AUCKLAND (Pacific Media Watch): Women peace campaigners from Aotearoa, Australia, Hawai'i, Japan, Philippines and Polynesia/Te Ao Maohi have called for the removal of military occupation and bases in the Asia-Pacific region.
Meeting at AUT University in New Zealand, the three-day conference organised by the Aotearoa section of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom also called for the removal of military training and promotions that "normalise violence" in schools.
The women campaigners urged that military spending be reallocated to eliminate all forms of violence - domestic, social and military.
The WILPF Auckland Declaration said:
Military occupation and military bases must be removed from the Asia Pacific region.
A call for the decolonisation and demilitarisation of the Pacific came from women at a regional gathering of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) in Auckland April 25-27.
Women attended from Rapa, Polynesia/Te Ao Maohi, Japan, the Philippines, Aotearoa, Australia and Hawai’i.
They also call for the removal of military training and promotion from schools since this normalises violence. Military spending should be reallocated to eliminate all forms of violence: domestic, social and military, to meet human needs.
People have been dispossessed of their land through military colonial forces and all forms of human rights violations.
The meeting called for recognition of independent countries [which] are still under colonial military domination.
“Militarisation in the past has caused the colonisation of countries which are still under domination,” said Roti Make from WILPF Polynesia section. She specified Hawai’i under the USA, Rapanui under Chile, French Polynesia/Te Ao Maohi, Kanaky (New Caledonia), Wallis and Futuna annexed under France, and West Papua under Indonesia.
“We call on the United Nations to accept our identity and recognise us as independent nations,“ she added.
The women also called for an end to joint military exercises.
WILPF has its hundredth anniversary in April 2015 and they invite all women in the region to join their call.
The conference was held in partnership with Peace Movement Aotearoa and AUT's Pacific Media Centre.
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