Peace, Not War

January 13, 2003

The Right Hon. Jean Chrétien, P.C., M.P.,
Prime Minister
House of Commons,
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

Dear Mr. Chrétien,

I am writing on behalf of the National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC) to inform you of our “grave concerns that Canada is considering going to war without the sanction of a valid UN Resolution.” A motion with these words was adopted by the NCWC Board of Directors following a discussion about the indication of this change in policy made by the Minister of Defence and published on both TV, Radio and in Newspapers.

Historically, NCWC has endorsed Canada’s role as an active peacekeeper. To quote from the NCWC Policy statement of 1999 entitled WORKING TOWARDS PEACE, “Resolved that the NCWC convey to the Government of Canada that its members deplore all outbreaks of armed conflict and the use of force to control them which have not been sanctioned by the United Nations.”

In September, NCWC pointed out that there was a need for full disclosure of the reasons for attacking Iraq. Council also stressed that as women, members are acutely aware that in war, it is always women, children, the elderly and the enfeebled who suffer although they are not those doing the actual fighting. They are also those who are driven out of their homes to swell the already overflowing camps of refugees.

NCWC members urge that the Government of Canada clarify its position, maintaining the position that Canada will only go to war as part of a UN sanctioned action.

NCWC has been a member of the International Council of Women since 1905; it currently holds Consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the United Nations, and is a participating non-governmental organization with the Organization of American States. (OAS/CIM)

With best wishes,

Catharine Laidlaw-Sly
President
National Council of Women of Canada

cc Hon. John Manley
Hon. John McCallum
Hon. Don Boudria

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