Celebrating Feminists’ Voices, Inspiring Global Peace

Action on Disarmament Now Key in Sustainable Development Discussions for Peace

18 June 2015

As September draws closer, we are coming to the final stages of negotiations over the Post2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Financing for Development, which will guide the next fifteen years of development planning.

Next week, on 22-25 June, governments will begin to negotiate the Zero Draft of the Outcome Document for the Post-2015 Development Agenda, which was released on 2 June. The final framework – including a declaration, goals, and follow up and review framework – will be adopted in final form in New York in at a General Assembly high level summit 25-27 September.

As this process continues, WILPF continues our call to promote a conflict prevention approach to development and to remind states that integrating women’s human rights and disarmament into the final framework and financing will be critical for sustainable development and peace.

For PeaceWomen blog

Zero Draft Leaves Disarmament as Key Gap

WILPF is joining our coalitions, the Post-2015 Women’s Coalition and the Women’s Major Group, in welcoming the attention to gender equality and peace in the Zero Draft but bringing attention to outstanding gaps which must be addressed in the final framework and financing mechanism to ensure women’s rights, sustainable development and peace.

While the draft framework continues to include a stand-alone goal on gender equality (goal 5) and on stable and peaceful societies (goal 16), its voluntary follow up mechanisms, disconnect from existing human rights monitoring mechanisms, and restricted targets and indicators fail to capture the ambition needed for transformative change. A key gap is its failure to build in the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in demanding a reduction and redirection of military spending into gender equitable social development.

WILPF is supporting a campaign led by the World Future Council/International Peace Bureau that demands a reduction in military spending to free up resources for sustainable development. The campaign specifically recommends that the final outcome document of the Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa include language on reducing and reallocating military budgets to fund the SDGs. It also recommends the establishment of an expert inter-agency working group, within the context of the UN High-Level Political Forum, to develop a roadmap to realise such a reduction.

What Next?

The next few months provide several critical opportunities for NGOs and civil society to engage in crafting the Post-2015 Agenda.

The Intergovernmental Negotiations on the Outcome Document 22-25 June and the High Level Political Forum 26 June – 8 July are the final stages of the SDG drafting process before they are adopted in September. The 3rd Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, 13-16 July will also be critical in crafting a financing agenda for implementation.

Raise your voice! Join the campaign.

Push your governments to commit to reducing military spending and redirecting those resources to gender equitable social development. Join other civil society partners in financing discussions and bring attention to disarmament financing. Remind policymakers that there can be no development without disarmament and women’s human rights!

Read Post2015 Women’s Coalition response here >>

Read Women’s Major Group “10 Red Flags” on the Zero Draft here >> female wrestling

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Melissa Torres


Prior to being elected Vice-President, Melissa Torres was the WILPF US International Board Member from 2015 to 2018. Melissa joined WILPF in 2011 when she was selected as a Delegate to the Commission on the Status of Women as part of the WILPF US’ Practicum in Advocacy Programme at the United Nations, which she later led. She holds a PhD in Social Work and is a professor and Global Health Scholar at Baylor College of Medicine and research lead at BCM Anti-Human Trafficking Program. Of Mexican descent and a native of the US/Mexico border, Melissa is mostly concerned with the protection of displaced Latinxs in the Americas. Her work includes training, research, and service provision with the American Red Cross, the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Centre, and refugee resettlement programs in the U.S. Some of her goals as Vice-President are to highlight intersectionality and increase diversity by fostering inclusive spaces for mentorship and leadership. She also contributes to WILPF’s emerging work on the topic of displacement and migration.

Jamila Afghani


Jamila Afghani is the President of WILPF Afghanistan which she started in 2015. She is also an active member and founder of several organisations including the Noor Educational and Capacity Development Organisation (NECDO). Elected in 2018 as South Asia Regional Representative to WILPF’s International Board, WILPF benefits from Jamila’s work experience in education, migration, gender, including gender-based violence and democratic governance in post-conflict and transitional countries.

Sylvie Jacqueline Ndongmo


Sylvie Jacqueline NDONGMO is a human rights and peace leader with over 27 years experience including ten within WILPF. She has a multi-disciplinary background with a track record of multiple socio-economic development projects implemented to improve policies, practices and peace-oriented actions. Sylvie is the founder of WILPF Cameroon and was the Section’s president until 2022. She co-coordinated the African Working Group before her election as Africa Representative to WILPF’s International Board in 2018. A teacher by profession and an African Union Trainer in peace support operations, Sylvie has extensive experience advocating for the political and social rights of women in Africa and worldwide.

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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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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