Project Enduring Peace - Women’s Global Binding-Peace-Treaty Campaign
What follows is the rationale behind the structure of PEP and its founding at this time, 2023. Even a decade ago many of the necessary elements for success of this peace movement did not yet exist. Now they do.
PEP's shared fundamental assumption: ending wars between nations would be profoundly beneficial for humanity, now and into the far future—we don’t work to prove this truth. We assume it.
The founding and orienting goal of PEP is to secure an effective global peace treaty to end international wars. This will serve as the foundation of an enduring global stability on which to build a positive future. A campaign of education and persuasion will explain why ending international wars is within our grasp. Once established as real and working, a global peace treaty would do two things: 1) eliminate the tragic waste of such wars, and 2) eliminate the fear nations have of being invaded. Consequently, vast human and financial resources would be freed to do the good works required to sustain peace and eventually eliminate even civil wars (e.g., tackle poverty, restrain capitalism, improve the lot of women and the life prospects of young men, promote nonviolence, seek justice and reconciliation between communities, and more). We also face existential and expensive-to-combat environmental threats. It’s folly to squander wealth and lives on planning, executing, and recovering from wars; rather than wait for catastrophic disaster to strike and regret that we acted too late, why not act NOW!
Motto: Enduring Global Peace: Envision it. Believe in it. Work for it. And we will achieve it. Chant: For All Children! For all time! No more wars!
Seven realities on which the project rests, realities that foster success:
1. Russia’s occupation of parts of Georgia and its invasion of Ukraine and the brutal war of Israel with Hamas show that such a global movement is in fact needed. These recent events provide fresh motivation for a peace project. The long period between WW II and Russia’s recent invasions of two neighboring states may have led to a misplaced belief that the world’s social order was secure, that national borders were secure; thus many might mistakenly believe that no effort to secure an enforceable peace treaty to prevent wars between nations is needed. Clearly that is not true.
2.Two indicators make clear that global citizens of all nations, whatever their form of government, want to eradicate war – we’ve tried and come close to success:
The Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact - Officially the General Treaty for Renunciation of War as an Instrument of National Policy.July 1929. This pact was signed by Germany, France, and the United States on 27 August 1928, and by many states soon after: signatories included the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Belgium, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Italy and Japan. It took effect in July 1929 with a total of 57 state parties, including China and the Soviet Union. It remains in effect, but fails because it has no means of enforcement. It was the basis for the trial and execution of Nazi leaders in 1946.
Formation of the United Nations - the United Nations officially started on 24 October 1945. It came into existence after its Charter was ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, and a majority of other nations. Its stated purposes are to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations. It too fails to prevent war as it has no means of enforcement (i.e., no military). It relies on voluntary compliance.
3. Means of Enforcement. The “free world’s” swift imposition of negative consequences against Russia for invading Ukraine foreshadows the “how” of a global treaty’s means of enforcement. Some have said that if the entire global community had immediately imposed many negative consequences against Russia for invading Ukraine—including e.g. China, India, Brazil, Iran, et al., which unfortunately are not participating--Russia would not have invaded in the first place. The proposed treaty would include an international watchdog group tasked to determine if a nation or nations appear to be preparing to attack another, physically or digitally. Should they find this to be the case, the first responses would be 1) a warning to that nation, or nations, that the global community is on alert, and 2) a demand that mediation and negotiation between parties should begin at once. If attack begins nevertheless, a series of consequences for noncompliance with the treaty would be imposed, at first mild ones but increasingly onerous, all targeted at an aggressor’s decision-making entities and/or individuals, political and military, not the nation’s citizenry. All nations of the global community would share in the response, each according to its abilities to respond. There is high probability that just the threat of immediate, united global application of negative consequences for breaking the treaty would forestall attack. If attack occurred nevertheless, perhaps to test the global community’s will to avoid war, further consequences, even more onerous and outlined in the treaty, could be applied. [Click here for more details on how the treaty would work ]
4. Models exist of successful movements that secured great, albeit very difficult, social changes. They show the way to proceed. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Women’s rights and the suffragist movement – US Women worked over a span of72 years, from the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls spearheaded by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in July 1848, until Alice Paul et.al. secured a constitutional amendment giving all US women the vote in August 1920. Mohandas Gandhi’s movements to free India from British Rule - Decades of resistance to British rule eventually resulted in Indian independence in 1947. Gandhi directed three major campaigns: noncooperation (1920-1922), civil disobedience and Salt Satyagraha (1930-1931), and Quit India from about 1940-1942. His ultimately successful efforts over a span of 27 years from 1920 to 1947 developed techniques and strategies for successful nonviolent movements. US Civil Rights Movement under leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr. – this movement from 1954 to 1968, the year of his assassination, covered a span of 14 years. It followed decades of previous efforts by others that broadened into use of nonviolent “direct action”: boycotts, sit-ins, Freedom Rides, marches, and, at times, civil disobedience. The first major event of the modern civil rights movement was Brown vs. Board of Education (1954). The Civil Rights Act (1964) and Voting Rights Act (1965) eventually followed. A key commonality of these great social change movements: a small group of people initially decided, “this must be done.” They assembled others determined to persist….”however long it takes.”
Other Model Works in Progress – initiated and backed by combined vision and efforts of many: Ottawa Treaty – 1997. The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and of their Destruction. Over 80% of the world’s nations signed; some major nations have not. Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer – 1997 - signed by 197 countries – the first treaty in the history of the United Nations to achieve universal ratification – it is considered by many to be the most successful environmental global action.
5. For several reasons, this initially, and ideally, must always remain, a women-led movement. It must also be globally directed. First, war is a male enterprise: male leaders, only rarely an exceptional woman, have been originators, propagators, and major participants in wars. Male-led campaigns to end war have never succeeded; we need to try something different. Furthermore, women, the bearers and primary caregivers of next generations, are biologically predisposed to facilitate nonviolent behavior (e.g., to use compromise and negotiation) as it reduces or entirely avoids conflicts potentially fatal to children; women are likely to build and keep a movement committed to nonviolence. Furtheremore, research on social change movements shows that nonviolent ones are more frequently successful and more durable. The movement—to include all persons regardless of sex, political persuasion, nationality, race, or religion—must be nonviolent, as a model for the world’s children of the power and benefits of nonviolent conflict resolution. Finally, to be convincing and to actually function, participation and leadership must be global, not just by one or a few nations.
6. In recent decades the importance of women in civic and global affairs has been officially recognized by the United Nations. In 1946, the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) was established. In 2010, however,65 years after its founding, the United Nations established a new entity, UN Women [officially the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.] This reflected heightened recognition of women’s importance in achieving UN objectives. UN Women’s Research and Data Division focuses on “cutting edge policy research, innovative new ideas, and robust evidence” for ways to foster women’s empowerment. UN Women is perfectly positioned to assemble research on how to secure a global peace treaty. Thus there already exists a globally oriented entity wherein a women-led effort can be centered that can outline steps to take, and can provide coordination for a peace treaty campaign’s many activities.
7. In recent decades the world has experienced rapidly accelerating numbers of powerful and influential women in virtually all fields of human activity. And to be successful, a women-led movement to secure a binding global peace treaty would require a critical mass of such empowered women to lead and inspire (see “To Prevent War and Militarism Globally, We Must Elect More Women,” Anne Hoiberg, San Diego Union Tribune 9/20/2021). Even as recently as ten or fifteen years ago that critical mass did not exist, but now does. For example, “Time 100: The Most Influential People” magazines in recent years include impressive numbers of women in business, entertainment, sports, the military, politics, and more. Forbes Magazine publishes a list of highly successful women in its “50 Over 50 Project,” and the “30 Under 30 Project,” and in 2023, hosted an international meeting, the “Forbes 30/50 Summit,” In Abu Dhabi. A critical mass of women influencers arguably awaits the call to unite and lead a global effort to end the destruction, financial waste, and human tragedy of international war by securing a treaty that works…however long it takes!
It is reasonable to conclude that
The need to seek and secure a global peace treaty that prevents wars between nations is a cause that if successful will enormously enhance human wellbeing. Moreover, resources devoted to such wars can be spent on ameliorating the onrushing negative effects of climate change…something essential to the survival of civilization as we’ve known it, and
Because the majority of the planet’s nations have become complexly intertwined via commerce, travel, and information transfer so that what affects one tends to affect many or all, and because all would benefit from cessation of international wars, and because a peace treaty to which all signatories agree to immediately enact major negative consequences against a treaty breaker can provide a means of enforcement, consequently, we have a window of opportunity, and
We should begin as soon as possible the hard work to secure such a treaty, with the determination to continue the work, “for however long it takes.”