Latest News

Press Conference at the Italian Chamber of Deputies: Nuclear Disarmament as a Human Right

18 March 2016

On 26 February, on the third anniversary of Stéphane Hessel’s death, Giovanna Pagani and Antonia Sani of WILPF Italy, took part at a press conference at the Italian Chamber of Deputies. Together with other members of the ‘exigent disarmists’, they laid claim to nuclear disarmament as a right of humanity.

At the event, Filiberto Zaratti (Left Ecology Freedom Party) and Roberto Cotti (5 Star Movement) reaffirmed that for the upcoming scheduled meetings – the signing ceremony of the Paris agreement on global warming (22 April in New York) and of the UN General Assembly (September –December 2016) – they will demand a serious commitment to nuclear disarmament by the Italian government. A commitment that must include the right to life of all humanity. “We must all be freed from the threat of global warming,” says the Charter that the French President François Hollande is bringing to the United Nations. However, there must also be a clear protection from nuclear threat, as indicated by the ‘motion Zaratti’ that the Chamber of Deputies approved last November.

The coming together of MP Zaratti and MP Cotti was significant in announcing a joint commitment to urge the Government to ratify and apply the Paris Agreement (the one approved at COP21 on 12 December 2015) with appropriate regulatory measures and with a new vision and policies for energy and peace.

Here it becomes important the deadline of the next UN General Assembly (September-December 2016) and the need to adopt the Charter proposed by President Hollande duly amended with reference to nuclear disarmament, as also voted by the Italian Parliament.

International law must move from condemning the use of nuclear weapons to condemning the possession of it, the so-called “deterrence”. The speakers present at the press conference – Alfonso Navarra, Giuseppe Bruzzone, Ennio La Malfa, Giovanna Pagani (WILPF) and Antonia Sani (WILPF) – confirmed that they are working to create the cultural base for this great legal progress and its practical consequences.

The Ambassador of Ecuador, also attending the press conference, intervened pointing out that on 15 December 2015, his country passed a resolution for outlawing nuclear weapons. At international conferences, Ecuador along with the other Latin American countries – already nuclear-free zone with the Tlatelolco Treaty – refers to nuclear disarmament as a “right.” Furthermore, the Ambassador reminded how Ecuador’s commitment to peace also implies recognising the rights of the Earth within the Constitution.

Giovanna Pagani and Antonia Sani highlighted the role of international civil society – in which women are the protagonists – for opening up the prospect of a ban on nuclear weapons. They reaffirmed the duty to demand nuclear disarmament as a right, not simply invoke it as a “need.” Ennio La Malfa from Kronos Academy also pointed out that there is a necessity to focus on the alternative between ‘war energy’ and ‘energy of peace.’

For more information contact:

Alfonso Navarra and Antonia Sani

Video of the press conference (in Italian)

To sign the petition of the right to disarmament (in Italian)

To sign the petition calling on the Italian Government to pursue total nuclear disarmament (in Italian)

Share the post

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

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Mauris facilisis luctus rhoncus. Praesent eget tellus sit amet enim consectetur condimentum et vel ante. Nulla facilisi. Suspendisse et nunc sem. Vivamus ullamcorper vestibulum neque, a interdum nisl accumsan ac. Cras ut condimentum turpis. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia curae; Curabitur efficitur gravida ipsum, quis ultricies erat iaculis pellentesque. Nulla congue iaculis feugiat. Suspendisse euismod congue ultricies. Sed blandit neque in libero ultricies aliquam. Donec euismod eget diam vitae vehicula. Fusce hendrerit purus leo. Aenean malesuada, ante eu aliquet mollis, diam erat suscipit eros, in.


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.

Skip to content