INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF WOMEN
CONSEIL INTERNATIONAL DES FEMMES
Statement to Mark the International Day of Peace
21st September 2022
The International Council of Women (ICW-CIF), a Non-Governmental Organization in consultative status with ECOSOC, has worked diligently to advance equal rights for women since its establishment in 1888, holding steadfast in its commitment to help reaching the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. ICW-CIF firmly supports the efforts of the International Community to ensure that all human beings, including women and girls will be able to reach their full potential in dignity, equality and healthy environment.
At its General Assembly, held last May in Avignon France, ICW-CIF adopted “Women’s Empowerment: Peace and Sustainable Development” as its new Triennial theme, which is in line with this year’s UN theme of The International Day of Peace: “End racism – Build peace”.
As racism and conflicts continue to erupt across the globe, one has to keep in mind the commitments made at the Durban World Conference in 2001. This world conference, against racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance, was an important point in the history of international efforts to address racism. However, although 21 years have passed, we continue, unfortunately, to deal with a common concern – namely, the denial of equality to fellow human beings because of their race, ethnicity, religion, or the color of their skin. Racism continues to be a global reality, a worldwide phenomenon, and the challenge for everyone, including civil society, is to work for positive change and for a universal human rights era in which each person should benefit from values and means to end inequalities, prejudices, hate and violence.
The ICW-CIF believes that education is an essential key to deconstruct racial narratives and to build bridges of peace. According to the Global Education Monitoring Report (2021), racial inequality still exists in educational systems in several countries. Educational institutions have therefore an important role and responsibility in addressing and eliminating racism through nurturing greater social cohesion and cross-race relationships. We are all aware of the fact that the injustice of systematic racism is a
significant barrier to the type of education that is needed for a peaceful world that values diversity.
We, as members of ICW-CIF, as educators, community actors and concerned citizens have much work to do to remove the roots of oppression and inequality. We also have to move beyond the perspective that women are solely victims of conflicts and wars, and instead, acknowledge their central role as change makers. Women must be given the opportunity to participate fully and on an equal footing with men in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, as well as in efforts of peacebuilding and peacekeeping.
Today, it is more important than ever to promote the principles and values of peace and open-mindedness for acceptance across gender, race, religion, ethnicity and territories. In light of the numerous challenges we are confronting, the need for dialogue, exchange, mutual comprehension and joint action has never been more urgent. The ability of women to persuade, to set standards and norms, their capacity to build bridges and networks of partners across various domains, is essential to build and to advance peace. The International Day of Peace is an inspiring reminder of what we can create together
The International Council of Women calls for the full implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and is joining hands with the UN and other international organizations in aiming at that ultimate goal, by acting upon the words of the UN Secretary General António Guterres: “True peace requires standing up for the human rights of all the world’s people. Let us stand up for human rights for all in the name of peace for all”.