For more information contact Marte Hellema +31641218172

New York
Monday 24 October 2011

International women peace activists from Fiji, Georgia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and the Philippines gathered in New York on the heels of the Occupy Wall Street Movement are determined to monitor and intervene in the UN Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security this Friday. On the eve of the UN debate, a roundtable discussion will reaffirm their claim that it is time to invest in non violence not militarization:

“Friday’s Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security must address the fundamental concern that militarization and the maintenance of large military arsenals have intensified since 9/11,” says Nighat Said Khan a prominent feminist activist and academic in Pakistan and a founder of the Women's Action Forum, “Increasingly human security is subsumed under national security with the military demanding a blank cheque”.

“We support the call from OWS to cut the US military budget of $700 billion to more than half to respond to the urgent need to address the national economic deficit, to provide jobs, health services, education and food security,” says Sharon Bhagwan Rolls, the Fiji based Executive Director of FemLINKPACIFIC, “A cut from 700 billion to 300 billion would mean an economy of 400 billion dollars per year. 4 trillion dollars in ten years. That's a lot of money to be able to respond to people first.”

“Like OWS our Roundtable on Thursday October 27th will be bringing the value of collective activism to the forefront. Friday’s Open Debate must address why women’s participation, empowerment and inclusion can build more secure, interconnected and just communities “says Canadian community radio activist Sophie Toupin,” It is about economic justice and human security. It is about political security and human rights.

We, as members of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), are calling for the United Nations and all Member States to enhance implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in the wake of the recent awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2011.  It is time to uphold the non-violent struggle for the safety of women, and our right to full participation in peace-building.

“This is indeed encouraging. However simply awarding 3 women is not enough,” says Nana Berekashvili from the Georgian based International Center on Conflict and Negotiation, “There must be greater investment in and recognition of women across the world working to make change, to transform violent situations through peaceful means. This Friday’s event also  reminds us that there is a nexus between peace and human security.”

****Public Roundtable Information: Thursday, October 27, from 3:30 – 6:00 p.m., on the 10th Floor of the United Nations Church Center at 777 United Nations Plaza will present concrete conclusions from the "Taking Women Beyond 1325" discussions in New York.  For more information contact Marte Hellema +31641218172***
Sharon Bhagwan Rolls
Suva, Fiji Islands

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