Women's Peace Conference

Voice of Women is sponsoring this June 2-3, 1994 conference, in preparation for the fourth U.N. World Conference on Women, in Beijing in 1995. The keynote address will be by Professor Ursula Franklin. Workshops include women in decision making, militarization, human rights, refugees, conflict resolution. To register call VOW at 416-537-9343.

Victoria First

Victoria Peace Center held a colloquium, the Victoria Conversion Project, on Monday Feb. 28. The coordinator was Kealey Pringle. Funding came from the Cooperative Security Competition Program. Labor, peace activists, a retired military man, government, and other community leaders attended. Defence employees and peace activists found they could work together. Everyone understood the necessity for the federal government to make a firm commitment of time and money to facilitate a national conversion program.

They all agreed that the restructuring of Canada's economy needs thoughtful planning and that innocent individuals shouldn't bear the brunt of social policy changes. It's time for communities to develop alternative long term plans for the lands, facilities, and economy.

Laser Weapons

According to a report just published by the International Committee of the Red Cross, "Laser weapons are easy to transport and stockpile and are therefore most likely to be used in internal conflict. Experts anticipate the danger of such weapons becoming as widespread as chemical weapons, had these not been prohibited."

The Red Cross, which for years has been content with its quiet role as battlefield worker and diplomatic custodian of the Geneva Conventions, has, under its present president, Cornelio Sommaruga, become rather more outspoken.

Last August it organized the International Conference for the Protection of War Victims, in which Sommaruga called for "nothing less than the resuscitation of the observance of international humanitarian law."

He regularly goes on the record to condemn the arms trade, and to argue for the separation of humanitarian aid from military operations, including that of U.N. peacekeepers. Now laser weapons are in his sights. "For once, maybe, we could outlaw a weapon before it hits the production line."

Defence Review

On February 17, the Liberals initiated a parliamentary debate on the formation of a joint House of Commons and Senate Committee to travel across Canada to hear witnesses' submissions on defence policy.

If you or your organization would like to make a submission, contact the Clerk, Special Joint Committee of the Senate and the House of Commons to Review Canadian Defence Policy, Rm. 603-180 Wellington St., Ottawa ON K1A QA6. Tel: (613) 996-1533; fax:(613) 996-1626.

The Innu Speak

February 14-27, Elizabeth Penashue and Martha Hurley from Sheshatshit, and Philomene Vollant of Schefferville came to Southern Ontario. They spoke at 15 venues to raise awareness and renew support for the Innu struggle. They outline a plan for a group of Innu to snowshoe out to their hunting grounds (presently used as a NATO bombing range) this spring. If people want more information about the international campaign and the Innu and the Earth, call (416)531-6154.

Peace Magazine Mar-Apr 1994

Peace Magazine Mar-Apr 1994, page 31. Some rights reserved.

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