2023 WORLD CONFERENCE AGAINST A AND H BOMBS – AUGUST 4-9A NUCLEAR WEAPON-FREE, PEACEFUL AND JUST WORLD – SOLIDARITY AND ACTIONS OF CIVIL SOCIETY
6.8.2023 – Nagasaki
Women for Peace – Women Against Nuclear Power – Finland
Active in Global Women for Peace United Against NATO
2023 World Conference Against A and H Bombs – August 4-9, 2023
Meeting with New Japan Women’s Association (Shinfujin) members
2023 No Nukes! Women’s Forum
Dear women gathering here today for this utmost important Forum.
First of all, it is a great honour for me to have been invited specifically by a women’s organization to this World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and to this Women’s Forum.
Women represent half of the world population.
We give birth to children.
In most countries worldwide the majority of teachers in pre-primary teaching personnel are women.
And women nurses provide 80 percent of primary health care worldwide.
Our voices must be heard in all issues related to the physical wellbeing of human beings and the ecological state of our planet.
As Malala Yousafzai – thePakistani female education activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate in 2014 – at the age of 17 – so brilliantly puts it:
“I raise up my voice—not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard. … We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.”
Some of you might have heard my short speech at the opening plenary of the Conference on Monday – but for those who were not there, I would like to repeat a part of my message stating that, although the situation in the world is threatening and seems impossible to solve – and many of us feel rather desperate – there are small glimpses of hope.
Since March this year Women for Peace in Finland have together with some strong women from Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom US and a lot of courageous women around the world – formed a coalition – Global Women for Peace United Against NATO – which has now spread to some 40 countries.
We met ahead of the NATO Summit in July in Brussels.
We had a meeting in the European Parliament.
We brought our Declaration, condemning all NATO activities and aims, to the NATO headquarters.
And we arranged webinars covering Europe, US/Canada, Asia Pacific, Africa and Latin America.
NATO is a nuclear weaponized war machinery that has been involved in wars all over the world and is stimulating the worldwide arms race.
Money – badly needed for social welfare, health care and education – is used for totally insane military purposes.
World military expenditure rose by 3.7 per cent to 2.240 billion USD (more than 2 trillions) in 2022—the highest level ever recorded in the Stockholm Peace Institute data.
The United Nations Development Programme reported in February 2023 that the world will need to spend between 3 trillion and 5 trillion USD annually to meet the AGENDA 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
By using a part of the annual global military budget on achieving these 17 goals we would secure the wellbeing for people and the planet – now and into the future.
Finally some encouraging words by Indira Gandhi, former prime minister of India assassinated in 1984:
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
And I say:
“We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”
(Total world military spending accounted for 2.2 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022.)
AGENDA 2030, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015. It is a blueprint for social justice, peace and wellbeing for people and the planet – now and into the future.
Indira Gandhi – prime minister of India 1966 to 1977 and again from 1980 until her assassination in 1984.
The Security Council adopted resolution (S/RES/1325) on women and peace and security on 31 October 2000.
The resolution reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction and stresses the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security.
Resolution 1325 urges all actors to increase the participation of women and incorporate gender perspectives in all United Nations peace and security efforts. It also calls on all parties to conflict to take special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse, in situations of armed conflict. The resolution provides a number of important operational mandates, with implications for Member States and the entities of the United Nations system.