We are women from across the world, who deeply love our planet. We cherish the universal principles of equality, justice and peace affirmed by the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; we fight for the affirmation of the rights of women and peoples, against all forms of violence, exploitation and discrimination. For decades, we have been engaged in the search for global peace, for a new world order that abolishes war. We recognise the role that capitalism plays in generating militarism and war, and we want a new, non-militarized security, to ensure the life and health of present and future generations of all on this planet – and of the planet itself.
Our aspiration for peace is today threatened by the escalating arms race and the risk of nuclear war, the strengthening of military alliances and the militarisation of international relations. All this risks leading humanity to catastrophe. NATO’s decisions since 1991 have in large part been responsible for this developing global confrontation. The latest stage in this policy process is the so-called New Strategic Concept, agreed at the last NATO heads of state summit in Madrid in 2022.
The New Strategic Concept continues to establish roles and tasks that go far beyond NATO’s original ‘defensive’ purposes, replacing functions and tasks which are the sole responsibility of the United Nations. The increasingly global NATO, acting in the interests of the wealthy nations of the ‘West’, has extended its activities to the Pacific. It seeks to impose a ‘model of civilization’ well beyond the Euro-Atlantic area of the original Treaty. The New Strategic Concept is completely at odds with the ‘Helsinki spirit’ that seeks peaceful cooperation between states and the rejection of threat or use of force.
This offensive reconfiguration of NATO is in stark contrast with the constitutional principles of many of the member states. Often approved without the consent of national parliaments, it is also at odds with the manifest desire for peace of so many of the peoples of the NATO states. While many face a severe cost of living crisis, governments are required by NATO to raise military spending even beyond 2% of GDP, to meet the ongoing frenzied rearmament. This is often accompanied by increasing authoritarianism, and the re-emergence of neo-fascist, nationalist, xenophobic and sexist ideologies, encouraged by an increasingly militarised culture.
The next NATO heads of state summit takes place in Vilnius, Lithuania, on 11 and 12 July. The New Strategic Concept will be further elaborated, increasing global danger and there will be demands for further increases in military spending. A special investment fund of 1 billion euros will be set up, paid for by public money for start-ups and technological renewal; this will openly encourage the mixing of scientific education and training for young people with military research. The Vilnius summit will also advance a new ‘gender approach’, encouraging the promotion of female figures to top roles within NATO.
As women of peace, we reject NATO and its world view. It foments instability and exacerbates international conflict. It is irreconcilable with our principle of taking care of the world – a principle that we strive to affirm globally.
The time of colonialism and imperialism has passed. The time of the West's claim to unipolar domination and ‘moral supremacy’ is over. Today we welcome a new multipolar world order based on shared decisions, on social and environmental justice, on the sharing of resources and technologies, on the transition to zero military arsenals. This is what we women said at the Madrid Peace Summit last year. We will reaffirm this on the occasion of the NATO Summit in Vilnius 2023.
What do we want?
We will meet in Brussels, home of the NATO headquarters, to say:
- NO to global NATO, No to increasingly militarised blocs, No to war as a way of settling international disputes.
- No to the militarization of scientific research. The younger generation has the right to a secular and democratic education, inspired by the values of peaceful coexistence between peoples and states.
- No to the involvement of women in patriarchy's war plans. No to any ‘gender approach’ in NATO. Putting women in top roles in a warmongering military organization will do nothing to promote the principles of equality, justice and peace that underlie women’s struggles for freedom.
Instead, we say Yes, to respecting the authentic intentions of UN resolution 1325 on the participation of women in peace negotiations and processes.
We plan to talk about all this in Brussels. We will host an open discussion on 7 and 8 July 2023, and we invite women from all over the world to join us - whether from NATO member countries or not. We welcome all those who share these goals with us – to speak out for peace, life and women’s liberation.
May 31th, 2023
Malalai Joya: Former parliamentarian, author and Women rights and Human rights activist.
Annette Brownlie - IPAN chairperson (the Independent Peaceful Australia Network), Dragana Zivancevic - Raising Peace Network, Maggie Galley, Pax Christi Australia, Catriona Devlin - Pax Christi Victoria,
Carla Goffi - Mouvement Chrétien pour la Paix Bruxelles, Emmelien Lievens - Vrede vzw, No To Nato No to War international network, Ria Verjauw- Long term Peace Activist - Campaigner for Peace and Disarmament, Paula Polanco, president intal – Belgium, Annemarie Gielen - Pax Christi Flanders, Stephanie Demblon - Agir pour la Paix
Daniela Penkova - Dokumentalni Foundation
Tamara Lorincz - Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, WILPF-Canada, Marie Boti - Alliance internationale des femmes (IWA), Femmes de diverses origines-Women of Diverse Origins (FDO-WDO), Cymry Gomery – Coordinator Montréal for a World BEYOND War Montréal, Alley McDonald - Canadian Voice of Women for Peace,
Skevi Koukouma – Secretary General of the Women's Movement POGO
Boligaktionen (engaged in social housing, anti-NATO peace campaign etc) - Irrenne Peier and Kai Jensen
Merikukka Kiviharju – Artists for peace/PAND, Ulla Klötzer – Women for Peace, Lea Launokari - Women for Peace, Tiina Sandberg – active trade unionist, EU-Parliament Left Group/GUE/NGL contacts, Liisa Taskinen – Physician, retired, EL Peace Working Group
Lisa Silvestre - educator and peace activist, Mouvement de la Paix , ECOSOC representative at the UN in Geneva, Arlette Azan-Zielinski, member of Mouvement de la paix de France and former elected delegate to the AFCDRP (Mayors for Peace France) for the city of Villejuif, membre du Mouvement de la paix de France et ancienne élue déléguée à l' AFCDRP pour Villejuif
Kristine Karch – No to war - No to NATO network, Franziska Kleiner – European secretariat of the IPA (Innovations for Poverty Action), Margot Müller - Bundessprecherin der Feministischen Partei DIE FRAUEN
Μaria Arvaniti Sotiropoulou – Author, columnist in Greek Press, president of the Greek Affiliate of "International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War" (ΙPPNW, representative of ICAN
Moneaka Flores - Prutehi Litekyan: Save Ritidian
Vera Zalka - Hungarian Social Forum (HSF), ATTAC Hungary Association, Veronika Heé - Talentum Kör (Circle "Talentum"),
Ulfat Pardesi - former ISR of IPPNW, Anuradha Chenoy – Professor (retired) and former Dean of the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Former chairperson and director of the Centre for Russian and Central Asian Studies
Evelyn Conlon – Novelist, Short Story writer and Anthologist, Pat Murphy - Filmmaker
Lisa Clark – IPB former co-president, Beati I Costruttori di Pace/Blessed are the Peacemakers, Italian network for Peace and Disarmament, Europe for Peace, Ada Donno – AWMR Italia - Association Women of the Mediterranean Region, Jeannie Toschi Marazzani Visconti - Comitato No Guerra No NATO Italy, Patrizia Sterpetti - WILPF Italy, Alessandra Mecozzi - International Women's House Rome, Bruna Bianchi - retd. teacher of Women's History and History of Political Thought, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, scholar of feminism and feminist pacifism,
Laura Marchesellli - WILPF Italy, Comitato fiorentino Fermiamo La Guerra
Maitet Ledesma – International Women’s Alliance
Liz Remmerswaal - Vice President World BEYOND War, National Coordinator, World BEYOND War Aotearoa NZ/Co-chair Pacific Peace Network/former vice president WILPF Aotearoa New Zealand,
Ingeborg Breines – Former Chair of IPB and UNESCO Director, Gitte Sætre - Antikrigs-initiativet (Anti-war Initiative), Åse Møller-Hansen - WILPF Norway board member,
Corazon Valdez-Fabros – IPB Co-Chair
Oksana Chelysheva - political refugee, journalist and human rights defender, Oxfam Novib PEN Award for Freedom of Expression – Russia/Finland
Simonetta Costanzo Pittaluga - President of NOVACT, Institute of Nonviolence (INGO), Catalonia
Mikaela Nhondo Erskog - researcher Tricontinental Institute for Social Research a network of research institutes in the Global South - South Africanised’ Zimbabwean-Swede
Choi Sung–hee - member of Gangjeong International Team, Gangjeong Peace Network, Inter-Island Solidarity for Peace of the Sea, People Making Jeju a Demilitarized Peace Island, South Korean advisory board member for the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space
Cecilia Bergh – member of UN Association Falun, Susanne Gerstenberg - Women for Peace, Lena Jarlöv - Women for Peace, My Leffler – Women for Peace, Agneta Norberg - Global Network Against Weapons in Space, Karin Utas Carlsson – Women for Peace, Fredens Hus Göteborg (Peace House Gothenburg)
Kate Hudson – IPB board member, General Secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), Angie Zelter - Trident Ploughshares,
George Friday - – WILPF US, Robin Lloyd – WILPF, activist, filmmaker, Gloria McMillan -WRITER, former coordinator of The Balkan Peace Support group, active member of WILPF US, Nancy Price - WILPF US, Mary Jane Williams - author, filmmaker, been active in many groups, Ann Wright – Pacific Peace Network, IPB council member, Code Pink, Veterans for Peace, Alice Slater - Board Member of World BEYOND War and the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, UN NGO Representative of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, member of the Global Council of Abolition 2000 and the Advisory Board of Nuclear Ban-US, Paki Wieland - CODEPINK and Massachusetts Peace Action, Jodie Evans - co-founder CODEPINK: Women for Peace, Theresa El-Amin - Board Chair, Southern Anti-Racism Network, Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK: Women for Peace, Pippa Bartolotti - United National Anti-war Coalition (UNAC)
Kathy Kelly, Board President, World BEYOND War, Co-coordinator, Ban Killer Drones and Merchants of Death War Crimes Tribunal, World March of Women - Pinar Yüksek
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- Press Release20/05/2017