the region and the proliferation of nuclear weapons.