The 2012 Northeast Asia Women’s Peace Conference

 

Dates       March 13 (Tuesday) to 14 (Wednesday), 2012

Venue      The Seoul Women’s Plaza (Seoul, South Korea)

■ Theme     Nuclear Free World and Women’s Lives in Northeast Asia

Host       The Organizing Committee of the Northeast Asia Women’s Peace Conference,

The Hankyoreh Media Group

Organizers  Women Making Peace, Korean Women’s Association United

Women’s Committee of The Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation

Korea Church Women United

Sponsors   Korea Foundation for Women

Global Partnership for Prevention of Armed Conflict

 

■ Description

 

In March 2012, the organizing committee of the Northeast Asia Women’s Peace Conference (NAWPC) will hold its international conference at the Seoul Women’s Plaza in Seoul, South Korea to commemorate the 1st anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster and to respond the 2nd Seoul Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) from women’s perspectives. The Conference will hear of the tragic experiences of Japanese women as a result of the nuclear reactor disaster, seek alternatives to a nuclear world, and make recommendations to governments which will attend the 2nd Nuclear Security Summit. This conference will give us an opportunity to move towards a sustainable society and hope to our children for a better world on the basis of respect for life and coexistence between communities in Northeast Asia. In addition, it will foster reconciliation and cooperation among women in Northeast Asia, aiming to realize the U.N. SCR 1325.  The conference will consist of four linked events:

-          A public event at the Seoul Women’s Plaza in Seoul, South Korea;

-          A strategy session for women representatives of the countries participating in the Six Party Talks;

-           Visiting national assembly and Embassies of the Six-Party Talks countries

 

The organizing committee of the NAWPC is also trying to contact North Korean women’s groups and hold a conference in Kaesong City (North Korea), although the possibility is very low.

 

 

Background

 

In 2007, Women Making Peace organized a “South Korean Women’s Peace Delegation” comprised of women leaders and lawmakers involved in the Women’s Six Party Talks.  Later that year, the Women’s Peace Delegation visited the five other countries participating in the Six Party Talks on the DPRK's (North Korea) nuclear program: China, the DPRK, Japan, Russia, and the U.S.A.  The delegation articulated the importance of gender empowerment in fostering reconciliation, cooperation, and peace in Korea and Northeast Asia, and urged the normalization of relations between the DPRK and United States, as well as the DPRK and Japan.

 

In 2008, Women Making Peace, Korean Women’s Association United and the Women’s Committee of The Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation organized the “2008 Northeast Asia Women’s Peace Conference.”  The conference was held in Seoul, South Korea in September 2008.  Participants of the Conference primarily came from China, Japan, Russia and the U.S.A., with representatives from international women’s associations and Congresswomen from Japan and South Korea. All participants broadened their understanding through dialogue with NGO representatives, as well as unofficial talks with two participating Congresswomen from Japan and South Korea.  The Women’s Conference focused on building common ground to reduce misunderstandings and mistrust caused by colonial and Cold War experiences, as well as differences amongst the diverse political-economic systems and cultures of Northeast Asia.  Representatives from five countries gave presentations about their experiences and viewpoints for fostering peace in Northeast Asia.

 

In 2009, the “Organizing Committee of the Northeast Asia Women’s Peace Conference” co-hosted the “2009 Northeast Asia Women’s Peace Conference,” entitled “Negotiating Regional Peace, Reconciliation and Cooperation,” with the Sigur Center for Asian Studies at The George Washington University in Washington, DC.  Participants at the 2009 conference were women from China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, the U.K., and the U.S.A.  Former Prime Minister Myung Sook Han of the Republic of Korea and Ambassador Melanne S. Verveer, the U.S.A. Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues, delivered keynote speeches at the conference.  The goals of this conference were to strengthen relations among women and women’s participation in the peace process (Track II diplomacy), and to seek ways to coordinate Track I and Track II through dialogue for building peace in the Northeast Asian region.  Women representing the Six Parties visited the U.S.A. Congress and State Department (Sung Kim, the special envoy for the Six-Party Talks); and shared their experiences and thoughts on issues facing the Korean Peninsula.  Participants emphasized the importance of a comprehensive approach to fostering peace on the Korean Peninsula, and urged the U.S.A. Government to include women’s Track II initiatives in support of the official Six-Party Talks. 

 

In 2010, the Conference focused on reducing military tension and fostering peace among the six countries. Participants at the 2010 conference were women from China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, the Northern Ireland, and the U.S.A. Participants shared women’s experiences of the peace process in Northern Ireland and articulated the importance of gender empowerment in fostering reconciliation, cooperation, and peace in Korea and Northeast Asia, urging the resumption of inter-Korean, US-DPRK, and Japan-North Korean dialogues and the Six-Party Talks. Representatives of 6 countries visited the US Embassy in Seoul and South Korean members of parliament to deliver policy recommendations.

 

In 2011, The Organizing Committee of NEAWPC, Partnerships for International Strategies in Asia (PISA) of the George Washington University and Peace Boat US held a parallel event of the UN Commission on the Status of Women titled “UNSCR 1325 and Peace for Sustainable Development” at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the UN in New York. It was sponsored by the Office of Rep. Young-Hee Choi, Chair of the Gender Equality and Family Committee of the National Assembly of Republic of Korea. H.E. Mr. Herman Schaper, Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the UN and Ms. Susan Braden, Senior Policy Advisor of the Office of Global Women Issues of the US Department of State and women’s activists joined the conference. National Action Agenda on 1325 and women’s movements to implement UNSCR 1325 were discussed.

 

 

■ Goals of Women’s Meetings in Seoul in 2012

 

1.      Search for Common Ground towards a nuclear free world: the Conference will invite women representatives from countries of the Six-Party Talks to share their experiences of how the nuclear cycle affects their lives, particularly the tragic experiences of women following the Fukushima disaster. They will seek alternatives to a nuclear world, including nuclear energy and weapons, and ways to build peace and cooperation on the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia, and make common recommendations to the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit. The Northeast Asian Women’s Peace Conference will view peace and sustainability not only from each country’s perspective but also from a regional viewpoint.

2.      Delivery of Policy Recommendations: participants of the conference will visit the Nuclear Security Summit Preparatory Secretariat and Embassies of the Six-Party Talk countries (China, Japan, Russia, and the U.S.A.); listen to each country’s nuclear policies (including issues related to the NSS and the DPRK’s nuclear program as well as the peace process on the Korean Peninsula), and deliver policy recommendations as discussed at the peace conference.

3.      Empowerment of Track II diplomacy and Track I and Track II cooperation: this conference will reinforce women’s Track II activities and seek ways to cooperate with Track I activities for reducing threats of the nuclear world and fostering peace and sustainable society in the Northeast Asia. A safer world will only be obtained through efforts not just by the concerned governments, but also by civilian participation in the peace process.

4.      Implementation of UNSCR 1325: the peace conference is a process to implement the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995) and the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security (2000).  As of July 2011, 32 countries have adopted National Action Plans in order to implement the UN SCR 1325. Decision-making in the Northeast Asia regional security dialogue has heretofore been monopolized by men. Bringing women’s voices to the table is in keeping with UN SCR 1325, recognizing "the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in peace-building and stressing the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security."

 

 

Tentative Programs

March 13th, 2012   Public Session

 

10:00-10:30 Opening Ceremony

 

10:30-12:00 Session I: 2 Keynote Speeches

Nuclear Free World and Women’s Lives in Northeast Asia

Ms. Sylvia Kotting-Uhl, German congresswoman,

Green Party Spokesperson on nuclear policy

Ms. Youngsun Ji, Co-Chairperson, Joint Action for Nuclear Free Society

 

 

12:00-1:30 Lunch

     

 

1:30-5:00 Session II: Country Reports

 

Japan   Ms. Kimiko Hirata, Kiko Network

 

China   Ms. Chen Huaifan, Deputy Secretary-General, Chinese People’s Association for Peace and Disarmament

 

USA    Ms. Eleanor LeCain, founding member, Women’s Action for New Direction

 

Russia  Ms. Yana Yu.Blinvskaya, Professor, Maritime State University named after admiral G.I. Nevelskoy

 

South Korea, Ms. Gyung Lan Jung, Coordinator, The Organizing Committee of the Northeast Asian Women's Peace Conference, Chairperson of Policy Committee, Women Making Peace

 

 

 

■ March 14th, 2012

Morning

Strategic Meeting: Discussion regarding policy recommendations to officials of Nuclear Security Summit and concerned countries

 

Afternoon

            Visiting embassies and national assembly

 

Evening: Networking Dinner

 

 

Contact information

Ms. Gyung Lan Jung      Coordinator

The Organizing Committee of the Northeast Asian Women’s Peace Conference

Rm.401, 4th Floor, Women’s Center for Equality and Peace, 94-59,

Yeongdengpo Dong 7 Ga, Yeongdengpo Ku, Seoul, 150-037, South Korea,

Email:peacejung@gmail.com, Phone: 82-2-929-4846(office), Fax: 82-2-929-4843

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