June 23, 2006
Statement for peace between Iran and the US
Invited by Peace Laureates Dr Shirin Ebadi and Prof Jody Williams, under the auspices of the Nobel Women’s Initiative, a number of Iranian and US women’s organizations and other civil society representatives came together in an historic meeting in Vienna from 6-8 June 2006. We agreed on the following:
1. As individuals representing NGO’s from the civil society of Iran and the US, we affirm our mutual respect and call for the reduction of tension and the prevention of armed conflict between our governments. Military action must be taken off the table. The US threat to use nuclear weapons in particular is immoral and illegal. Armed conflict would be devastating for the people of both nations and the world, especially for women and children.
2. We call upon the governments of Iran and the US to reduce military expenditures and use those resources for the health, education and general welfare of our people and renounce military and political aspirations that lead to war.
3. We call upon our governments to respect human rights and refrain from using the fight against terrorism or the excuse of national security as pretexts for violating human rights. We call on them to stop misusing religious beliefs and the pursuit of democracy to legitimize both the erosion of rights of their own people and aggression against other nations.
4. Violence is a choice. We call upon our governments to make other choices. We call upon them to enter into direct and public talks to find a peaceful end to their conflict. The objective of such talks must be to ensure human rights and security for our people.
5. Discussions should be broader than just the heads of state. The parliaments of the two countries -- as well as civil society, non-governmental organizations and academia -- must play constructive roles not only in peace talks but also in broader interactions between our societies with the ultimate goal of normalizing relations between the US and Iran.
6. Peace and security are linked to women’s equality. UN Security Council Resolution 1325 recognized successful decision-making on all peace and security matters, such as negotiations to reduce US-Iran tensions, requires the full participation of women.
7. The current crisis must be a wake up call to the international community. Nuclear states must lead meaningful negotiations on global nuclear disarmament and the promotion of a culture of peace.
8. We call upon the government of the US not to interfere in the internal affairs of Iran. We call upon the government of Iran to respect human rights, especially those of women, and respond to the needs of the diverse cultural, ethnic and religious communities of the country, thereby preventing justification for such interference.
9. We call upon the UN Security Council to comply with Article 26 of the United Nations Charter and develop the plan to use the world’s resources for the benefits of its peoples instead of for more armaments.
Prof. Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Laureate, USA - 1997
Dr. Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Laureate, Iran - 2003
Behnoush Amery, Society for Protecting the Rights of the Child
Liz Bernstein, Nobel Women’s Initiative
Felicity Hill, Greenpeace International, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Mary Ellen McNish, American Friends Service Committee
Mine Clearing Cooperation Campaign
Khadijeh Moghaddam, Independent Environmental Activist
Mary Olson, Nuclear Information and Resource Service
Sorosh Roshan, International Health Awareness Network
Atefeh Akbari Shahmirzadi, Advocacy Office of Dr. Shirin Ebadi
Mansooreh Shojaei, Women’s Cultural Center
Emira Woods, Foreign Policy in Focus/Institute for Policy Studies
Dr. Zeina Zaatari, The Global Fund for Women
Peace Statement in Persian (PDF)