Programme Priorities for 2008-2010

  • Challenge Militarism: challenge security concepts, end conflicts and promote disarmament;
  • Invest in Peace: divert military resources to economic justice & environmental sustainability;
  • Strengthen the UN: increase awareness and engagement with our global peace organisation;
  • Build WILPF: invest in the next generation of WILPF activities towards our 100th anniversary.

Challenge Militarism: challenge security concepts, end current conflicts and promote disarmament

Objective: Provide WILPF and broader NGO community with information, evidence and lobbying tools for increased and focused protest of military security concepts, institutions and spending, and urging for human and economic resources to be converted to human, economic and environmental security needs.

Influence: Governments – on their national security concepts and expenditure, and their role in military alliances and other NGOs – to increase the number of organisations putting pressure on governments.

Make WILPF’s position clear through statements on conflicts, their causes and prevention:
In the coming period, International WILPF, working with sections and the Peace and Security Working Group, will increase our visibility by making statements that clarify our positions on specific conflict situations underway, emphasising the impact on women and their role in peace-building, expanding on the causes of conflict, and the financial, political, environmental and the opportunity costs from investing in war and not peace, in military security and not human security.

Send Fact Finding Missions to countries in conflict – issuing reports and recommendations:
  1. Take up opportunities to publicise the findings of the Colombia mission, at the Commission on the Status of Women and others. Follow up the recommendations of the mission to Colombia
  2. Undertake additional missions to the Israel/Palestine, Sri Lanka, Nepal, India and Cuba if finances allow.
Oppose military security structures and policies, support alternatives:
  1. Participate in the Abolition of Military Bases Network for closure of such bases around the world, holding the base occupier fully responsible for follow up cleaning and for refunding the population for health problems due to the destructive effects of their military presence;
  2. Disclose military spending, publicise figures, show the alternatives, utilize gender budgeting to compare military R&D compared to peace research budgets, Nordic Battle Group costs compared to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
  3. Support the anti-NATO efforts of some sections in the build up to the April 2008 Summit in Bucharest, and continue the linkage WILPF has always made with anti-NATO work to the need for the OSCE to be supported;
  4. Support efforts by the European sections to oppose the militarized security concept in the EU European Reform Treaty and the European Defence Agency which has implications for all conflict zones in which EU troops will be deployed in Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere;
  5. Increase the number of conflicts on which international WILPF is engaged. Currently WILPF is actively working on the conflicts in the Middle East, Colombia, Sri Lanka, and DRC. If Sections want International WILPF to expand this list, then expertise, guidance and strategic advice is required;
  6. Continue to monitor and advocate for disarmament through multilateral processes, including the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty and the Conference on Disarmament;
  7. Continue to participate in the International week to protest militarization of space. (October 2008).
Support Section’s Political lobbying, the Secretariat will:
  1. Draft lobbying letters, talking points and background information to enable Sections to ask questions of their governments and parliaments about military spending, and the reporting of it to the UN Arms and Military Spending register.
  2. Draft lobbying letters, talking points and background information to enable Sections to pressure for the Security Council to implement Article 26 of the UN Charter
  3. Create backgrounders on i) military spending, compare military spending to gender equality spending, opportunity cost disarmament and development ii) the so-called “War on Terror” and iii) deterrence (“Security for Whom?”);
  4. Support increased Section linkage with International WILPF projects on disarmament (Reaching Critical Will) and 1325 (PeaceWomen), by providing copies of statements made by the governments directly to Sections, continue monitoring and reporting on activities of the NPT, CD and General Assembly, highlight actions taken by WILPF sections on disarmament and 1325 in the regular newsletters going to thousands of NGOs, government representatives and UN officials.

Invest in Peace: Challenge corporate globalisation, divert military resources to economic justice & environmental sustainability

Objective: Increase tools and information available to WILPFers and other NGOs on the economic and environmental impact of the military, and make clearer the feasibility and urgent need to build a society built on economic cooperation not competition, on human rights not exploitation of human and financial resources, and responsible use of our finite environment.

Influence: Government policy on environmental sustainability issues, water, climate change, nuclear energy and production and consumption. NGOs and movements positions on corporate globalisation and economic models, on the WTO, GATT and regional trade agreements.

International WILPF with the Environment Working Group will:
  1. Continue the environment newsletter to expose and inform about the resource interests of the military industrial complex and the effect on people and the environment of wars and occupations and the un-sustainable production and consumption activities of the military-industrial complex
  2. Continue to contribute to and lobby around the Commission for Sustainable Development, CSD-16, in New York. In 2008 the main themes are Agriculture, Rural Development, Land, Drought, Desertification and Africa.
  3. Inform about the Climate Crisis and in particular the contribution of the military sector and the nuclear sector to it and be active in connection with international meetings on Climate in 2008 by making a statement on global warming that expose the myths and dangers both by nuclear power and biofuel;
  4. Continue to expose the root causes of conflicts around water by informing about the connection “women, water and war” and make a pamphlet on the situation in the Middle East in cooperation with the WILPF sections there during 2008, inform about the water experiences in Bolivia in cooperation with the Bolivian section 2008-2009
  5. Make a statement and a booklet on the different aspects of nuclear energy including; mining, the situation of indigenous peoples, the pollution, the health and the security problems, the connections with both nuclear and uranium weapons, the waste problems, the economy involved. 2008-2009;
  6. Make a statement on the connection between military, development and environment on the international environment day in June 2008;
  7. Survey all Sections about the environmental issues specific to their countries and identify any ongoing work/campaigns and sources of expertise/anecdotal information. We propose to make these known to all Sections, share good practice and to develop resolutions that will inform further action. We intend this to be a paper exercise conducted, where appropriate, by post not email.
International WILPF with the Economic Justice Working Group will:
  1. Continue to follow global trade institutions;
  2. Develop a statement on militarism and economic justice;
  3. Develop the export processing zones project and website – providing information about the labour rights and obligations of countries and corporations operating in these zones;
  4. Lobby for a resolution from the Economic and Social Council on women and trade;
  5. Engage in solidarity campaigns;
  6. Utilize gender budgeting tools in analysing economic justice.

Strengthen the United Nations system and multilateralism

From the outset WILPF called for an “organization of the society of nations” and in 1919 welcomed the establishment of the League of Nations and actively followed its work. In 1948, WILPF was in the first group of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to receive consultative status with the United Nations through the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), under Article 71 of the UN Charter, the entry point for NGOs. Since its establishment, WILPF has monitored and supported the United Nations, our world’s peace organisation, but has also often been critical when governments, who drive and comprise the UN, fail to uphold the spirit and letter of the UN Charter.

International WILPF’s objective in continuing to monitor and report on the UN is to stimulate discussion, awareness and a renewed commitment to the United Nations system and to increase WILPF’s coordinated engagement between the national sections and international offices with government policy at the General Assembly to promote increased compliance, respect and implementation for UN resolutions and treaties.

Influence: Government policy at the UN on WILPF issues and UN reform. WILPF and other NGOs to increase their knowledge, commitment, preparation and participation in UN meetings.

Our United Nations Office at UN Headquarters in New York is where information and coordinated lobbying around the UN is focused. Filling the post of Director of the UN Office by February 2008, and providing a thorough induction for that person is a major focus of the Executive Committee for 2007/8.

WILPF International working with the UNO Director, UN representatives and UN Special Advisor will:
  1. Generate a quarterly UN bulletin from the UN Office, UN representatives & project staff;
  2. Publish a double-page spread in each IPU on WILPF’s work at the UN;
  3. Publish a WILPF UN MAP – showing where WILPF sections governments are in the UN system, members of SC, HR Council etc.;
  4. Ensure that the projects, offices, & UN reps routinely send statements and updates to Sections when their governments make statements or state positions at the UN;
  5. Advocate for Security Council implementation of resolution 1325 and Article 26 of the Charter;
  6. Advocate for General Assembly support for a strong UN gender equality architecture, and make regular comments and provide analysis on the overall UN reform process;
  7. In New York monitor and report on the work of the Security Council, and the General Assembly, in particular the GA First Committee on international security and disarmament issues, and the GA Third Committee on social humanitarian and cultural issues, and the Commission on the Status of Women;
  8. In Geneva, present statements on human rights issues and conflict areas at the Human Rights Council and monitor the CEDAW Committee;
  9. Undertake a Fact Finding Mission to the UN, as a fun way to familiarise WILPF with the UN structures, departments, and WILPF demands on each UN body;
  10. Create a module or guide about organising an engagement with a government either around 1325, the General Assembly or another international meeting, including suggestions for how to involve other NGOs, a draft letter, preparing a statement / or / talking points, and how to follow up meetings.

4. Building WILPF

In order to advance our programme, aims and objectives, a strong, visible and vibrant membership is needed. Our membership is focused in the global north and only one section of WILPF is growing in numbers because a deliberate and focused effort has been made to invite and nurture new members participation, with specific materials and events developed which are working! In order to carry out our programme and ensure the sustainable future of WILPF, this kind of effort is needed on an organisational-wide basis, which is why ‘building WILPF’ is integrated into the programme itself.

The objective of the membership campaign materials is to provide an extra element that invites women to join WILPF, and provides information and entry points that support our growth. This greater effort to inform, excite and integrate new members is undertaken as we approach our 100th anniversary, which is an opportunity to highlight our significant contribution to many political advances made in the last century, to attract and influence more women to join our work for peace and freedom.

International WILPF will support the building of WILPF by:

Progressively building the WILPF birthday (28 April) as a routinely celebrated and known item on the political / NGO calendar:

  • Honour WILPF PeaceWomen with the WILPF PeaceWomen award (Peace Emmas!) on national & international level;
  • Increase the visits by WILPF members to each others sections, and from ExCom and staff, funding permitting;
  • Build plans, partners and relationships for 100th anniversary, not only an event in The Hague, but also in national and local centres, opening discussions with other women’s peace movements on a World Women’s Peace Summit during our 2015 Congress in the Hague.

Creating membership campaign materials for translation in various languages:

  • Stimulating discussion for slogans and images for our campaign materials and for the 100th anniversary;
  • Generating a leaflet template and / text for sections to develop – very generic – JOIN WILPF!
  • Leaflet on WILPF’s programme, projects and internship programme;
  • Leaflet on our Endowment – 1000 Women giving 1000 $ Euro or Francs;
  • 1 A 5 booklet – history, like Generations of Courage – this material will be the basis of the 100th anniversary website;
  • Postcard series one on IPU, 5 on our history and present;
  • Portable poster exhibition – 20 A2 posters with images and information – linked to the timeline – evenly distributed;
  • Web video – 10 minutes maximum;
  • Model press release and press pack for birthday celebration;
  • Create award plaque/object = “Peace Oscars” or Emmas!

Producing statements for WILPF members & sections to use:

  • 8 March – International Women’s Day;
  • 28 April – WILPF Birthday;
  • 24 May – Women’s Peace and Disarmament Day;
  • 20 June – International Refugee Day;
  • 31 July – African Women’s Day;
  • 21 September – International Day of Peace;
  • 24 October – UN Day;
  • 15 November – Palestinian Declaration of Independence
  • 25 November – 16 Days / End Violence Against Women;
  • 10 December – Human Rights Day.

Supporting the further development and inclusion of Y WILPF in all WILPF activities, encouraging all sections to appoint Y WILPF representatives, working with the Y WILPFers on information and outreach tools.

Supporting the Manifesto process: Encourage the formation of the core group and invite intellectuals, other NGOs, leaders, students to engage with our papers and ideas.

Reach out to women in regions and countries where WILPF is not present, cooperating with the strong women’s movements that exist and supporting the building of new sections and increased WILPF membership.

Producing International Peace Update more regularly, at least 3 times per year, expanding the subscriptions base.

Working towards the translation of the International website to French and Spanish, and other languages as possible, just as the PeaceWomen website is in several languages.