The undersigned members of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women Vienna maintain that climate change is an existential crisis for people and planet, and that armed conflicts are antithetical to sustainable development and the empowerment of women.
Twenty-five years after the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action cited women, armed conflict and the environment as critical areas of concern; 20 years after the adoption of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda; and 40 years since the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women was adopted, the climate crisis and armed conflicts continue to present major threats to gender equality. Agenda 2030 can only be achieved by re-allocating worldwide military spending to invest in environment, poverty eradication, public health, universal education and infrastructure. Climate action, conflict prevention, sustainable peace and gender equality are mutually reinforcing.
Adverse impacts of climate change contribute to armed conflicts, displacement and migration. Eighty percent of displaced people are women. Following natural disasters, rape, trafficking and maternal mortality increase. Women collaborate to mitigate climate risks, develop adaptive responses, enhance resilience and sustainability, and maintain ecosystems and communities.
In 2016, more countries experienced violent conflict than at any time in 30 years. The gendered impacts of conflict increase gender-based violence, forced displacement, and marginalization. While armed conflicts persist, we cannot eliminate violence against women and girls, create peaceful and inclusive societies, or develop partnerships to achieve the Global Goals.
Security Council Resolution 1325 is a powerful tool to promote democratic decision-making and gender justice in peacebuilding. Women must play critical roles in inclusive peace processes to achieve sustainable peace.
We call upon UN Member States to:
- Finally and fully implement the Beijing Platform for Action; the Women, Peace and Security Agenda; and CEDAW;
- Support women’s initiatives for gender equality and climate justice;
- Ensure meaningful participation of women in conflict prevention and peacebuilding;
- Protect women and children displaced by climate and conflict, as well as women human rights and environment defenders;
- Commit to balanced participation of women and men in the implementation of Agenda 2030;
- Reallocate world military spending to meet human needs and achieve major progress on key Sustainable Development Goals.
The time is now for human rights, dignity, peace and justice for women and girls, men and boys, and protection of all life on our shared planet.
Signed by 23 member organizations of NGO Committee on the Status of Women Vienna, with consultative status to ECOSOC:
African Action on AIDS
European Union of Women
FAWCO (Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas) Graduate Women International
International Alliance of Women
International Association of Applied Psychology
Internatonal Council of Jewish Women
International Council of Psychologists
Internatonal Council of Women
International Federation for Home Economics
International Federation of Business and Professional Women International Federation on Ageing
International Inner Wheel
Socialist International Women
United Methodist Church—General Board Of Church And Society Verein zur Förderung der Völkerverständigung
Women Against Violence Europe
Women ́s Federation for World Peace
Women’s International Zionist Organisation
World Union for Progressive Judaism