14. Oktober 2020

Joint civil society statement on gender and disarmament: UN General Assembly First Committee, 13 October 2020

Marieke Eilers delivered this joint civil society statement on gender and disarmament at the UN General Assembly First Committee on 13 October 2020.

Joint civil society statement on gender and disarmament
UN General Assembly First Committee, 13 October 2020
Drafted by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

Chairperson, delegates,

We are facing in our world a conflagration of crises. Climate change, COVID-19, conflicts; as well as fascism, poverty, inequality, armed violence,and brutality.

At the root of these challenges, among other things,lies patriarchal militarism. A world order resting upon massive investments in weapons and war and the celebration of violent ideas about masculinity.

This is why the governments of the world invested nearly $2 trillion in militarism last year. It’s why even during a global pandemic, the armstrade has continued and weapon manufacturers havebeendeemed “essential services” in many countries.

We have built a world in which governments only imagine the capacity of violence as providing security for their people. But weapons do not provide us with security. Care, justice, equality, housing, education—these are what make us secure.

Peace cannot be found through weapons. The idea of “peace through strength,” measured in nuclear bombs and bullets, is a patriarchal fallacy.

Delegates at the First Committee should discuss and acknowledge these dynamics. While the civil society organisations that have signed onto this joint statement welcome the growing interest in the topic of “gender and disarmament” over the past few years, we call for a more robust reflection of the gendered norms associated with weapons, war, and violence.

In last year’s statement on gender, we deconstructed the binary notions of sex and gender as ideas that reinforce militarism and patriarchy. Once again,we call on First Committee delegates to push beyond the boundaries of the binary in their work on gender and disarmament. This isn’t just about adding particular bodies to a discussion.It’s about changing our perceptions and understandings in order to crack through the deadlock and despair to make concrete progress in building a peaceful and just world for all.

Weapons are not the answer to insecurity. Disarmament is.

The following civil society organisations endorse this statement:

Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy
Campaign Against Arms Trade
Campaña Colombiana Contra Minas
Center for Peace Education-Miriam College
Control Arms
International Campaign to Ban Landmines–Cluster Munition Coalition
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW)
Kandy Sri Lanka
Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy
Mines Action Canada
Network of Women in Security and Defense in Latin America and the Caribbean (AMASSURU)
Niall O Brien Center
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
Pax Christi-Asia Pacific
Pax Christi-Pilipinas
PEAC Institute
Peace Boat US
Project Ploughshares
Shadow World Investigations
Soka Gakkai International
Women Peacekeepers Pilipinas (WePeace)
#WomenInspiringWomen (#WIW)
Women’s Institute for Alternative Development (WINAD)
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom(WILPF