2005-04-29 / Community

Women’s International League And Weiner Discuss International Problems

Members of Citizens for Global Solutions and the Rockaway Branch of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom met with Congressman Anthony Weiner’s assistant Philip Jones last week to discuss their concerns about urgent international problems. They urged Congressman Weiner not only to support, but also to lead efforts to have the United States enter into the Kyoto Treaty and the International Criminal Court.  

Joan Flynn, chairwoman of Rockaway WILPF, spoke about the dangers of global warming. As the Earth continues to warm; there is a growing risk that the climate will change in ways that will seriously disrupt our lives. While on average the Earth will get warmer and receive more precipitation, individual regions will experience different climatic changes, with more negative consequences for the local environment. Flynn emphasized the need for a  ‘Manhattan Project’ style program to jump start clean, safe renewable energy as part of a sustainable solution to this pressing problem.

Dr. Vera Powers, a WILPF member, expressed concern about the continuing massacres of innocent civilians in the Darfur region. Stronger international pressure should be brought to bear on the Sudanese government to end this genocide.

Many women have been forced to watch as their children and husbands have been murdered, as their homes have been burnt to the ground, and as friends and family have simply disappeared. Their lives have been decimated.

Ruth Zinar, representing members of Citizens for Global Solutions, urged Congressman Weiner to lead the efforts to have the United States support a permanent International Criminal Court.  This would have been a policy of the Clinton administration, but was rejected by President Bush. Ever since the Nuremberg war crimes trials after World War II, the United States has championed international law as a means to end impunity for war crimes and genocide while promoting American principles like due process, equality before the law and the protection of basic human rights. The United States was instrumental in creating tribunals to prosecute the individuals responsible for genocide and ethnic cleansing in Yugoslavia and Rwanda and actively participated in the process that created the International Criminal Court (ICC).

She added that the U.S. should continue to work with our allies to uphold our legacy of championing international law and human rights. Together with our friends and allies we can bring war criminals to justice and prevent future genocides.

Jones listened attentively to the group’s concerns and assured the Rockawayites that the congressman has a genuine belief in the importance of protecting the environment and working for world peace. Weiner also welcomes letters and emails from his constituents letting him know about these or other concerns.

At the end of the cordial meeting, Dr. Powers referred to her interest not only in international health problems but also for those close to home and she asked that Congressman Weiner work for an indoor swimming pool for Rockaway to give people an opportunity for exercise throughout the year.

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