Women's Organizations Worldwide Urge General
Assembly to "Unite for Peace"
NEW YORK - March 28 - International women's organizations, including
MADRE, Women of Color Resource Center, Center for Women's Global
Leadership, and the International Women's Human Rights Law Clinic,
today joined other women's organizations worldwide as they called
on the member states of the United Nations General Assembly to
enact an emergency application of UN Resolution 377 ("Uniting
for Peace") to stop the US-led bombing of Iraq and protect Iraqi
Peace provides that in the event of a "threat to the peace or
act of aggression," which the Security Council does not counter,
the General Assembly "shall consider the matter immediately."
The Assembly can recommend collective measures, including the
use of armed forces, to member states to "maintain or restore
international peace and security."
follows a recent call in New Delhi made by women's organizations
from over 35 countries condemning the Bush Administration's war
against Iraq and urging the General Assembly to challenge US aggression.
The organizations also condemn the Bush Administration's attempts
to undermine the United Nations, which have been reported in the
Chilean newspaper, La Tercera, and other sources. According to
those reports, the US has issued a warning to the 191 UN member
states, demanding that the General Assembly not convene an emergency
session to address the US attack on Iraq.
In their open
letter to the UN General Assembly, the group of organizations
stated, "The bribery and bullying that the Bush Administration
calls diplomacy reflects its brazen contempt for democracy both
in the US and abroad. Bush has claimed that the United Nations
would render itself irrelevant if it did not submit to his demands.
But as the decrepit state of the US Democratic Party reveals,
it is those who collude with illegitimate power that render themselves
irrelevant. Meanwhile, the resolve of many UN member states to
stand firm against the US, reinforced by the call to enact Uniting
for Peace, offer hope for a revitalized international system better
able to fulfill the United Nation's founding mission to 'save
succeeding generations from the scourge of war.'"
first issued the call to enact Uniting for Peace on September
12, 2002, when Bush declared, in a speech at the United Nations,
his intent to escalate hostilities against Iraq. Since then, the
threat posed by his Administration to the people of Iraq, and
indeed, to the people of the world, has mushroomed. The world
now faces a nuclear-armed religious fundamentalist who, according
to journalists who have interviewed him extensively, believes
that he was placed in the White House by God to carry out a divine
mission. With Bush's doctrine of preventive war justifying an
attack against any country that he claims is a threat to present
or future US interests, the world is his target. The Bush Administration
is indeed a grave threat to international peace and security and
must be challenged by a multi-lateral effort aimed at protecting
the principles and practices of international cooperation and
the rule of law. The organizations made the following declarations
to the General Assembly:
* "We therefore
reiterate our call on the United Nations General Assembly to convene
an emergency session to enact United Nations resolution 377, Uniting
for Peace to halt the US-led bombing and protect the human rights
of Iraqi civilians.
* "We condemn
the Bush Administration's plan to sideline UN relief agencies
and turn Iraq's reconstruction into a bonanza for US-based corporations.
We urge the General Assembly to address the issue of reconstruction
and to guarantee the social and economic rights of Iraqi women
and their families in the reconstruction process."
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