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Our Statement on Syria

April 24, 2018

On April 14, 2018, the United States, the United Kingdom and France, three of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, attacked Syria with over a hundred missiles in the absence of a Security Council Resolution to support the bombing. We, the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace (VOW), are deeply saddened by this.

Voice of Women opposes the use of chemical weapons, as we also oppose the use of all destructive weaponry against the people of Syria, weaponry that has devastated this country since 2011. Bombing will not bring an end to the use of chemical weapons. Nothing in the international agreements prohibiting chemical weapons, or in international law, authorizes the airstrikes that have just been carried out. Indeed, these attacks risk further obstacles on the road to peace in Syria.

The route to peace is through sustained, meaningful dialogue and multilateral diplomacy for a negotiated, political solution with all parties involved in the conflict. Meetings towards this end were attended by the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, less than two months ago: in Vienna, Austria, on January 25 and 26, and in Sochi, Russia, on January 30, 2018.

Continuing diplomacy must engage Syrian women and civil society in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1325 which Canada has incorporated into its National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. The Resolution mandates the inclusion of women at every stage of dialogue and peace building both during and post conflict. When women are included, talks are more likely to lead to a lasting peace agreement.

Voice of Women opposes the ongoing and interlocked wars ravaging Syria and its neighbours, including the participation of Canada in Operation IMPACT. Since October, 2014, the Canadian military has been refuelling US-led coalition fighter jets as they continuously bomb targets that they identify as ISIL/Daesh. According to recent figures, the Canadian Air Force has provided more than 57 million pounds of fuel to these bombing missions, polluting with massive CO2 emissions and deepening a severe humanitarian crisis.

Canada must support a foreign policy of disarmament and peace, not involvement in confrontation and war. VOW calls on the Government of Canada and all Canadian MPs to condemn acts of war, to work towards ending hostilities in Syria through diplomacy, and to allow Syrian people to begin re-building their war-devastated nation.

For more information contact:
Lyn Adamson
Canadian Voice of Women for Peace
Phone: 416-731-6605

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