The German Section of WILPF adopted the following statement regarding the Russian War of Aggression against Ukraine.
February 24, 2023 marks the anniversary of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, which violated international law. Ukraine has the right to self-defense under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. We witness the horrors of the war and stand in solidarity with those affected and the millions of people who have had to flee. We have painfully learned once again that the war could not be prevented – despite all the civil society dialogues and peace initiatives in the region, international networks, and multilateral cooperation. We are committed to further strengthen initiatives that work towards stopping the Russian aggression and war now as well as support freedom and feminist peace!
So much harm has occurred – as in all wars: thousands of deaths, destroyed and mined infrastructure, forced conscription, terrible losses, and existential threats for many who had to flee or ensure their survival in the country. Many people, in particular women, trans*persons, non-binary people, and children are exposed to and traumatized by various forms of violence, including sexualised and gender-based violence. We appreciate and strongly support the important documentation of war crimes and crimes against humanity being conducted by civil society organizations such as the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize Winners, the International Criminal Court, and others. War crimes and crimes against humanity must never be met with impunity.
The prevention and ending of war based on the UN Charter must always be the top priority! The solution cannot be to allow the militarization of societies to progress through high military spending and exploding profits of the war industry, while financially neglecting social and climate justice. Since our founding in 1915, WILPF has denounced the destructive function of weapons, the militarization of societies and gender injustices. We all, as members of a global society, must invest more in building peace. For this, an intersectional, anti-colonial understanding of feminist security and the goal of feminist peace is crucial. This means focusing on human security and ensuring a broad understanding of peace, instead of merely national security. Hence, working towards peace does not only mean aiming for the absence of war, but also ensuring security in the areas of health, education, environmental and social justice.
These are our demands:
- We call on the German government, the German parliament, the UN and the OSCE to intensify and promote negotiations for the full withdrawal of Russian troops, active ceasefire and prisoner exchange at all levels.
- We demand that, in the long-term, the basis is established for peace negotiations involving feminist civil society, especially marginalized groups, in accordance with UN Resolution 1325. This also includes respecting and including the voices of war opponents and resistance fighters.
- We call on the German federal government to ensure contributions to funds to support Ukraine’s reconstruction, implementation of Ukraine’s new National Action Plan for UNSC resolution 1325, and move forward with mobilizing resources to support the most marginalized communities. It is critical to provide long- term financial support to Ukrainian feminist civil society in order to facilitate the restoration of peace in their own country.
As members of civil society, we support all kinds of bridging and peacemaking initiatives based on our longstanding intergenerational relationship among women, trans*persons, and non-binary people in war-torn regions and through our networks.