Strategic objective E.2.
Reduce excessive military expenditures and control the availability of armaments
Actions to be taken
143. By Governments:
e. Recognizing that women and children are particularly affected by the indiscriminate use of anti-personnel land-mines:
vi. Undertake to encourage further international efforts to seek solutions to the problems caused by antipersonnel land-mines, with a view to their eventual elimination, recognizing that States can move most effectively towards this goal as viable and humane alternatives are developed;
Beijing Declaration (1995)
In the context of this casual commentary series on the Beijing Declaration, the continual points bear repeating throughout the paragraphs of the need to demarcate different facets of the issues facing women and children disproportionately in regards to war. Not to deny the problems faced by boys and men, but to notify the leger, and to note the ways in which the United Nations and some of the international community focus on the needs of women in war time.
The indiscriminate use of anti-personnel mines remains a large problem because of the influence on the civilian population during the war and the impacts on individuals who may not yet be born after the war, because there continue to be deaths – large death tolls, in fact – in which the mines stick in the ground, are not dug up, and even children can be maimed or killed in the midst of living their early lives.
Some of the questions around the Beijing Declaration emphasis on the use of mines within the context of the livelihoods of women and children now are simply taking into account the realities of war and the impacts on the civilian population. It will take an international effort to reduce the damaging effects on the civilian populations in former war zones for some time.
The central aggressors in the war acts of burying large numbers of mines should hold the largest responsibility in their cleanup, whether the war was ‘won’ or ‘lost.’ In personal opinion, almost all wars amount to mutual massive losses based on civilian casualties alone. Indeed, the numbers of the deceased civilian population continue to increase because of the effective lethality of the international war machine.
The state aggressors know better too. The effects of war are too well-documented and the protests against wars happen, sometimes, well before the war begins; thus, this creates the basis for the mass popular activism standing against the wars and the documentation point to the negative effects of war on civilian populations.
Yet, the wars continue for, probably mostly, unjust and unfair, and illegitimate, ends. The emphasis here is the work for further international efforts in order to “seek solutions” for the problems of anti-personnel land-mines. The idea is to, eventually, eliminate them over the longer term with the initial goal for their reduction, if not simply to reduce the number of deaths due to leftovers from war.
The point being “viable and humane alternatives” for this problem of post-war killing.
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the Preamble, Article 16, and Article 25(2).
- Convention Against Discrimination in Education (1960) in Article 1.
- The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) in Article 3, Article 7, and Article 13.
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966).
- Some general declarations (not individual Declaration or set of them but announcement) included the UN Decade for Women (1976-1985).
- Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979) and the Optional Protocol (1999).
- Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984).
- The Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and the optional protocol (1993).
- Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995), Five-year review of progress (2000), 10-year review in 2005, the 15-year review in 2010, and the 20-year review in 2015.
- United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000), and the UN Security Council additional resolutions on women, peace and security: 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2010), 2106 (2013), 2122 (2013), 2242 (2015), and 2467 (2019).
- Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (2000).
- The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa or the “Maputo Protocol” (2003).
- Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence or the Istanbul Convention (2011) Article 38 and Article 39.
- UN Women’s strategic plan, 2018–2021
- 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, emphasis on the entirety of the goals with a strong focus on Goal 5
- 2015 agenda with 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (169 targets for the end to poverty, combatting inequalities, and so on, by 2030). The SDGs were preceded by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) from 2000 to 2015.
- The Spotlight Initiative as another important piece of work, as a joint venture between the European Union and the United Nations.
- February 6, International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation is observed.
- February 11, International Day of Women and Girls in Science is observed.
- June 19, Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict is observed.
- June 23, is International Widows’ Day is observed.
- October 11, International Day of the Girl Child is observed.
- October 15, International Day of Rural Women is observed.
- November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is observed.
- Gender Inclusive Guidelines, Toolbox, & United Nations System-wide Strategy on Gender Parity.
- Say No, UNiTE, UNiTE to End Violence against Women, Orange the World: #HearMeToo (2018), and the 16 days of activism.
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