Printer Friendly

International Women's Summit to Redefine Security: Final Statement.

East Asia-U.S. Women's Network Against Militarism

Naha, Okinawa, Japan, June 22 to 25, 2000

ON THE EVE OF THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE G-8 LEADERS, TO BE HELD IN Okinawa between the 21st and 23rd of July, 2000,91 members of the East Asia-U.S. Women's Network Against Militarism, coming from the Philippines, Puerto Rico, South Korea, Japan, the U.S., mainland Japan, and Okinawa, convened the International Women's Summit to Redefine Security. We are activists, teachers, students, researchers, elected officials, and survivors of physical, sexual, and emotional violence; we are daughters, mothers, and wives. The purpose of this meeting was to challenge the principle of "national security" on which the economic policies of the G-8 are based. These economic policies can never achieve genuine security. Rather, they generate gross insecurity for most peoples of the world and devastate the natural environment. These economic policies are inextricably linked to increasing militarization throughout the world. Militaries reap enormous profits for multinational corporations and stockholders through the development, production, and sale of weapons of destruction. Moreover, militaries maintain control of local populations and repress those who oppose the fundamental principles on which the world economic system is based. The current economic system depends on deep-seated attitudes and relationships that are characterized by greed, fear, domination, and the objectification of "others" and expressed through racism, sexism, imperialism, and the desire to control the physical environment. Vested interests, routine ways of thinking, prejudice, ignorance, and inertia also play their part in maintaining entrenched systems of economic, social, and political inequality.

This Women's Summit builds on the earlier meetings of the East Asia-U.S. Women's Network in Naha, Okinawa (1997) and Washington, D.C. (1998), which sought to build a strong international network of women who oppose militarism and are working to define an agenda for true global security and peace. Throughout our four-day gathering, we affirmed that genuine security is based on the following four key tenets:

* The environment in which we live must be able to sustain human and natural life;

* People's basic survival needs for food, clothing, shelter, health care, and education must be met;

* People's fundamental human dignity and respect for cultural identities must be honored; and

* People and the natural environment must be protected from avoidable harm.

By these standards, there are no truly secure societies in the world and none that are fully committed to achieving genuine security. Yet many detailed alternative proposals to creating and maintaining true security have been developed by international peace and human rights organizations. These include specific proposals for nonviolent conflict resolution, early-warning procedures, mediation services, and the restoration and rebuilding of devastated lands and communities. Development for genuine security must be economically and environmentally sustainable.

Participants in the International Women's Summit shared our experiences of the impact of this militarized economy on our lives. We see demilitarization as a process of incremental steps by which governments must reduce military operations, expenditures, and cultures while simultaneously expanding nonmilitary alternatives. Toward our goal of achieving true security, we issue the following demands to the leaders of G-8 nations and to the leaders of nations that we represent:

* Stop the bombing on Vieques, Puerto Rico; cease the war in Mindanao, in the Philippines; end the Korean War and support efforts to reunify Korea; stop plans for new or replacement bases in Okinawa, e.g., the proposed heliport at Henoko. These immediate steps would be the basis for the ultimate removal of the military presence from these communities and the return of the land to local control.

* Revise the unequal Status of Forces Agreements (SOFA) and Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), a first step toward the total removal of U.S. bases from Okinawa, mainland Japan, Korea, and the Philippines.

* Oppose the new U.S.-Japan Defense Guidelines that require Japan to provide facilities and personnel to support U.S. military activities in the region. The Guidelines constitute a violation of Article 9 of the Japanese constitution.

* Ratify the International Criminal Court, which will provide a mechanism for ordinary people to take action against military crimes.

* Compensate host countries and individual victims and survivors of military toxic waste and of violent acts against women and children that result from the U.S. military presence. Specifically:

1. Adopt the Host Country Bill of Rights as ratified in the International Grassroots Summit for Military Toxics (October 1999, Washington, D.C.);

2. Provide full accountability and compensation for violence against women, which includes violence against women in host communities, sexual harassment of women in the military, and domestic violence in military families.

* Take responsibility for the social, economic, and political development of Amerasian children by the U.S. and governments of host countries.

* Immediately decrease military spending by developing specific plans and timelines for overall demilitarization. Specifically:

1. Eliminate Japan's "Sympathy Budget" that supports the U.S. presence in Japan;

2. Commit to ongoing cumulative reduction of military spending (for example, five percent per year) and reallocate these resources toward compensation and redress for victims and survivors of military operations;

3. Develop alternatives to military conflict resolution;

4. Provide housing, food, shelter, health care, and education, which are basic survival needs.

* Stop new weapons design development and testing; end sales of weapons.

* The perspectives, leadership, and issues of women must be central to all matters of peace and security, including planning and decision-making of base closures and conversion.

* Women's organizations must be included at all levels of peace negotiations and national reconstruction. A pressing case is the dialogues beginning between North and South Korea.

* Conversion of military systems and military land must promote and reflect programs and projects that meet local community needs and are culturally relevant.

We conclude that military security is a contradiction in terms. The present militarized international security system is maintained at the expense of the natural environment, the economic and social needs of many people, and fundamental human rights. This is a price we refuse to pay.
COPYRIGHT 2000 Crime and Social Justice Associates
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2000 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Social Justice
Date:Dec 22, 2000
Previous Article:Unity Statement.
Next Article:Globalizing Forces: Review of Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women's Lives.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2022 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |