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July 25, 2007

Presentation of the Idea of Creating a WILPF Manifesto

100 Years of Work for Peace and Freedom - Where Do We Go From Here?
A draft proposal for the 100th anniversary of WILPF in 2015

Introduction by Samira Khoury.

Presentation of Edith Ballantyne's proposal by Felicity Hill
They created a video to introduce the proposal, but the projection equipment didn't work, so we listened to Edith's explanation.
This was done in conjunction with a 3 page proposal. Below are some excerpts from that proposal, along with some notes from the audio presentation.

Suggestion: spend 8 years creating a manifesto that explains what we're for as well as what we're against.

Who? The WILPF membership facilitated by a coordinating group made up of individuals with this as their major responsibility in WILPF.
WILPF has always been an organization that works to change policy and structure, rather than a funding organization or an aid organization. This idea is part of continuing that process.

What? An analytical and prescriptive Manifesto that includes (a)analysis of where we are today (b) articulation of alternative political, economic and social models for a sustainable future (c)concrete proposals for organising with others to achieve our vision.

When? A living process launched at the Bolivia Congress that incorporates current events, helps WILPF reflect and look forward to refine its position and role in the world, completed for our 100th anniversary in 2015.

Why? WILPF (and the broader peace and justice movement) needs clarity and a courageous and comprehensive vision to inform analysis and programme. The development of a Manifesto would be a school for learning and searching, for developing actions and not just reactions, and to help give our members the tools to assume the right and duty to take matters into their hands, and not be the victims of the "inevitable." WILPF needs to embark on a membership campaign, and this process should be part of that, inviting and attracting new members into WILPF to participate in not only timely analysis and discussion about current events, but also in action.

How? The project can succeed only through the participation of WILPF members and branches. They have to be involved in helping to develop the framework and in the ongoing discussion, search, outreach and action that will constitute the final text of the Manifesto. It means involvement from ground 0 to the finish in 2015. Clearly no member could be expected to commit herself for an eight-year period, but there should be commitment to complete a specific task and prepare for a successor. (There are further details on the How within the document.)

The Dutch Section: invited WILPF to hold its 100th anniversary celebration at The Hague and suggested that we invite government officials and UN officials to our 100th celebration / presentation of this Manifesto.

The German Section (presented by Irene Eckert): The German Section began thinking about this idea at their annual meeting earlier this year. Would like us to deal with the positives and negative aspects of our history. We should analyze the current global situation and figure out how we can be an effective, prominent women's Peace organization. We have to concentrate on the global state of affairs before we can focus on a plan of action. We cannot just focus on the disastrous situation, nor must we narrow down to the advantages for a handful of career women in parts of the world. Let's look at the unipolar world of US dominance, including the effort to marginalize the UN; so-called "security policies" such as the war on terrorism and the war on drugs. As the military has taken the logistic and financial lead in so-called conflict zones and the civil section has been losing its legitimacy. "Peace enforcement" by troops is a contradictory notion. We have to bear in mind the originally positive intention of the UN in SCR 1325. Privatization of warfare make it so that companies have a vested interest in continuing warfare because they make a profit off of it. The mass media in the hands of private companies poses a serious threat to the freedom of information. Women are being treated more disrespectfully than any other group not just in the media but in reality. Let us work together as daughters, mothers, and grandmothers and move forward

1. How will this help us with our work?
2. What are the essential elements of the Manifesto?
2. Any concerns?

Posted by cj at July 25, 2007 8:45 AM


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