International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament

  • Theresa Alessandro

Source: Pax Christi

Sunday, 24th May is International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament. More than 230 women legislators, religious leaders and civil society leaders from more than 40 countries have endorsed an appeal: Human security for public health, peace and sustainable development. The appeal released today by Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), Women Legislators' Lobby (WiLL) and World Future Council (WFC), supports United Nations' initiatives for peace and disarmament including the global ceasefire initiative and the UN Secretary-General's Agenda for Disarmament: … 'we call on governments and policy makers to transcend national borders, differing political persuasions and diverse religious beliefs in order to advance humanity's common interest for peace, public health, disarmament sustainable development and ecological responsibility.'

Theresa Alessandro, Director of Pax Christi, endorsed the appeal and said: "This day also marks the 5th anniversary of Pope Francis' hugely important encyclical, Laudato Si'. Truly caring for our common home includes changing the way we approach peace and security. 'War always does grave harm to the environment and to the cultural riches of peoples, risks which are magnified when one considers nuclear arms and biological weapons'. (Laudato Si' #57). At Pax Christi we are working for a world where people can live in peace, without fear of violence, where human rights are respected, basic needs are met, people feel safe and valued in their communities and we care for our common home."

Another endorser of the appeal, Ela Gandhi said: "Nuclear weapons production destroys our planet, universal happiness nurtures our world."

Vanda Proskova, Coordinator for PNND Czech Republic and one of the appeal's organizers explained: "This is why we must also support the UN initiative for a global ceasefire. Women around the world know that armed conflict in their communities intensifies the impact of the COVID-19 on public health and human suffering, and makes it difficult, if not impossible, to manage. And ceasefires should be transformed into lasting peace agreements, with the full participation of women in the negotiations and implementation of peace agreements. Including women in these peace processes has been demonstrated to assist to reach peace agreements and to ensure that they are sustainable."

Nobel Peace Laureate, Mairead Maguire, also endorsed the appeal: "Now is the time to create closer bonds to our brothers and sisters to be more at one with nature, to pull down walls of division and separation and to discard the them and us mentality which fuels the arms race. Poverty and pandemics cannot be eradicated with nuclear weapons and war. We all must cooperate to ensure we co-exist and survive as the human species at one with ourselves, nature and a new earth."

The full text of the appeal and the list of those who have endorsed it is here:

http://pnnd.org/sites/default/files/i/doc/2020Events/may_24_statement_english_including_endorsers.pdf

You can help by telling your MP what you think about making a better future. You can support the work of peace movements such as Pax Christi by prayer, action and/or financial support if you are able. Pax Christi can help you to find ways to live nonviolently in the world today. Find out more at: www.paxchristi.org.uk


Tags: Peace, Disarmament, Women, International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament, Theresa Alessandro

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