Omnibus Resolution on Militarism
22 August 2018
Call for Actions in Solidarity for all WILPF Sections, Groups, and members to organise and campaign, where appropriate and relevant in their regions, against acts of violence and aggression by working to formally dismantle the industries that contribute to war and conflict, and negative environmental factors arising out of misplaced governmental priorities and contributing violations of human rights and degradation of the human condition.
RESOLUTION ON MILITARISM AND DISARMAMENT as these issues affect the environment, governmental and corporate priorities, human rights obligations and the resultant migratory movements of populations fleeing and populations accepting those displaced, noting disproportionately gendered violence.
Our long and noble history has consistently drawn attention to the links between systems of injustice, inequality, racism, militarism, and patriarchy as fuelling global and individual insecurity. We have been the linking voice reminding that violence kills, displaces and negatively impacts all of humanity; that militarism is deforming our societies, violating rights, irreversibly damaging our environment, and devastating public health; and that the economy of war and economic warfare puts profits over people and over the planet.
Now, more than ever, when the global arms trade is valued at over 375 billion USD per year and global military spending as a whole reached 1.68 trillion USD in 2017, our founding cry is palpably relevant.
We must oppose the continued existence, possession, testing, development, modernisation, and potential of, or threat of, using nuclear weapons due to their catastrophic, intergenerational humanitarian and environmental consequences. Having witnessed the recent uses of chemical weapons, as well as ongoing use of incendiary weapons, depleted uranium, and other toxic materials that lead to human suffering and environmental contamination, we must stand up against such acts. We must double our efforts for disarmament when conventional weapons, especially small arms and light weapons, are being used to perpetrate acts of sexual or gender-based violence as a tactic of war to deliberately target civilians.
We must renew the energy and zeal of our fore-mothers while the terrifying and continued development of technologies of violence and increasing weaponisation of technology, including armed drones, autonomous weapons, and cyber technologies, looms large on our horizon.
It is vital that we condemn and counteract the role that heavily militarised governments play in supporting human rights abusers around the world, leading to human security disasters.
We know that foreign military bases are the principal instruments of imperial global domination and primary causes of devastating environmental and health impacts through wars of aggression and occupation. We know that acts of gender-based violence, including sexual violence, are common in and around foreign military bases and we know that the United States maintains the highest number of military bases outside of its territory (approximately 95% of all foreign military bases). Thus, we must campaign for an end of military bases and support the work of the international coalition against military bases.
War, along with military production, consumption, and exercises, are intensive greenhouse gas-emitting accelerators of climate change, which is an inherent factor in global harm, displacement of peoples, and conflict; therefore, it is a direct violence in itself.
We are all too familiar with military requisites for raw materials, leading to exploitative extraction and transportation through an expansive global supply chain and contributing to climate change as well as protections for multinational corporations.
The connections between militarism, environmental degradation, and resource conflicts are rife, escalating, and rapacious. We must renew our condemnations of these aggressive policies while elevating and unifying our calls for renewable energy strategies and implementation in accordance with the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
It is time to act in the spirit of our heritage, our intentions, and our most passionate beliefs.
On this basis, the 32nd Triennial Congress of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, meeting 20–22 August 2018 in Accra, Ghana, invites WILPF Sections, Groups, and members to:
Highlight the connections between militarised masculinities and the use and proliferation of weapons;
Call on all governments to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), and work to ensure their own government joins, implements, and promotes the Treaty;
Call on governments and civil society entities to divest their funds from nuclear weapons, to encourage universalisation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, to demand an end to nuclear weapon modernisation, and to pursue other effective measures for nuclear disarmament;
Urge governments to redirect funds spent on weapons and war to meet human and environmental needs, including those set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
Urge all governments to sign and ratify the Arms Trade Treaty as a means to prevent armed conflict, prevent the violation of human rights and international humanitarian law, and significantly reduce the culture and economy of militarism;
Demand governments cease or refrain from arms transfers to conflict zones, situations where human rights or International Humanitarian Law (IHL) violations are occurring or are likely to occur, including acts of gender-based violence, and where explosive weapons are being used in populated areas;
Urge governments, UN agencies and civil society entities to work towards environmental remediation of areas affected by conflict and the use or testing of weapons, and to work to provide assistance to victims and survivors of conflict and the use or testing of weapons;
Demand all governments and non-state armed groups end the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, and encourage governments to develop an international commitment against bombing towns and cities;
Urge all governments to negotiate an international, legally binding, instrument to prohibit the development of autonomous weapons;
Urge governments to develop international standards on armed drones that ensures respect for human rights and international law, increases transparency, and recognises the ethical, legal, and humanitarian concerns raised by drones, including risks and the patterns of harm caused by current use;
Demand all states cease or refrain from extrajudicial killings as well as so-called “signature” strikes with armed drones and all other means and methods;
Call on governments to stop the militarisation of cyber space by not utilising digital technologies as a weapon or means of attack or to provoke conflict, and by eliminating the offensive role of these technologies in military and security strategies;
Further call on all actors to refrain from undertaking or facilitating any repression of human rights or freedoms through digital means;
Campaign for the closure and elimination of US, NATO, and other foreign military bases as an important step towards a just, peaceful and sustainable world, and support the First International Conference Against US/NATO Military Bases to be held in Dublin, Ireland in November 2018;
Call for an end of the use of depleted uranium, incendiary weapons, chemical weapons, and other toxic materials;
Urge governments to develop renewable energy portfolios and shift away from reliance on fossil fuels and the related conflicts over rapidly depleting natural resources;
Urge states to commit to weapons of mass destruction free zones, particularly in tension areas like the Middle East, while pushing for the TPNW world-wide;
Urge governments, UN agencies, and civil society entities to recognise the gendered impacts of certain weapons; incorporate gender analysis into disarmament initiatives; and to work to ensure the full, effective, and equal participation of women and other non-male-identified people in disarmament, arms control, and non-proliferation;
Call on governments/governing bodies, like the EU, to cease the appropriation of infrastructure and development funds (previously protected) for military expenses;
Call on universities, technical training institutions and development companies to commit to not develop, contribute, sell, or permit their products or services to be used as components in systems or apparatus for destructive or violent uses, and to encourage students to do the same;
Call on scientists to refuse work on technologies directly linked to arms development or further weaponisation of technology, and to express their objection to military use of dual-use technologies;
Urge civil society to demand of their governments that no arms should be developed with their taxes nor for profit;
Advocate for the most impoverished and marginalised populations whose young men and women are systematically recruited into the armed forces, which dehumanise via the acts of killing, torturing, and general warfare; and
Speak out against the militarisation tactics used to empower gangs, cartels, and paramilitary groups and acknowledge that such societal violence does not differ from conflict.