Lay down your arms!

IAW Statement, 2022/02/26

By Acting President Marion Böker & Convenor of the IAW Peace Commission Heide Schütz

International Alliance of Women expresses its strongest solidarity with the women in Ukraine and their families in this situation of utmost suffering because of the illegal war of aggression by the Russian government. This war gravely violates the UN-Charter, which is international law including the standards of human rights. Further, it violates the Right to Peace adopted by the UNGA in Nov. 2016.

We urge Russian and Ukrainian authorities to agree immediately to a cease fire, to return to the negotiating table to re-establish, under guarantee, the sovereignty of Ukraine and to work honestly for a win-win situation on an equal footing. Only then can lasting peace for all be envisioned. Every military victory is laying the ground for the next military conflict. Any escalation needs to be stopped without delay.

The UN resolution 1325 (2000) and many National Action Plans provide for women the right to meaningful participation in all phases of peace processes on all levels of decision making. This must be acknowledged and implemented in the peace settlement between Russia and Ukraine.

We urge you to bring women of both sides to the peace negotiating table to build an enduring peace!

We also appeal to all governments that can offer good services to bring the peace process to fruition. We appeal to all countries in Europe or elsewhere to open their borders to let all refugees pass and to supply humanitarian aid and life-saving support.

We call on all governments: establish and secure a humanitarian corridor out of Ukraine cities under attack and from rural areas to guarantee access to all Ukrainians to aid and assistance by proven humanitarian organizations, to receive medical treatment, food and drinking water, everything they need now, as well materials and assistance to rebuild the destroyed infrastructure in Ukraine immediately.

We support everything that has already been done by governments and by civil society to this end. UN resolution 1325 also gives the right to women and girls to be protected from all forms of violence in war and armed conflict including gender based violence. Ukraine women’s organizations must be involved and financed to provide their urgently needed expertise and services.

We call on UN Security Council and UN General Assembly to call on the International Criminal Court:  no impunity for war criminals!

There are several lessons to be learned from this armed conflict as from all other armed conflicts around the globe:

  • Conflicts must be negotiated at an early stage.
  • The arms race must be stopped.  Disarmament and efficient, transparent multilateral arms control must be enacted instead of the modernizing of all types of weapons.
  • Nuclear weapons must be abolished according to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, in force since 22 of January 2021.
  • The UN Security Council must be reformed so that avenues for peace are no longer blocked by a small minority through the veto right. UN member states of all regions share equally the responsibility and wisdom to create and keep peace.
  • A culture of peace must be taught lifelong as well as practiced in child care, schools, and in all fields of life to end the culture of war (see UNESCO Decade of the Culture of Peace 2000-2010).
  • Human security must be made the first priority instead of military security which leads to utmost insecurity.
  • All profits from war accrued through the production of and trade in weapons must also be made transparent and scandalized as immoral “blood money”.  Such profits must be directed towards the recovery of harmed people and countries.

We urge you to follow the famous call of Bertha von Suttner, first woman to be rewarded with the Peace Nobel Prize in 1905

Lay down your arms!


Peace 4 Ukraine image with Ukranian flag and the peace dove


3 responses

  1. Thanks for this great statement. Let’s PEACE win… Yes let the two parties lay down their arms

  2. Not only should the profits from war material be used to repair the mass destruction wreaked upon Ukraine, but also all those foreign reserves Russia stockpiled to protect its economy from the sanctions it knew were coming when they broke the peace with their smaller neighbor.

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