Happy International Womens Day

For over 100 years, 8 March has been commemorated as a day when women demand their rightful place in peace negotiations. Whether those be through local governance or by taking their seat at the global power politics table, today is a day to honour women and to remind ourselves that we will never create a peaceful society without the full and equal participation of all.


In the Conference on Disarmament this morning, Ms. Beatrice Fihn of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom delivered an NGO statement on the occasion of international women’s day. I’ve known Beatrice for many years, and it does me proud that such a great woman could represent a message on behalf of so many others who continue to struggle to have their voices heard. This NGO statement has been delivered in the CD for more than 25 years, but only in the last 2 years has it been delivered by its authors. Before that, it was always read on behalf of the women by a proxy. An archaic practice, that has thankfully been relegated to the dustbin. At least on this one day, at least in this one room.

On this International Women’s Day, I would like to personally thank just a very few of the countless inspiring women working for peace and disarmament.

Ms. Ray Acheson, please stand up and take a bow for your fierce dedication, passion and patience, accept our applause for continuing to keep Reaching Critical Will a resource for everyone.

Ms. Felicity Hill, your creative thinking has brought us PeaceWomen, has brought us Reaching Critical Will, your feminist ethic has shaped the hearts and minds of young men and women around the world and in my own family.

Mrs. Edith Ballantyne, a role model whose commitment to the letter and spirit of the UN Charter is inspiring, and who continues to believe and work, for its honest implementation as a peace building tool.

Ms. Madeleine Duckles whose laughter, stories and stairs challenge people young and old to stay strong- even when you are only on the 2nd of the 83 steps to come.

Ms. Kathleen Sullivan, who has probably had those who will negotiate a total ban on nuclear weapons in her global classrooms.

These are just a very few of those who inspire, educate, advocate and create every day, to build a better world for us all- thank you.