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Put together by the WRI Executive Committee and Staff

Introduction

Another year has passed, and with it far too much death and destruction caused by wars and militarism. But people around the world continue to stand up for peace and resist the military (non)solutions, the arms race, the injustices, the unequal distributions of resources. In this annual report, you'll read about some of these struggles; conscientious objectors refusing being part of the war machine, groups around the world taking action against the militarisation of youth, peace activists coming together to learn from each other and strengthen ongoing campaigns and networks.

The report include an account of the WRI programme activities since the last Council, the work of WRI and its affiliates in the different regions of the world, the WRI internal business, WRI publications, statements and press releases, the WRI campaign to stop the violence in Turkey , WRI’s financial situation and finally an outlook for the coming year. As you will read in the report, organisations and individuals continue to find WRI to exchange experiences and knowledge, forming links between peace activists around the world and building stronger movements as we learn from each other.

Download this report as a pdf

War Resisters‘ International (WRI), in collaboration with Connection e.V. in Germany and nonviolent activists and WRI members from Turkey sent a delegation to the Southeast of Turkey between 26-29 April. A report from the delegation's visit, which included activists from Austria, Germany, Spain and Sweden, is now available online. 

Since the historical conference in Cape Town in the summer of 2014, the WRI office and network have continued to do important work around the world, supporting Conscientious Objectors, taking action against military bases and arms production, countering military recruitment, resisting police militarisation, spreading the word about nonviolent resistance and creating networks to support each other and be stronger together. 

Read our annual report for August 2014 – September 2015 here.

1. Introduction

In this report, we present the work that War Resisters' International has been involved in since the international conference in January 2010 in India, and the challenges WRI faces. It describes the staffed programmes, the work in the regions and the work of the WRI bodies – executive and council. Last but not least, it deals with WRI’s finances – an issue of continued concern and worry.

This report has been prepared by the staff and Executive Committee

1. Introduction

The year since the Council meeting in Bilbao in September 2012 has been a period of a successful transition in the office from Andreas Speck to Hannah Brock, and the continuation of WRI’s various

programmatic activities. The progressing preparation of the upcoming International Conference in South Africa 2014 and the preparation of the Council 2013 have been two further important elements of our work. In the international network, the Global Action Day Against Military Spending on April 15, the Conscientious Objectors Day exactly one month later and the days of action against the militarization of youth in June 2013 marked dates when many of our affiliates took common action.  The international political situation has remained full of challenges and issues – from Venezuela and Paraguay where our affiliates struggle for human rights and against the all-powerful influence of the military establishment through the Middle East with its various theatres of conflict and war to East Asia where our members from South Korea fight against a military basis on an island under the shadow of a major conflict between North and South Korea. This report describes the programmatic activities in the two WRI programmes (Nonviolence and the Right to Refuse to Kill), the work of WRI in the regions, the WRI-internal business and of course WRI’s financial situation.

This report has been prepared by the staff and the Executive Committee, covering the period January 2010 to May 2011. Items for discussion at the Council meeting will be especially highlighted.





1. Introduction

Two
deaths mark the introduction to this report.

Colombia has one of the oldest internal armed conflicts in Latin America. This conflict involves on one hand the various armed actors such as the guerrilla groups ELN (National Liberation Army) and FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), the paramilitaries, and the State's armed forces and other security corps. On the other hand, we find unarmed power actors implicated in the war, such as the political and economic elite, transnational companies, and the mass media as it is controlled by the national economic empire, which openly supports the military and aggressive stance of the current government.

The right to conscientious objection is derived from Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and seen as a manifestation of the freedom of religion and belief. The then CSCE stressed the right to conscientious objection in paragraph 18 of the Document of the Copenhagen meeting of the Conference on the Human Dimension in June 1990.The UN Commission on Human Rights stressed the right to conscientious objection in several resolution, most recently Resolution 1998/77, 2000/34, 2002/45. The Council of Europe also stresses the right to conscientious objection, especially in resolution 337 (1967) and recommendations 1518 (2001), R (87) 8, and 816 (1977).

Publications

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Testimonies of Conscience Sent From the Soviet Union to The War Resisters' International 1923 - 1929,

Toronto 1997. Edited by Peter Brock, Professor Emeritus of History in the University of Toronto; 42 pp., £3 (including postage). Available from the WRI office.

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