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Statement to the Plenary of the World Summit for Sustainable Development

Statement to the Plenary of the World Summit for Sustainable Development by Muborak Sharipova, Tadjikistan.


Mr. Chairman, delegates and fellow NGO sisters and brothers. I am Muborak Sharipova from Tadjikistan representing Women in Europe for a Common Future and I am a member of both the Women's and Peace Caucus.

We would like to present a peace petition from women worldwide to the United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the World Summit for Sustainable Development, Mr. Nitin Desai, and to all governments present at the Summit in Johannesburg.

The petition states that peace is a prerequisite for sustainable development. It was drafted by women living in areas stricken by war and has been signed by over 1,000 women and peace organizations from every region of the world.

I quote from the petition:

We women know the real cost of war.

We have seen the suffering and the destruction.

Women give birth to children and have no choice but to see them fight and die.

We have suffered abuse, so bad that we do not wish to talk about it.

We are united with all women throughout the world who are suffering from armed conflict and war.

These cruelties could not happen without the arms produced and traded by profit-seeking industrialists supported by governments across the world. Wars are fuelled by the quest for natural resources and power, and result in tremendous environmental destruction. Millions of families are suffering, women are being raped and children lose their parents. Victims of wars also include those affected by land mines, radiation from depleted uranium, all nuclear weapons production and use, chemical and biological weapons, and indigenous peoples on whose traditional lands these weapons are tested and wars are fought.

Women know that there are alternative ways to resolve conflicts and that there is never a cause to justify armed conflict or war. We appeal to the United Nations and all governments to:

1) Include within the framework of sustainable development the goal of peace and an action plan to achieve it including disarmament; demilitarization; ending the production, development and trade of arms; ending current and preventing future wars and armed conflict; peace building and conflict resolution programmes, peace culture and non-violent education.

2) Establish a UN peace fund for conflict resolution, the victims of war, the empowerment of women as policy makers for peace and the eradication of the root causes of war, including poverty and unsustainable development. Redirect current military expenditures to this peace fund.

3) Create a people's peace diplomacy programme involving peace and women's groups to resolve and prevent conflicts within and between nations as well as in peace building efforts.

4) Hold accountable those who make profit from wars by using current international human rights instruments including the International Criminal Court.

5) Ensure women's equal participation in decision-making on conflict resolution and peace negotiations and the implementation of the UN Resolution no. 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.

6) Ratify and implement the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

In short, we call for your commitment to including peace as a fundamental component of sustainable development. We call on all UN, government and NGO representatives to sign our peace petition and demand to end all wars and to end militarization.

Thank you.