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2016 in Review: UN General Assembly Decides to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons

24 December 2016

On 27 October 2016, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons in 2017. 123 states voted in favour of the resolution, with 38 against and 16 abstaining. This feat represents a meaningful advancement towards the elimination of nuclear weapons.

It also represents a revolt of the vast majority of states against the violence, intimidation, and injustice perpetuated by those supporting these weapons of mass destruction. It is the result of several years of concerted advocacy by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), of which WILPF is a steering group member, and the dedication of a group of states to finally make progress on nuclear disarmament despite the intransigence of those who possess nuclear weapons.

What’s next?

Negotiations on the ban treaty will be held from 27–31 March and 15 June–7 July 2017 in New York. Ahead of and during the negotiating conference, WILPF will be working with our partners in ICAN, other civil society and international organisations, and governments to ensure the development and adoption of the strongest possible treaty. We will provide information, expertise, and analysis; we will monitor and report on the negotiations; we will coordinate civil society involvement; and we will work with partners around the world to raise awareness and ensure the ban treaty’s effectiveness!

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WILPF Afghanistan

In response to the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban and its targeted attacks on civil society members, WILPF Afghanistan issued several statements calling on the international community to stand in solidarity with Afghan people and ensure that their rights be upheld, including access to aid. The Section also published 100 Untold Stories of War and Peace, a compilation of true stories that highlight the effects of war and militarisation on the region. 

IPB Congress Barcelona

WILPF Germany (+Young WILPF network), WILPF Spain and MENA Regional Representative

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Demilitarisation

WILPF uses feminist analysis to argue that militarisation is a counter-productive and ill-conceived response to establishing security in the world. The more society becomes militarised, the more violence and injustice are likely to grow locally and worldwide.

Sixteen states are believed to have supplied weapons to Afghanistan from 2001 to 2020 with the US supplying 74 % of weapons, followed by Russia. Much of this equipment was left behind by the US military and is being used to inflate Taliban’s arsenal. WILPF is calling for better oversight on arms movement, for compensating affected Afghan people and for an end to all militarised systems.

Militarised masculinity

Mobilising men and boys around feminist peace has been one way of deconstructing and redefining masculinities. WILPF shares a feminist analysis on the links between militarism, masculinities, peace and security. We explore opportunities for strengthening activists’ action to build equal partnerships among women and men for gender equality.

WILPF has been working on challenging the prevailing notion of masculinity based on men’s physical and social superiority to, and dominance of, women in Afghanistan. It recognizes that these notions are not representative of all Afghan men, contrary to the publicly prevailing notion.

Feminist peace​

In WILPF’s view, any process towards establishing peace that has not been partly designed by women remains deficient. Beyond bringing perspectives that encapsulate the views of half of the society and unlike the men only designed processes, women’s true and meaningful participation allows the situation to improve.

In Afghanistan, WILPF has been demanding that women occupy the front seats at the negotiating tables. The experience of the past 20 has shown that women’s presence produces more sustainable solutions when they are empowered and enabled to play a role.

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