Monday, December 16, 2013

Women Lead To Peace Initiative For #Syria

Source: The Guardian, Syrian refugees face extreme hardship as blizzards hit region
An exciting initiative for peace and security in Syria, which has seen 7 million people displaced by war in recent years: an international brigade of women peacemakers descending on the location of ceasefire talks planned for next month.

Codepink, MADRE and several other international women's peace groups are sponsoring the historic effort to comply with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325.  Calling for at least 50% of any peace or security talk delegations to be women, UNSCR 1325 recognizes the historic fact that when women are part of the solution to violent conflicts ravaging society, those solutions are more robust and likely to succeed.

One has only to look at myriad examples of male-dominated negotiations -- in Afghanistan, in Palestine -- to see the record of failing to build and keep a lasting peace.

There are several ways to support the Syrian peace initiative. One is to join the delegation traveling to  Switzerland for the January 20-21 meetings. All peace-loving people are welcome to these talks. Here is information Codepink sent to local coordinators about participating in the event:

After three years of horrendous fighting, a death toll now exceeding 100,000 and more than seven million Syrians forced to leave their homes, Syrian peace talks will finally take place in Montreux, Switzerland, on January 22, 2014. 
In response, a coalition of women’s groups have launched Women Lead to Peace, a global alliance of women and male allies calling for an immediate ceasefire in Syria, greater humanitarian aid for the refugees and displaced, and the full participation of women at the peace negotiations. The group will be mobilizing a physical presence in Switzerland from January 20-22. 
Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN and Arab League Special Envoy to Syria, continues to ignore the call by prominent international organizations for women to be fully represented at the peace table. Resolution 1325 states that the United Nations must recognize the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and promote their equal participation in all efforts to maintain and promote of peace and security.
Women—and male supporters—will arrive in Switzerland by January 20, 2014 to plan and learn from each other. On January 21, we will hold a Summit with testimonies from Syrian women and humanitarian aid workers, testimonies from women from countries that made the transition from war to peace (such as Liberia, Ireland, Bosnia, Rwanda) and testimonies from Arab women who have been leaders in non-violent struggles in countries such as Egypt and Tunisia. The summit will end by modeling what the next day could and should look like.  On January 22, the day of the official peace talks, participants will be inside and out with creative, beautiful and exciting protests.
We are writing to you today because we would love for you to be involved in this initiative. This invitation is open to all peace-loving people. You can join or endorse as organizations or as individuals. You can support this effort locally and/or join the activities in Switzerland. 
The people of Syria have suffered too much, for too long. Let's show them that we will take a stand to end the violence and alleviate the hardships they are enduring. 
The host partners include, WILPF Secretary General Madeleine Rees,Karama CEO Hibaaq Osman, CODEPINK Cofounders Jodie Evans and Medea Benjamin, Nobel Women’s Initiative Director Liz Bernstein, Kavinna Till Kavinna Secretary General Lena Ag, MADRE Executive Director Yifat Susskind. 
Please endorse this call. Other endorsers include V-Day Founder Eve Ensler, Author Alice Walker,  Actress Geena Davis, NobelPeace Prize winner Mairead Maguire, European Union former Vice President Luisa Morgantini, The Square Director Jehane Noujaim, Global Fund for Women,  Peace People’s Ann Patterson, Chicken and Egg Pictures’ Julie Parker Benello, Institute for Policy Studies’ Phyllis Bennis, Embrey Foundation President Lauren Embrey, Journalist Chris Hedges and Center for Constitutional Rights’ President emeritus Michael Ratner. 
Please choose any of the following options and respond to Perrine at or Alli at
Endorsements for Women Lead to Peace: Call for a Ceasefire in Syria, More Humanitarian Aid and Women at the Peace Table
___ Yes, I support Women Lead to Peace. (org or individual or both) 
Name, contact info, organizational affiliation (if any)________________________________________________________________________________________________Yes, I will join you in Switzerland on January 20-22.____I can finance my own way.____I will need financial support.____Sorry I can’t join you in Switzerland.
Thank you for your support! 
The CODEPINK team & Women Lead to Peace partners
For more information, visit Women Lead to Peace

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