Category Archives: global

Amnesty International: Julian Assange’s five-year imprisonment in the UK is unacceptable


An article from Amnesty International

Today (April 11) marks five years of Julian Assange being detained in Belmarsh, a high security prison in the UK. As he fights the extradition request from the US authorities, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Agnès Callamard, said:

“Julian Assange dared to bring to light revelations of alleged war crimes committed by the USA. It is unacceptable that years of his life have been stolen. He remains arbitrarily detained in the UK on politically-motivated charges, brought by the USA for exposing their suspected wrongdoing. The US authorities have failed to conduct a full and transparent investigation into their alleged war crimes. Instead, they have chosen to target Assange for publishing information leaked to him – even if it was of public interest. The ongoing persecution of Assange makes a mockery of the USA’s obligations under international law, and their stated commitment to freedom of expression.

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(click here for the article in French or click here for the article in Spanish.).)

Question related to this article:

Julian Assange, Is he a hero for the culture of peace?

Is Internet freedom a basic human right?

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“If extradited to the USA, Assange will be at risk of serious abuse, including prolonged solitary confinement, which would violate the prohibition on torture or other ill-treatment. Dubious diplomatic assurances made by the USA as to his treatment are not worth the paper they are written on, not least because they are not legally binding and are riddled with loopholes.

Assange is wanted for activities that are fundamental to all journalists and publishers, who often receive sensitive government information from outside sources. Wikileaks published evidence of civilian deaths and of alleged war crimes. The public has a right to know if their government is breaking international law. The US authorities are paving the way to a disastrous precedent for worldwide media freedom if Assange is extradited. The USA must drop all the charges against Assange, which will allow for his prompt release from UK state custody.”


Julian Assange faces prosecution in the USA under the Espionage Act of 1917, a wartime law never intended to target the legitimate work of publishers and journalists. He could face up to 175 years in jail. On the charge of computer misuse, he could receive a maximum of five years.

On 26 March, the UK High Court adjourned  to give the USA an opportunity to file fresh diplomatic assurances. The UK court will reconsider Julian Assange’s permission to appeal his extradition to the USA on 20 May 2024.

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Mary Robinson key note at the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s 148th Assembly (April 6)


Text transcribed from video on You Tube

Excellencies, distinguished delegates to the Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly, it’s an honour to address the general debate of your 148th Assembly. I’m speaking to you  as Chair of The Elders, a group of independent global leaders founded by Nelson Mandela who work for peace, human rights and a sustainable planet. I’m also speaking as a former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, a former President of my own country, Ireland and a former Senator.

Video of speech

I served for 20 years in the Upper House of the Irish Parliament and in all these roles  and all throughout my career, I’ve appreciated the opportunity to engage with the IPU. Parliaments play an indispensable role in building bridges for peace and understanding and consensus  on how to tackle shared challenges. This role is particularly valuable today  in an era of increasing social polarisation and geopolitical tensions.

The IPU plays a critical role as a forum where parliamentarians can come together,  exchange experiences and discuss the challenges of the hour, something I learned from attending  IPU events during my time in the Irish Senate in the 1970s and 80s and it has been a privilege  to be invited to address the Assembly on a number of occasions since. Today I’m happy to hear that the Assembly will also focus on multilateralism in this year when the world is gathering at the upcoming Summit of the Future convened by the UN Secretary-General to chart a new  pathway forward for international cooperation. It’s no exaggeration to say today that we are at  a moment of crisis in multilateralism.

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Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

How can parliamentarians promote a culture of peace?

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Our world faces existential threats that can only be tackled collectively from the climate and nature crisis and pandemics to nuclear weapons and the risks  of unregulated artificial intelligence. But at precisely the moment when cooperation is critical,  geopolitical tensions and confrontations are rising and too much decision-making is governed  by short-term self-interested calculations. While the COP28 summit in Dubai last December  did make some progress producing the first text that directly recognized the need to move away  from fossil fuels, we remain in a climate and nature emergency.

Each month since June  last year has seen a new temperature high and the pathway we are on is unsustainable. Yet leaders are still not acting at the pace and scale required. We’re four years on from the  onset of COVID-19, a global pandemic that cost the lives of millions and exacerbated inequality  between and within nations.

But we are struggling to form consensus on a pandemic accord that would  help prevent and better prepare the world for future pandemics. 55 years after the treaty onthe non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, nuclear powers have not met their commitment to reduce  their arsenals. Instead, the few remaining nuclear agreements mitigating catastrophic risk are  expiring and we face a renewed nuclear arms race with some leaders openly threatening to use  nuclear weapons in current conflicts.

We see a proliferation of conflicts including Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine and Israel’s disproportionate response to the horrific  October attacks by Hamas. The multilateral international peace and security architecture, most notably the UN Security Council, appears completely ill-equipped to deal with these crises. While conflicts elsewhere, from Myanmar to Sudan, are not getting the attention that they need.

It’s against this backdrop that The Elders are calling for long-view leadership to tackle existential threats and to build a more resilient and equal society. Long-view leadership means showing the determination to resolve intractable problems, not just manage them. The wisdom to make decisions based on scientific evidence and reason and the humility to listen to all of those affected.

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Dr. Shirin Ebadi Speech In Paris on International Women’s Day


A report from the Nobel Women’s Initiative

On March 8th, I congratulate all of you. I hope that in the coming year, we will witness better conditions for all women around the world.

Firstly, I would like to express my sympathy with the Palestinian and Israeli families who were killed or subjected to sexual violence after the October 7th attack. Undoubtedly, the terrorist attack by Hamas must be condemned, but the painful point is that innocent people in Gaza are paying the price for the actions of a few terrorists. In Gaza, not a single intact building remains, and one or more members of each family have been killed, prompting people around the world to ask, what is the guilt of innocent civilians? Some, including Mr. Netanyahu, argue that the people of Gaza chose Hamas in an election and must bear the consequences of their choice, but this argument is flawed.

On the other hand, Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas, lives safely with his family in Qatar, while innocent civilians in Gaza are being killed. Moreover, Netanyahu does not have the full support of all Israeli people, and opposition among Israelis against the continuation of the massacre of innocent people in Gaza has begun.

In my opinion, if both Hamas and Israeli leaders were women, we certainly wouldn’t see such conditions, neither would the events of October 7th occur, nor would innocent people in Gaza be killed and displaced.

Unfortunately, the world of politics has become more masculine than ever, and one of the reasons for the endangerment of peace in the world is this fact. After the Arab Spring, I stated in several articles and interviews that the Arab Spring would not begin in Islamic countries unless women achieve equality, and unfortunately, we saw how the spring turned into autumn.

In the negotiations currently taking place regarding Palestine, the discussion mostly revolves around ceasefire and the release of hostages, but I believe it is better to move towards peace. Peace will only be sustainable when an independent state of Palestine is recognized, and Gaza is handed over to the Palestinian people. Two independent states of Palestine and Israel, by forgetting their bloody past, can peacefully coexist. And in the early years, to prevent any unforeseen incidents, a UN peacekeeping force must be deployed at the border between Israel and Palestine.In this case, we will see how the Islamic Republic of Iran regime and other terrorist groups it supports, such as the Houthis and Hezbollah in Lebanon, are weakened. They justify their terrorist activities under the pretext of supporting the Palestinian people.

If we examine the situation of women worldwide, we will realize that women have not yet achieved full equality in all countries, and gender discrimination exists in all countries to varying degrees.

In some western countries like European countries and the United States, discrimination is less, while in others, it is more. In European countries, Canada, and the United States, there are laws against gender discrimination, and women are recognized as having equal rights. However, due to some issues such as dual responsibilities of children and caregiving, working outside the home, and also due to patriarchal culture in some social classes, women are less likely to enjoy equal rights.

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Questions related to this article:

Do women have a special role to play in the peace movement?

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A look at the number of women among presidents and leaders of political parties compared to men in such positions is quite indicative of a regrettable reality.

How many women are among the top bankers and CEOs of large multinational companies? Many examples indicate the existence of inequality, and it seems that equality remains on paper and has not yet occurred in society. But in some other countries, often Islamic countries, laws are the source of inequality and oppress women, and discrimination is prevalent. In Iran, after the 1979 revolution, many laws were passed against women. In some cases, they explicitly ignored women’s human identity, under the law of “Diyeh” (blood money), where a woman’s “Diyeh” is half of a man’s. The testimony of two women in court is equivalent to one man’s testimony. A man can have up to four wives and divorce his wife whenever he wants, but getting a divorce for a woman can be very difficult and sometimes impossible.

A girl who gets married for the first time, regardless of her age, needs written permission from her father. A woman who is married cannot travel without her husband’s written permission. And many other discriminatory laws. These medieval laws are not commensurate with Iran’s rich culture and the education of women because for years, half of the students in Iranian universities have been girls, and many professors are women. The mismatch between laws and the cultural conditions of society, especially Iranian women, has led to numerous protests and movements throughout the 45 years of the Islamic Republic regime’s rule. The latest of these was The Women, Life , Freedom Movement which occurred in 2022 following the murder of a young girl named Mahsa by government agents for not adhering to the compulsory hijab. Iranian men also actively participated alongside women in this movement, which was severely suppressed by the government.

According to statistics, over 590 people were killed on the streets by government agents, many were injured or lost their sight, and 20,000 were detained. 70 citizens have been sentenced to death for participating in protests, and eight of them have been executed so far. Although the government managed to suppress this movement to some extent and return people to their homes, Iran is like a volcano that could erupt at any moment.

The Mahsa Movement had the intention of the International community. The European Parliament awarded the Sakharov Prize for Human Rights to Mahsa, who had been killed, and invited her family to accept the prize, but the Islamic Republic banned Mahsa’s father, mother, and brother from leaving the country, preventing them from attending the ceremony. Additionally, the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Narges Mohammadi as a symbol of the Women, Life, Freedom Movement. Narges Mohammadi has been imprisoned for over six years for her human rights activism—these two examples alone is enough to show how any form of opposition in Iran is suppressed.

As for Afghanistan, the situation is even worse than in Iran. Afghan women don’t even have the right to attend high school or university, and they are deprived of any form of social activity. They don’t have the right to work in government offices or international organizations. They don’t have the right to obtain business licenses or engage in independent businesses, not even in small-scale activities. Recently, they have also been denied the right to speak to or be interviewed by the media if the reporter is a man, along with many other restrictions.

Afghan women activists have not remained silent. They continue their struggles both inside and outside Afghanistan, but we see that the Taliban suppress women even more ruthlessly than the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Warmest regards

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English bulletin April 1, 2024


Celebrations and protests marked International Women’s Day around the world on March 8.

CPNN carried photos from many of the these events.

In Europe, they came from Albania, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Spain and Ukraine.

In Asia and the Pacific, from Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, North Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.

In Africa and the Middle East, from Algeria, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Côte D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Israel, Kenya, Lebanon, Mali, Morocco, Palestine, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia, Turkey and Uganda.

In the Americas, from Argentina, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, United Nations, United States and Venezuela.

In the capitalist countries, the events were mostly protests and demands for women’s rights in the face of widespread discrimination and violence against women, including criminal prosecution for abortion. Many events condemned in particular the violence against women in Palestine and Israel in recent months.

In many of the socialist and former socialist countries, the events were celebrations rather than protests. This was the case in Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, North Korea, Cambodia, and Vietnam. this reflects the history of the day, which was initiated by socialist organizations at the beginning of the last century, and then celebrated primarily by the socialist movement and communist countries until its adoption by the United Nations in 1977.

This year the United Nations celebrated the Day with the slogan “Invest in women to accelerate progress.” They criticized an “alarming lack of financing” for achieving gender equality: “Feminist organizations are leading efforts to tackle women’s poverty and inequality. However, they are running on empty, receiving a meagre 0.13 per cent of total official development assistance.”

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, founded to oppose World War I, and boasting the Nobel Peace Prize to two of its founding members, dedicated their celebration of the day to solidarity with the people of Palestine, concluding that “the world sees Gaza as a global front against the rule of oppression, colonialism, and tyranny, so they act in solidarity with Gazans and for justice for all including themselves.”

The organization, The Warriors of Peace, also condemned the violence against women in israel and Palestine, and added reference to violence against women in many other regions of the world. They wrote that “This International Women’s Day has a special flavor. We know to what extent wars and conflicts can destroy struggles and weaken achievements. We, The Warriors of Peace, are convinced that women, when they unite, form the most powerful shield against the destruction of the world. We are the resistance. We are the ones who hold on, who stay standing . . . Feminism is justice, equality and dignity for all. It is the refusal of assignment and division. Feminism is peace.”

As discussed in the blog this month, “we are entering an era of economic and political contradictions that will lead to revolutionary change. Insofar as women take leadership, we have a greater chance that the change will lead to a culture of peace.”


International Women’s Day: Asia/Pacific


South Africa requests ICJ emergency orders to halt “unspeakable” Gazan genocide


Greta Thunberg, 40+ Other Climate Activists Block Entrance to Swedish Parliament


Peace Wave 2024



Kremlin, NATO at odds over pope’s call for Ukraine to show ‘white flag’ and start talks


FIJCA 2024: JAZZ as an instrument of social cohesion in Ivory Coast


Search for Common Ground in Israel and Palestine


France: Speech by Jean-Luc Melanchon on the force of action for peace

Peace Wave 2024


Announcement from World Beyond War

International Peace Bureau  and World BEYOND War  will hold the third-annual 24-hour peacewave on June 22-23, 2024. This will be a 24-hour-long Zoom featuring live peace actions in the streets and squares of the world, moving around the globe with the sun. There will be a live Q&A section on Zoom for the last 10 minutes of each hour

This Peace Wave will happen during the RIMPAC war rehearsals in the Pacific and just prior to protests of NATO’s meeting in Washington in July.

The Peace Wave supports work for global peace and opposes military buildup including alliances like NATO, its partnerships around the globe, and related alliances such as AUKUS.

The peace wave will visit dozens of locations around the globe and include rallies, concerts, production of artworks, blood drives, installation of peace poles, dances, speeches, and public demonstrations of all variety.

Watch all 24 hours below in twelve 2-hour parts:

Part 1
(13:00 to 15:00 UTC):
Part 01.1: (13:00 to 14:00 UTC) UK, Ireland, Portugal (European)
Part 01.2: (14:00 to 15:00 UTC) Ghana, Liberia, Morocco, DR Congo, Cameroon, Angola

Part 2
(15:00 to 17:00 UTC): South America / América del Sur – Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela

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Questions related to this article:
How can we be sure to get news about peace demonstrations?

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Part 3
(17:00 to 19:00 UTC): USA and Canada (Eastern Time Zone)

Part 4
(19:00 to 21:00 UTC): Mexico and Central America

Part 5
(21:00 to 23:00 UTC): USA and Canada (Pacific and Mountain Time Zone)

Part 6
(23:00 to 01:00 UTC): USA (Alaska and Hawaii) and Guam

Part 7
(01:00 to 03:00 UTC): Australia, New Zealand

Part 8
(03:00 to 05:00 UTC): Japan and South Korea

Part 9
(05:00 to 07:00 UTC): Philippines, Vietnam and Myanmar

Part 10
(07:00 to 09:00 UTC): Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan

Part 11
(09:00 to 11:00 UTC):
Part 11.1: (09:00 to 09:45 UTC) Afghanistan, Iran, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan
Part 11.2: (09:45 to 10:30 UTC) Israel, Palestine, Turkey, Syria
Part 11.3: (10:30 to 11:00 UTC) East Africa (Egypt, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Kenya, S. Africa)

Part 12
(11:00 to 13:00 UTC):
Part 12.1: (11:00 to 12:00 UTC) Central Europe and Scandinavia
Part 12.2: (12:00 to 13:00 UTC) Ukraine, Russia and Baltic States

(Editor’s note: Zoom videos from the 2023 Peace Wave are available on this website )

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South Africa requests ICJ emergency orders to halt “unspeakable” Gazan genocide


An article from Pearls and Irritations

“Israel is now massacring desperate, starving Palestinians seeking to obtain food for their slowly-dying children.” The situation in Gaza is now so terrifying as to be unspeakable, writes South Africa in an urgent request for the International Court of Justice to issue additional provisional measures to stop Israel’s genocide.

South Africa today filed an urgent request with the International Court of Justice for the indication of additional provisional measures and the modification of the Court’s Order of 26 January 2024 and decision of 16 February 2024 in the case concerning Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip (South Africa v. Israel), according to the ICJ in a press release dated 6 March.

In its request, South Africa states that it is “compelled to return to the Court in light of the new facts and changes in the situation in Gaza — particularly the situation of widespread starvation — brought about by the continuing egregious breaches of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide . . . by the State of Israel . . . and its ongoing manifest violations of the provisional measures indicated by this Court on 26 January 2024”.

It requests the Court to indicate further provisional measures and/or to modify the provisional measures indicated it its Order of 26 January 2024, pursuant to Article 41 of the Statute of the Court and Article 75, paragraphs 1 and 3, and Article 76, paragraph 1, of the Rules of Court, respectively, “in order urgently to ensure the safety and security of 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza, including over a million children”. It urges the Court to do so without holding a hearing, in light of the “extreme urgency of the situation”.

The situation in Gaza described by the ICJ as “perilous” on 16 February, “is now so terrifying as to be unspeakable… justifying — and indeed demanding — the indication of further provisional measures of protection,” argued South Africa.

South Africa’s has requested that the ICJ make the following additional provisional measures and modification to existing measures:

1. “All participants in the conflict must ensure that all fighting and hostilities come to an immediate halt, and that all hostages and detainees are released immediately.

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Question related to this article:

How can war crimes be documented, stopped, punished and prevented?

Presenting the Palestinian side of the Middle East, Is it important for a culture of peace?

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2. “All Parties to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide must, forthwith, take all measures necessary to comply with all of their obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

3. “All Parties to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide must, forthwith, refrain from any action, and in particular any armed action or support thereof, which might prejudice the right of the Palestinians in Gaza to be protected from acts of genocide and related prohibited acts, or any other rights in respect of whatever judgment the Court may render in the case, or which might aggravate or extend the dispute before the Court or make it more difficult to resolve.

4. “The State of Israel shall take immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance to address famine and starvation and the adverse conditions of life faced by Palestinians in Gaza, by: (a) immediately suspending its military operations in Gaza; (b) lifting its blockade of Gaza; (c) rescinding all other existing measures and practices that directly or indirectly have the effect of obstructing the access of Palestinians in Gaza to humanitarian assistance and basic services; and (d) ensuring the provision of adequate and sufficient food, water, fuel, shelter, clothing, hygiene and sanitation requirements, alongside medical assistance, including medical supplies and support.

5. “The State of Israel shall submit an open report to the Court on all measures taken to give effect to all provisional measures ordered by the Court to date, within one month as from the date of this Order.”

“Palestinian children are starving to death as a direct result of the deliberate acts and omissions of Israel — in violation of the Genocide Convention and of the Court’s Order. This includes Israel’s deliberate attempts to cripple the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (‘UNRWA’), on whom the vast majority of besieged, displaced and starving Palestinian men, women, children and babies depend for their survival,” write South Africa.

The latest death toll from Israel’s assault on Gaza stands at 30,717 people killed, including more than 12,300 children and 8,400 women. More than 72,156 Palestinians have been injured.


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International Women’s Day: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom


An article from the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

On International Women’s Day: Why challenging the narrative is more important than ever

In this insightful Q&A with Maha Batran, WILPF’s MEL & Partnerships Advisor, she delves into the heart of the Palestinian struggle, exploring its historical roots, the ongoing challenges faced by Palestinians, and the importance of challenging prevailing narratives. Through candid reflections and expert analysis, she uncovers the gendered impact of occupation, the nuances of Palestinian resistance, and the global solidarity movements demanding justice and accountability.

What are the root causes of all this strouggle? And how are women affected?

In 1948 the State of Israel was created marking the end of the British Mandate of Palestine. 1948 year is also known as Nakba where armed Jewish/Zionist groups ethnically cleansed Palestinians  in parts of the land. They not only killed tens of thousands of Palestinians but also forcefully displaced more than 700,000 Palestinians out of their homes into the West Bank, Gaza and the neighbouring countries. My father’s family was kicked out from their home in Jaffa and settled in Gaza in 1948. Israel occupied the rest of historic Palestine in 1967, to include East Jerusalem, Gaza, and the West Bank where I now live. 

For decades, UN General Assembly resolutions were passed protecting the rights of the Palestinians and demanding Israel stop its colonial project and oppression. This includes UN Resolution 194, on the protection of the Palestinian refugees’ right to return to their homes and live in peace with their neighbours, or receive compensation. Those resolutions remain on paper. I personally remain a refugee in Palestine without the right to visit, let alone settle in Jaffa. Meanwhile any Jew from around the world can come (and be financed and encouraged) to settle in Jaffa.

The Palestinian Liberation Organization (internationally-recognised representative of the Palestinian people) and the State of Israel signed a peace treaty, the Oslo Accords in 1993. The agreement stipulated a transitional five-year period for a Palestinian Interim Self-Government arrangement to end with a permanent arrangement where Palestinians have the right to self-determination and peace, living side-by-side with Israel. This transitional period ended with no handing of power to the Palestinians over the West Bank and Gaza as prescribed by the Accords. On the contrary, increased Israeli control, land grab and settlers inside the West Bank grew exponentially. The peace negotiations failed. I have seen it with my own eyes, the settlement on the hill across from our home was just expanding, the checkpoints between town and cities in the West Bank multiplied, and we had absolutely no sovereignty, no control over the land, the water resources, the air, the borders, building permits, nothing. Palestinians couldn’t accept this. Who would have? 

We have witnessed daily violations of human rights, international law and crimes against humanity and war crimes towards Palestinians. These have been recorded by International, Palestinian and Israeli human rights organisations and commissions in the West Bank, Gaza and Israel, including deeming the occupation illegal under international law (and now an advisory opinion is being sought about the issue at the International Court of Justice) and exposing the crime of a system of apartheid by the State of Israel. 

The Israeli policies that victimise and discriminate against the Palestinian people have a clear gendered impact as they isolate Palestinian women, impoverish them, limit their rights and freedoms and inhibit their participation in the public political, cultural, social and economic spheres. The occupation and apartheid state policies have huge effects on women’s legal, social, educational, economic and political status, as well as their priorities, access to services especially for girls and women victims of gender-based violence, and their available options for resistance.

Learn more

For further resources on the history of Palestine and Israel visit the UN page

Other resources can be found here.

You can read more about the impact of occupation on Palestinian women WILPF’s analysis

Also this by Palestinian women’s organisations.

This statement by UN experts on the recent human rights violations by Israel towards Palestinian girls and women.

And what has the situation been in Gaza until the current escalation of violence?

The situation for Palestinians has been deteriorating over time, and Palestinians living in Gaza have been under a blockade since 2007. Actually, I haven’t been able to visit Gaza since 1999 because the Israeli state wouldn’t give me a permit. So technically, the siege has been enforced since then. And Gaza’s living conditions have worsened over the past decades. Gazans and activists have tried to resist in non-violent means. The Freedom Flotillas launched by international solidarity groups which use international waters to try and cross to Gaza in boats.  The Great March of Return towards the Gazan border with Israel where refugees (who account for 70% of the population in Gaza) marched every Friday towards the borders in a symbolic move to break the siege of Gaza and exercise their right to return to their land were specific examples of initiatives to try and break the blockade of Gaza and bring world attention to the situation in Gaza.  However, the international and political response to these attempts was little. Military groups in Gaza launched rocket attacks from Gaza onto neighbouring Israeli territories, and Israel launched six large military assaults (2008-2009, 2012, 2014, 2021, 2022, and 2023) with thousands killed. But the siege persisted. 

The current escalation of violence, the continued blockade, the failure to deliver on commitments in the peace process has been enabled through the longtime impunity of  the Israeli army and officials committing crime after crime with no accountability or consequences. Gaza was often described as a ticking bomb, with over two million people living in what was often described as an open-air prison, and continuously under attack. 

WILPF’s campaigning has called on allies to challenge the narrative around the conflict. Why is that important and what does this mean?

Western media frames the cause of the Palestinians as a complicated conflict, with two-people not being able to live side by side and co-exist. It also uses language of supremacy and dehumanisation. A narrative that fails to acknowledge the history of the land and its people, the humanity and equality of Palestinians and the dynamics and drivers of the violence and injustice. This narrative has thus far and will certainly fail to produce effective strategies to address the situation. This is why it is important that we reframe the narrative of the conflict and name practices and dynamics by their proper names and put them in the right context.

Historically, but also increasingly with the latest events, Palestinians have been dehumanised with Western media passively reporting on their suffering (Israelis are often reported as being “killed” while Palestinians are reported “having died” and often blamed for their own death), so that they are portrayed as less important human beings and more “killable”. This language of supremacy, and “God providing this land to God’s chosen people” has been long heard from Israeli officials and supporters; it is also the foundation of the Zionist project. The“birth-right” project where any Jew is supported (financially and logistically) to visit Israel and settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and settle there is just one example of how the colonial project, in the name of the “right of the Jewish people to the land”, is justified and defended through narrative. Palestinian refugees who have been kicked out of their land when the State of Israel was created, have been denied the same “right”. WILPF and others have been challenging this narrative. 

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(Click here for a version in French.)

Questions related to this article:

Do women have a special role to play in the peace movement?

Presenting the Palestinian side of the Middle East, Is it important for a culture of peace?

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We often hear that other oppressed peoples may have the right cause but are going out demanding it in the ‘wrong way’. This is faced by Palestinians too. 

It’s important to start by emphasising that people’s right to resist occupation is protected by the Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, and a dozen UN resolutions, including UNGA Resolution 37/43 which stated the legitimacy of the struggle for independence, and liberation from foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle. This means that Palestinians have the right to resist the illegal Israeli occupation, with all available means. Armed struggle needs to also abide by international law (which for example, prohibits the targeting of civilians). It is also important to also acknowledge that labelling a person or a group for resisting occupation or oppression by “terrorist” or their acts as “terrorist acts” has been a long established practice, some of these labels were later revised such as the cases with Yasser Arafat  led violent attacks and later was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.Nelson Mandela was considered one of the greatest peacemakers after successfully fighting apartheid with violent and non-violent means. Those who have the power to have their views accepted and create the narrative also have the power to label and mislabel.

People ask “Why is there no Mandela in Palestine?” How do you respond to those kinds of critiques of Palestinian resistance and leadership? 

We Palestinians have peacefully resisted Israel’s occupation and human rights abuse through countless persistent initiatives ranging from Youth movements, union organising, arts and culture, popular marches, and political initiatives. For example, the Youth Against Settlements which is most active in Hebron in the West Bank, where Israeli settlers are slowly taking over Palestinian homes in the heart of the city protected by soldiers; the Great March of Return; the Freedom Flotillas; the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Movement which is replicated from the South African anti-apartheid movement, and which was endorsed by WILPF in a resolution in 2011; and most recently, global movement around the world calling for a ceasefire in Gaza but also to dismantle the apartheid system and end the occupation.

However, the clamp down on any such attempts at resistance was violent and almost inevitable (see for example, Amnesty International’s Trigger Happy Report). The chance that leaders survive Israel’s systematic and widespread targeting of peaceful resistance is virtually nonexistent. Israel has a long history of the use of collective punishment and excessive force including the assassination of Palestinian activists, journalists, poets, politicians and systematically penalised others, including children, through measures such as the illegal prolonged administrative detention denying Palestinians basic judicial guarantees, such as the case of academic Ahmad Qatamesh.

For further resources on the Palestinian right to resist, visit the legal analysis and the FAQs that WILPF contributed to on Gaza and international law.

There have been many countries and institutions that have cracked down on and even criminalised pro-Palestinian activism in the name of fighting anti-semitism.  Does the resistance of Palestinians, Israelis and internationals to Israeli (State and settlers) oppression of Palestinians amount to anti-semitism?  

No. There is a difference between standing up against human rights violations by the Israeli army and settlers, and anti-semitism. 

Anti-semitism is not acceptable. However, advocating for Palestinian rights does not make you anti-semitic. If you believe in equality and justice, you are not anti-semitic. Palestinians and supporters of Palestinian rights recognise that there are root causes for all the violence (which is the continuation of the Israeli colonial project of dispossession and the apartheid system of oppression) and this needs to be addressed. 

The Israeli state and pro-Israeli propaganda have tried to frame and taint supporters and advocates of Palestinian rights as anti-semitic so that they are immediately suppressed on false moral ground. Many Jewish groups and activists are resisting the pro-Israeli efforts to falsely equate critiques of Israel with anti-semitism and are seeking to disentangle Jewish identity and liberation from Zionism and the Israeli state.  

These include Jewish Israelis and Israeli organisations exposing and standing up against Israeli State violations of human rights and international law, including B’tselem, Yesh Din, and HaMoked. There are also Jewish Israeli individuals, such as authors and historians Illan Pappe and Avi Shlaim, who have dedicated their work to help expose the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the Zionist project. There is Amira Hass, the Israeli journalist and daughter of Holocaust survivors living in the West Bank amongst Palestinians also writing to expose Israeli violations especially in the West Bank.

Jewish voices around the world who oppose Israel’s actions against Palestinians, including Jewish Voice for Peace (visit JVP FAQs for further information about their stands particularly on questions around not equating the Jewish identity of the group with zionism and anti-semitism), and individuals, such as jewish intellectuals and authors Naomi Klein and Judith Butler. 

There is a difference between being anti-semitic, and standing up for justice, accountability, equality and freedom. One should be able to speak the truth, fight for the protection of human rights, an oppression-free, colonial-free and apartheid-free world without fear. 

There have been different kinds of solidarity and peace efforts over the years by civil society and peace activists. What kind of solidarity is helpful to the Palestinians and the Palestinian cause? 

Not all peacebuilding efforts have been helpful to Palestinians and the Palestinian cause. Approaches to peacebuilding that buy into a false narrative of ‘two peoples that can’t get along’ will inevitably produce ineffective and even harmful results. Solidarity and peace activists must differentiate between coexistence and co-resistance, between solidarity and normalisation, between exposing the violations of human rights and international law and between overstepping those in favour of “a peace solution between two people”.

Coexistence, which is usually promoted through activities such as camps or dialogue sessions between Israelis and Palestinians, is about normalising the relationship between the oppressor and the oppressed. Normalisation activities are often referred to as the “colonisation of the mind” where the oppressor-oppressed relationship and status quo are seen as normal, with some cosmetic improvements. These activities proliferated during the Oslo period (1994-1999), but because the root causes were not addressed, they failed. And while some people, and some self-proclaimed feminists, support normalisation activities, these are not accepted by the majority of Palestinians, will remain in the margins of the real struggle, and will not bring justice. 

Co-resistance, on the other hand, acknowledges that the oppressor and the oppressed are not on equal footing, and that history, particularly Israel’s foundation through the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, is well recognised. It demands the recognition and assertion of the inalienable rights of Palestinians, including the right to return.

The BDS has set very clear definitions and guidelines for anti-normalisation activities. They also have tailored guidelines for the different sectors and groups. These should always be consulted with.  

Final word?

This conflict, our conflict is about a settler-colonial state enforcing a military occupation and an apartheid regime. The world  has witnessed a state commit a livestreamed genocide.  Many of their leaders are complicit, along with the international mechanisms that have failed to stop it. In response, they have risen. This movement has inspired the government of South Africa to bravely take Israel to the World Court for the Crime of Genocide. 

This global movement is demanding accountability from all complicit governments, institutions, and corporations. The movement is growing and trying to shake the world order today. Gazans have lost so much themselves, but the world sees Gaza as a global front against the rule of oppression, colonialism, and tyranny, so they act in solidarity with Gazans and for justice for all including themselves.  

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International Women’s Day: The Warriors of Peace


Text from Facebook page of Guerrières de la Paix – Mouvement 

This International Women’s Day has a special flavor. We know to what extent wars and conflicts can destroy struggles and weaken achievements.

We, The Warriors of Peace, are convinced that women, when they unite, form the most powerful shield against the destruction of the world. We are the resistance. We are the ones who hold on, who stay standing.

We, The Warriors of Peace, are a French pacifist and anti-racist movement bringing together Muslim, Jewish, Christian, atheist, practicing and unbelieving women of different origins and different cultures.

We are part of the pacifist movements of Palestinian and Israeli women.

They themselves had already been inspired by the movement founded by women in Liberia in 2003 to work towards an end to the civil war.

It is this chain of international solidarity of women that we wanted to extend when we organized the first edition, on March 8, 2023, of the Global Women’s Forum for Peace in Essaouira, Morocco. The event brought together activists from around the world, including Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2003, as well as Moroccan, Afghan, Syrian, Palestinian, Israeli, Uighur, Rwandan activists, etc.

On October 4, we participated in the “Mothers’ Call” march in Jerusalem alongside thousands of Palestinian and Israeli women, activists for peace and justice.

These women, beyond the walls erected to separate them and teach them to hate each other, gave the whole world a lesson in sisterhood, by walking together, hand in hand.

On October 7, 2023, the world turned upside down. Not our commitments. Nor our beliefs.

On October 7, the first images of the massacre were images of violence against women. The bodies of Israeli women exhibited, raped, mutilated and murdered were among the first images of horror to flood the Internet. Hamas terrorists boasted live about their feminicides. And, today, we dare not imagine what the women who are still hostages must endure on a daily basis.

Not condemning these crimes, not naming them is a moral fault. A lack of respect for our feminism.

From the start of the destructive bombardments by the Israeli army on the Gaza Strip, among the first images of horror, there were also defenseless women, mothers and children under the rubble. Women are at the heart of the humanitarian drama that the government of Benjamin Netanyahu and his far-right allies are inflicting on Gaza.

We stand with our Palestinian sisters who are paying the heavy price of war crimes, mourning and destruction. We think of the pain inflicted on them by having to leave their homes, of seeing their children starving, of those mothers who bury their children with broken hearts, of those who had to give birth in terrible conditions amidst chaos and bombings.

We women cannot consent to the dehumanization of our sisters wherever they come from. The suffering of some in no way relativizes that of others and we must be able to recognize them all.

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(Click here for the original article in French.)

Questions related to this article:

Do women have a special role to play in the peace movement?

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It is important that we are also able to name all the crimes, and to be in solidarity with the horror experienced by our Israeli and Palestinian sisters. In times of war, women are on the front lines. Because they embody life, they are targets to be destroyed. It is therefore urgent that they take their full place at the negotiating table.

It is with this awareness that UN Resolution 1325 was adopted with the objective of increasing the participation of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, as well as in peacebuilding.

Women must be heard, recognized and involved. Moreover, when they are, peace comes more quickly and is more stable and more lasting.

Ensuring that women’s rights are respected everywhere is our all responsibility. If a woman is oppressed, wherever she is in the world, it is all of our rights that are violated.

Together we denounce femicide and violence against women, here and everywhere.

Our empathy, our indignation knows neither determinism nor assignment.

We denounce the inhumane treatment inflicted on our sisters in Afghanistan deprived of education, care and rights.

We stand alongside Iranian women who with incredible courage continue to challenge the power of the mullahs.

We stand alongside our Uyghur sisters who are victims of genocide and systematic rape committed in Chinese camps.

We think of our sisters who continue to live through terrible days in Congo, the scene of massacres of ethnic minorities, feminicides and mass rapes.

We think of our Armenian sisters, of the violence they suffered and of the exile which once again strikes them.

We think of our Ukrainian sisters, of the sexual violence that many of them endured, of their children kidnapped and deported to Russia.

We think of the Russian opponents forced to live in exile.

We think of the humanitarian chaos of which girls and women are the first victims in Sudan.

And unfortunately the list is still far too long.

We, the Warriors of Peace, will continue to stand, proud and determined, alongside all oppressed women, alongside all our persecuted sisters, everywhere in the world.

It is about our feminism. Of our duty as humanity.

Feminism is justice, equality and dignity for all. It is the refusal of assignment and division.

Feminism is peace.

MARCH 8 – 6:30 p.m.

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International Women’s Day 2024: ‘Invest in women: Accelerate progress’ 


An article from UN Women

In a world facing multiple crises that are putting immense pressure on communities, achieving gender equality is more vital than ever. Ensuring women’s and girls’ rights across all aspects of life is the only way to secure prosperous and just economies, and a healthy planet for future generations.  

One of the key challenges in achieving gender equality by 2030  is an alarming lack of financing  with a staggering USD 360 billion annual deficit in spending on gender-equality measures.  

The time for change is now! Join us on 8 March 2024 for International Women’s Day as we rally behind the call to “Invest in women: Accelerate progress”. 

Take a stand and join the conversation with the #InvestInWomen hashtag. Here are five key areas that need our joint action to ensure women are not left behind:

Investing in women: A human rights issue

Time is running out. Gender equality remains the greatest human rights challenge. Investing in women is a human rights imperative and cornerstone for building inclusive societies. Progress for women benefits us all.

(Click here for the article in French. or here for the article in Spanish.)

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Question related to this article:
Prospects for progress in women’s equality, what are the short and long term prospects?

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Ending poverty 

The COVID pandemic, geopolitical conflicts, climate disasters, and economic turmoil have pushed an extra 75 million people into severe poverty, since 2020. This could lead to more than 342 million women and girls living below the poverty line  by 2030, making immediate action crucial. 
Implementing gender-responsive financing

Due to conflicts and rising fuel and food prices, recent estimates suggest that 75 per cent of countries will curb public spending by 2025. Austerity negatively impacts women and crowds out public spending on essential public services and social protection.

Shifting to a green economy and care society

The current economic system exacerbates poverty, inequality, and environmental degradation, disproportionately affecting women and marginalized groups. Advocates for alternative economic models propose a shift towards a green economy and care society  that amplifies women’s voices.

Supporting feminist change-makers

Feminist organizations are leading efforts to tackle women’s poverty and inequality. However, they are running on empty, receiving a meagre 0.13 per cent of total official development assistance

Get the facts

Dive into UN Women’s exclusive editorial package this International Women’s Day and discover the power of investing in women. Explore compelling stories, data, and strategies to drive positive change.


This International Women’s Day, let’s come together to transform these challenges into opportunities and shape a better future for all! 

Goi Peace Foundation: International Essay Contest for Young Peopl


An announcement from the Goi Peace Foundation

2024 International Essay Contest for Young People
Theme: “My Experiende of Overcoming Conflict”

This annual essay contest is organized in an effort to harness the energy, creativity and initiative of the world’s youth in promoting a culture of peace and sustainable development. It also aims to inspire society to learn from the young minds and to think about how each of us can make a difference in the world.

* This program is an activity within the framework of UNESCO’s Education for Sustainable Development: Towards achieving the SDGs (ESD for 2030).



“My Experience of Overcoming Conflict”

Conflicts occur for a variety of reasons, including differences in opinions and values. Have you ever had an experience of overcoming a conflict that you were involved in? What did you learn from that experience? How do you want to make use of what you learned, for your own life and for society?


1. Essays may be submitted by anyone up to 25 years old (as of June 15, 2024) in one of the following age categories: a) Children (ages up to 14) b) Youth (ages 15 – 25)

2. Essays must be 700 words or less in English or French, or 1600 characters or less in Japanese. Essays must be typed, with your name, email address and essay title included at the top of the first page.

There are no particular rules regarding formatting (font style, size, line space, etc.). However, essays must be submitted in either MS Word (DOC/DOCX) or PDF format.

* Your name, email address and essay title are not included in the word count limit.

3. Entries must be submitted online. To send your essay online, you must go to the online registration page, and follow the required steps. Entries submitted by postal mail or e-mail are not accepted.

Teachers and youth directors may submit a collection of essays from their class or group by creating an ‘account for school/organization entrant’ on the online registration page.

* Only one entry per person is accepted.
* We are unable to confirm receipt of essays.

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Question related to this article:
Youth initiatives for a culture of peace, How can we ensure they get the attention and funding they deserve?

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2. Amplifying Community Voices for Sustainable Peace in the 4. Essays must be original and unpublished.

5. Entries that include plagiarized content or content created by generative AI (such as ChatGPT) will be rejected.

6. Essays must be written by one person. Co-authored essays are not accepted.

7. By submitting your essay, you give permission to the organizer to publish it in any medium. Ownership of the essay remains with the entrant.

8. If you have questions, please consult the FAQs section below.


Entries must be received by June 15, 2024 (23:59 your local time).


The following awards will be given in the Children’s category and Youth category respectively:

1st Prize: Certificate, prize of 100,000 Yen (approx. US$660 as of Feb. 2024) and gift … 1 entrant

2nd Prize: Certificate, prize of 50,000 Yen (approx. US$330 as of Feb. 2024) and gift … 3 entrants

3rd Prize: Certificate and gift … 5 entrants

Honorable Mention: Certificate and gift … 25 entrants

* 1st to 3rd prize winners will be invited to the Winners Gathering to be held online.

* Additional awards (Best School Award, School Incentive Award) will be given if applicable.

All prize winners will be announced on October 31, 2024 (Japan time) on this website.

Certificates and gifts will be mailed to the winners in January 2025.

* We are unable to answer individual inquiries concerning contest results.

Organized byThe Goi Peace Foundation

Under the auspices of
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan
Japanese National Commission for UNESCO, Japan Private High School Federation
Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education, Japan Broadcasting Corporation, Nikkei Inc


Essay Contest 2024 Flyer (PDF)

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