Women’s role in disarmament highlighted on International Day

May 24 is International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament.

PNND and World Future Council reaffirm the international women's appeal Human Security for public health, peace and sustainable development, and call on parliamentarians and civil society to take further action on the calls in the appeal.

Photo: Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate and endorser of the Women's Appeal, holding the nuclear abolition flame outside a Nobel Peace Summit meeting.
Photo credit: Alyn Ware

Monday May 24, 2021

Today, in conjunction with the International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament, the World Future Council (WFC) and Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) highlight the voices and important roles played by women in the field.

The UN Secretary-General’s report Securing our Common Future, which was released on International Women’s Day for Peace May 24 , 2018, notes the importance of including women in disarmament and arms control decision-making processes to ensure more effective and sustainable policy outcomes.

“We reaffirm the appeal Human security for public health, peace and sustainable development which is endorsed by more than 250 women legislators, religious leaders and civil society leaders from 50 countries, and was released on May 24 last year,’ says Alexandra Wandel, WFC Executive Director.

The appeal, which was launched at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, notes the importance of women as  heads of state, parliamentarians, policy-makers, physicians, scientists, health care workers, and caregivers for children and aged persons,’ says Ms Wandel. "And it calls on governments to cut military expenditure, and increase their focus and budgets on human security and global cooperation, in order to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, address climate change and ensure a sustainable future.”

Today as we face pandemics, wars and climate change as well as fake news, we need funds for recovery and transformation of our societies, as this women’s alliance of 24 May is urging,“ says Eva Quistorp, Founder of Women for Peace and Ecology and former Member of the European Parliament.

PNND and WFC women leaders also highlight the United Nations aspiration for the elimination of nuclear weapons which threaten current and future generations and cost $100 billion annually to maintain.

“It is hard to believe that an incredible high amount of money is still being spent on nuclear armament, at a time, when money is urgently needed for health, education and science,” says PNND Co-President Christine Muttonen, Former President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. PNND and WFC call on everyone to join the Move the Nuclear Weapons Money campaign to shift budgets and investments from nuclear weapons to public health, climate stabilisation and sustainable development.

“Since the adoption of the appeal last year, PNND has also launched a Gender, Peace and Disarmament program focusing on the important role of women in building sustainable peace and disarmament agreements,” says Vanda Proskova, PNND Coordinator for the Czech Republic and coordinator of the women’s appeal. “In addition, we have highlighted exemplary policies and successful examples of gender, peace and security in Assuring our Common Future, a parliamentary handbook to advance the UN Disarmament agenda.”

This year we commemorate the 21st anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security,” says Maria Fernanda Espinosa, WFC Member, President of the 73rd UN General Assembly and former Foreign Minister of Ecuador. “Today, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of women in the prevention and conflict resolution, peace negotiations, peace-building, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction is more important than ever. Women are not only victims of armed conflict and violence but they can and should be leading  the efforts in peace and security.”

“The world has become more united to combat the Coronavirus pandemic, says Ms Wandel. “Let us build on that unity, and be torchbearers for a better world embracing human security for our common future.”