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WILPF is the oldest women's peace organisation in the world. It was founded in April 1915, in the Hague, the Netherlands, by some 1300 women from Europe and North America, from countries at war against each other and neutral ones, who came together in a Congress of Women to protest the killing and destruction of the war then raging in Europe.
Its aims and principles are:
to bring together women of different political beliefs and philosophies who are united in their determination to study, make known and help abolish the causes and the legitimization of war;
to work toward world peace; total and universal disarmament; the abolition of violence and coercion in the settlement of conflict and its replacement in every case by negotiation and conciliation;
to support the civil society to democratise the United Nations system;
to support the continuous development and implementation of international and humanitarian law;
to promote political and social equality and economic equity;
to contribute towards co-operation among all people;
to enhance environmentally sustainable development.
Believing that under systems of exploitation these aims cannot be attained and a real and lasting peace and true freedom cannot exist, WILPF makes it one of its missions to further by non- violent means the social and economic transformation of the international community. This would enable the establishment of economic and social systems in which political equality and social justice for all can be attained, without discrimination on the basis of sex, race, religion, or any other grounds whatsoever.
The WILPF United Nations Office houses two projects, Reaching Critical Will (www.reachingcriticalwill.org) and PeaceWomen (www.peacewomen.org) that focus on militarism/disarmament and gender issues, respectively. The UN Office seeks to increase the transparency and accessibility of the United Nations for civil society and to promote civil society participation in its conferences and proceedings.