Event: Women’s Power to Stop War

To celebrate its centennial anniversary, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) is organizing a large-scale public conference on “Women’s Power to Stop War”.

WILPF 2015

Date: 27 to 29 April 2015

Venue: World Forum, The Hague, NL

Almost 100 years ago, more than a thousand women from twelve countries assembled in The Hague to protest against World War I and formulate conditions for a lasting peace. From this unique conference, of which Aletta Jacobs was one of the organizers, the WILPF originated.

Again in The Hague, WILPF will festively celebrate its 100th anniversary by the end of April 2015 in the form of an international congress at the Peace Palace (accessible for WILPF sections only) where a bust statue of Aletta Jacobs will be revealed, followed by a public conference.

This conference will cover a wide range of topics such as: Human Rights, Disarmament, Social and Economic Justice and Sustainability. These are dedicated to the promotion of peace and the eradication of violent conflicts. The three-day program consists out of several parts: plenary sessions, 40 workshops and roundtable discussions, international speakers, a market, exhibitions, public actions, a music festival and various creative activities.

Everyone is welcome to contribute a bit to a new peace agenda for the 21st century, tackling the very causes of violent conflicts. To register and for further information, click here.

A Wrong Turn for Human Rights

by David Tolbert*

A Palestinian woman reacts upon seeing her destroyed house in Beit Hanoun town

Gaza, August 2014

The world has plunged into a period of brutality, with impunity for the perpetrators of violence. Syria is suffering untold civilian casualties as a divided United Nations Security Council sits on the sidelines. Gaza was pummeled to dust yet again with the world watching on. Iraq is in flames, with no end in sight. Atrocities are mounting in South Sudan and the Central African Republic, which are also being swept by an epidemic of sexual violence. Even Europe is not immune: a civilian aircraft was shot down over a conflict zone in eastern Ukraine, and officials were prevented from investigating.

Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and more than a decade after the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC), shockingly little is being done to stop these abuses, and the prospects of the victims ever getting justice, let alone bringing the perpetrators to account, seem ever more remote.

For many years, the world seemed to be progressing toward greater recognition of human rights and demands for justice. As democracies emerged in Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe in the 1980s and 1990s, these issues assumed increasing importance. Although wars, conflicts, and atrocities continued, the global powers tried, and occasionally managed – albeit chaotically and usually late – to stop the killing. Continue reading