Letter to the Editor, Chronicle Herald – the role of Women Peacekeepers

by Sandy Greenberg

Your December 29 front page headline “2014: year of ‘horror, fear, despair’ for children” stopped my breathing; my mind raced for possible reasons. Then I saw the subtitle “UN study says 230 million kids live in areas of armed conflict”.

Children are terrified, injured, killed, and driven from their homes by armed conflict. They are also kidnapped, harmed, subjected to sexual violence and forced to become child soldiers, inflicting harm on others.

A great fear of parents is that we won’t be able to protect our children from harm. There are many things that we can’t protect them from. But is armed conflict one of those things?

Military and paramilitary campaigns attempt to establish power over others and security for the “winners”. Civilians are directly targeted, and children are not spared. Exerting violent power over others feeds the vicious cycle of harm. Instead, can we create security for all people, and therefore for all children of the world?

Humanity is in urgent need of a new way of seeing what is possible. Perhaps we can find that way by calling on the wisdom, experience and expertise of women peacemakers, as mandated by U.N. Resolution 1325, before, during and after conflicts.

VOW Position on the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA)

by Sandy Greenberg, for the national board of the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace

Are you concerned about the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) the Harper Conservatives are set to ratify with China?

Author Andrew Nikiforuk warns us, “Appallingly, the treaty would give Sinopec, one of the big Chinese backers of the Northern Gateway pipeline, the right to sue the government of British Columbia if it blocks the project. …Barring a revolt within Harper’s own party, the trade deal automatically becomes law on Nov. 1.”

Chinese companies will be able to sue all levels of Canadian government in secrecy. FIPA could have serious negative effects on the ability of Canadian governments to set policies in the public interest, and we will be committed to it for at least 30 years.

I urge the members of the Parliamentary Committee on International Trade conduct a full study on the Canada-China Foreign Investment Agreement (FIPA), postponingratification until our MPs can hear from Canadians on this issue.

Indeed, the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace is asking all MPs to reject the Canada-China FIPA.