The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) is the oldest women’s peace organisation in the world. It was founded in April 1915, in the Hague, the Netherlands, by some 1300 women from Europe and North America, from countries at war against each other and neutral ones, who came together in a Congress of Women to protest the killing and destruction of the war then raging in Europe.
WILPF is an international Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with National Sections in 35 countries, covering all continents. Its International Secretariat is based in Geneva with a New York UN office.
|Its aims and principles are: To bring together women of different political beliefs and philosophies who are united in their determination to study, make known and help abolish the causes and the legitimization of war;To work toward world peace; total and universal disarmament; the abolition of violence and coercion in the settlement of conflict and their substitution in every case of negotiation and conciliation; the strengthening of the United Nations system; the continuous development and implementation of international law; political and social equality and economic equity; co-operation among all people; and an environmentally sustainable development.
Believing that under systems of exploitation these aims cannot be attained and a real and lasting peace and true freedom cannot exist, WILPF makes it one of its missions to further by non- violent means the social and economic transformation of the international community. This would enable the establishment of economic and social systems in which political equality and social justice for all can be attained, without discrimination on the basis of sex, race, religion, or any other grounds whatsoever.
WILPF sees as its ultimate goal the establishment of an international economic order founded on the principles of meeting the needs of all people and not on those of profit and privilege.
WILPF works on issues of peace, human rights and disarmament at the local, national and international levels, participating in the ongoing international debates on peace and security issues, conflict prevention and resolution, on the elimination of all forms of discrimination, and the promotion and protection of human rights. It contributes to analysis of these issues, and through its many activities, educates, informs and mobilizes women for action everywhere.
WILPF has consultative status (category B) with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and has special relations with the International Labour Office (ILO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other organisations and agencies.
WILPF holds a triennial Congress for members and in interim years an International Executive Board meeting is convened. These events are important to the organization and are hosted by a different national section each year. The 2004 Congress was held in Gothenburg, Sweden. The 2007 Congress was held in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
Congress reports in English are available from the International Secretariat in Geneva, by emailing inforequest(at)wilpf.ch. For other languages please contact the relevant national section.
WILPF works with many organisations and is a part of numerous international networks and coalitions.
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