“Leadership is about vision. The strong look to the long term and in the long term we want and need peace. We need an end to surrogate wars, resource wars justified by counter terrorism; all wars! Strength is in upholding law, not breaking it, as happens time and time again with the extra judicial killings, torture and illegal wars. We have to believe in what we have built over the decades of law and institution building, the knowledge that we have, the lessons of colonialism, and the process of ‘othering’.

Yes we can bring war criminals to justice, on all sides, we can have accountability, we can rebuild broken communities. But we can never do that with militarism and violence. To our leaders we say: show wisdom and the courage to be visionaries, to eschew the militarized responses, which lead to more deaths – everywhere. Be imaginative, bring in the voices of the non-violent, make sure women are included (representative not tokenists).

We want a peace conference, not a war council,”  writes Madeleine Rees, Secretary General of WILPF, in an op-ed published on Huffington Post on the latest terrorist attacks.

Please read the full op-ed: It Must Not End in War… and It Doesn’t Have to on Huffington Post.