While the United Nations has established “Climate Action for Peace” as the theme for this year's International Day of Peace (21 September) GPPAC Pacific, a network of Pacific Island peacebuilders says it is vital to recognise the peace, development and humanitarian nexus.
GPPAC – the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conference says that while it is vital to draw attention to the importance of ensuring that the response to climate change requires caring for the creation - peace with the environment also means addressing the impact of conflicts on the environment and long term peacebuilding issues in the region including the referendum now scheduled for November 23rd in Bougainville:
“A referendum about the political future is the ultimate realization of our human rights to choose our political status” says Agnes Titus of the Nazareth Centre for Rehabilitation in Bougainville (NCfR)
It is also a vital reminder of the investment in young people as peacebuilders and ensuring that the investment in peacebuilding enables capacity development in infrastructures for peace including mentoring and supporting the activism of young people:
“In Bougainville two vigils are being organised which will include the participation of young women from the Women’s Human Rights Defenders Network. It is vital to provide a pathway for investing in young women as peacebuilders” says Sister Lorraine Garasu of NCfR.
Inclusive Peacebuilding Nexus
Inclusive peace means not just inviting diverse women and the peacebuilding community to find a seat at the table but redesigning the table:
“All peacekeeping and peace support deployment including for the upcoming referendum should be accompanied by gender and youth inclusive community level dialogue and mediation, peace education and trauma healing. Women and young women must be involved in determing their peace and security” says GPPAC Pacific Regional Representative and GPPAC Board Chair Sharon Bhagwan Rolls who says climate change is adding to the challenges of managing and supporting transitional peace processes as well as the persistent levels of militarisation and violence in Tanah Papua:
“While we welcome the recognition of the climate change crisis within recent UN security council and Pacific Forum meetings, we must ensure that this is about enhancing and ensuring human security outcomes for an environment security approach for communities most affected. It requires a process that enables women to define the resilience for peaceful communities. This also includes determining our collective climate security, including by supporting women’s leadership role in disaster management and humanitarian response. That is also why the Pacific Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security had the foresight to recommend that humanitarian action must take into account pre-existing gender inequalities and the discrimination faced by women, and ensuring that these are not further magnified or exploited during humanitarian crises particularly as we know we will continue to expect more frequent local and national climate change induced disasters of greater scale. Gender Inclusive conflict prevention measures must be part of preparedness and response standard operating procedures.”
“It requires alignment of the Pacific Resilience Framework and the 2018 Boe Declaration to enhancing the peace, development, humanitarian and human security nexus from an inclusive conflict prevention approach that takes into account the root causes of violence and conflict” she added
Working In Solidarity:
Peacebuilding is everyone’s business and GPPAC Pacific is committed to continuing to ensure there are safe and inclusive spaces to progress commitments to inclusive and sustainable peace by working in solidarity within the peacebuilding community as well as civil society community, the feminist movement, traditional and faith leaders as well as the media:
“As GPPAC Pacific we are working in solidarity to promote and undertake programmes that uplift Climate action for Ecological Just’Peace” says Adivasu Levu, the Executive Director of Transcend Oceania, the Regional Secretariat of GPPAC Pacific:
“GPPAC Pacific uplifts the CSO statement to Pacific Forum Leaders (Tuvalu, 2019) and further amplifies the need to accelerate efforts to resolve nuclear testing legacy issues in the Pacific and to sign and ratify the 2017 UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. We further reiterate that all programmes and schemes which address forced climate displacement and relocation, including internal and external migration, treat families with dignity and be inclusive of people with disabilities; we further stress the need for conflict prevention analysis and approaches be integrated into such measures”
Members of GPPAC Pacific are: Transcend Oceania, FemLINKpacific, Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding, Nazareth Centre for Rehabilitation - Bougainville, Talitha Project – Tonga, Vanuatu Young Women for Change, Vois Blong Mere Solomon and the Pacific Conference of Churches.