Nominations for the WRI Council elections, January 2010
1. Abraham Gebreyesus Mehreteab, Eritrea/Germany
Nominated by Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft/Vereinigte KriegsdienstgegnerInnen
My name is Abraham Gebreyesus Mehreteab. I was born in Eritrea on the 9th of February 1971. I studied law in Asmara for my first degree and masters programme in The Netherlands for my LLM on International Law and the Law of International Organizations. Since 2002, I am living in Frankfurt Germany as a political refugee.
In the last 15 years, I have been a disability right campaigner, campaigner against landmines and support for landmine survivors as well as supporting conscious objectors in Eritrea and around the world.
Due to my personal experience, the first thing that I worked on was the establishment of Eritrean Blind Association in Eritrea. Together with my friends, I was a member of the establishing committee.
Moreover, I have been active as a human rights activist since I was a fourth year law student at Asmara University in Eritrea. On my part time I was actively involved in the campaign against Landmines in Eritrea and other African countries with some international NGOs. I was a member of the novel price winner International Campaigners to Ban Landmine (ICBL). As a landmine survivor, I was in particular active to campaign for the support of landmine survivors. I was able to be invited to many international conferences in Africa, Asia and Europe. During the conferences I was addressing the issues of landmine survivors and campaigned to end landmines as weapons of war.
When I was 11, a landmine has changed my entire life for good or for bad. I lost my eyes and my right arm to a landmine. After 16 years of my landmine accident and having grown up as a blind person in a blind school and life in Asmara, my right eye was recovered through a corneal transplant operation with the help of international landmine campaigners, friends and above all the willingness of the government of South Africa. After my treatment in Pretoria, I continued to be a national and international human right activist as an individual.
During those years from 1996 until 1998, in which I was enlightened to change my attitudes and ideas completely on peace and stand against war, there were people who were observing my ideas and activities. Without my knowledge, they nominated me for an international award. In 1998 I was the Reebok Human Right Award recipient. I was among the four under 30 years who received the annual Human Right Award for their human rights work.
Encouraged by the award, I continued my work in Eritrea as a landmine survivor. I did a lot of effort to establish an Eritrean Landmine Survivors Network with the help of the US Landmine Survivors Network based in Washington D.C. But unfortunately due to the policy of the Eritrean government on NGOs and the so called border war between Eritrea and Ethiopia, (1998-2000) our work was not allowed in Eritrea. Moreover, the government started to hunt the human right activists and people who were against the war and the political structure of the government.
When I started to live in Germany, I still continued my interest to work on the peace and human right issues. I worked as a member of Eritrean human right civic organization in Frankfurt and had a chance to be members of coordinating committee for Eritrean Network of Civic societies in Europe.
Moreover, I was one of the co-ordinators for the establishment of the Eritrean Antimilitary Initiative (EAI) in Germany. The EAI has been working in cooperation with Connection e.V., a German organisation which works on conscious objectors from Eritrea. In 2004 EAI with the help of WRI had a chance to present the situation of Eritrean conscientious objectors and human right situation to the UN Human Right Commission. I represented EAI and WRI to give my speech to the UNHRC.
With the cooperation of Connection and other colleagues, I believe I played my role to present the true nature of present Eritrea in its handling of human right and military situation. Although the situation is still very bad in my country, I feel still that I have to do more to influence my people in Eritrea to say ‘no war again in Eritrea’.
Moreover, I believe that working with WRI and other peace organizations will add a broader perspective in my interest of peace culture. This would enable me to send a peace message to African and Eritrean people in particular, who have been in war culture for centuries. Since 2004, I have been very much impressed by the work of WRI. I attended the WRI conference in Germany and the May 15 2009 in South Korea. It was a very good opportunity for me to know the WRI people.
2. Adriana Patricia Castaño Roman, Colombia
Nominated by War Resisters League
My name is Adriana Patricia Castaño Román and I am an activist in the Youth Network/ Red Juvenil in Medellín. It is an anti-militarist organisation which adopts the philosophy of active non-violence, so as to promote this principle in the training processes leading to political actions. For the past three years we have developed stronger actions which demonstrate the structural causes of war. Our work is mainly based in the city, but we are creating alliances and twinning pacts with some rural organisations, such as the youth movement of Alvaro Alcue del Causca and the Nasa indigenous peoples within the department. We also work with various campesino organisations on a project aiming to set up an agro-ecological shop.
I have been a member of the organisation since 1996 and I am currently supporting the group practicing active non-violence as well as a school proposal in the popular communication/ media programme. Throughout the years I have been active in defending conscientious objection, in promoting objection and monitoring/ following the situation of city youths, as well as reporting/ denouncing forced recruitment. Three years ago I joined a feminist organization, so as to help women who are victims of the armed conflict in the country and denounce/ condemn the persisting patriarchal society and the consequent discrimination which affects the women in so many ways.
Our proposal to remain in the council would enable us to achieve our objective of strengthening the our region, by supporting new groups in Latin America. War Resister’s International has supported is in demonstrating/ showing the situation/ context of conscientious objectors and the illegality of recruitment. We have therefore been able to become a source of counter-information and our aim is to continue to work with a positive attitude, energy and determination, thereby continuing to support the programmes established by the London office and playing a greater participatory role in the organization itself.
3. Albert Beale, Britain
Nominated by Institute for Peace Work and Nonviolent Transformation of Conflicts (IFGK), Germany
I became a pacifist at school, on a day when someone was hanged "to show that killing people was wrong". But at the time I didn't know there was a name for that viewpoint.
In the "real world" I have worked as a computer programmer and as a physics teacher. In the peace movement my past jobs have included: co-ordinator of the (British) Campaign Against Arms Trade (which I co-founded); and many years as co-editor of Peace News.
I have been an active campaigner against militarism (including with particular reference to Northern Ireland and the Middle East), as well as over public transport, nuclear power, censorship, sexual identity rights, local democracy, etc.
I have previously served as a member of the WRI International Council - both as the Peace Pledge Union's section representative, and as an internationally-elected member. I currently edit the Housmans World Peace Database & Directory, and I continue to be very active over many of the issues above.
Whilst on the WRI Council, I have tried to be active and supportive (though without avoiding necessary debates and arguments) in discussions and meetings, and personally with regard to the WRI office (which is in the same building I work in). I have not always been able to give as much time and thought to the WRI as I would like, but continue to be extremely committed to the international work.
I think it is important to use the strength of the existing WRI network to help support our colleagues in countries where the existing WRI connection, and awareness of the WRI, is weak. We must also help the establishment and development of war resistance organisations in countries where WRI doesn't currently have any affiliates. I am also committed to building links between the traditional WRI constituency and campaigners in other fields who are discovering/using nonviolence.
My commitment to pacifism and nonviolence is closely related to my opposition to nationalism and to my atheism.
4. Boro Kitanoski, Macedonia
Nominated by FMK, War Resisters' League, Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft/Vereinigte KriegsdienstgegnerInnen
I just spent 4 years as a WRI Council and Executive member since 2006. I have been nominated again and decided to stand for election for WRI Council.
I first came in touch with WRI as conscientious objector in 1999 and since then have attended on many meetings and events which WRI organized or participated on. In 2004 I helped in organizing a WRI Council meeting and seminar in Ohrid, Macedonia.
At present, I’m still active in Peace Action (affiliate of WRI) as well as in several other initiatives in the Balkans. I’m involved in variety of antinationalistic and antimilitaristic issues in former Yugoslavia as well as wider Balkan region doing tasks which include organizing campaigns, actions and trainings.
As for my priorities within WRI for the next 4 years:
Well, I have been involved in CO work, and I wish to continue with it. I was also involved in the WRI’s ‘Regionalization’ efforts, mostly in connection with the Anti-NATO mobilization in Europe, which I find as very fresh and important development for WRI I would like to continue. Also, I would like to see more networking of WRI and new groups emerging on Balkans and also as re-connecting with the ‘old’ WRI contacts in the region.
5. Carlos Barranco, Spain
Nominated by Vredesactie
My name is Carlos Pérez Barranco and I was born in Madrid in 1969, although I have lived almost all my life in Valencia. I am currently working as an audiovisual translator and I teach continuing education in IT. I finished my studies/ graduated in Physics in 1992 from Barcelona, which is where I first came into contact with grassroots movements. I participated in environmental groups and I began to experiment in the meetings-based culture and direct non-violent action. However, it was not until a couple of years ago that I became fully involved/ I fully immersed myself in this area, having understood in more depth the existence of the Conscientious Objection Movement and the campaign for the refusal to do the military service. Soon after I decided to take part in civil disobedience against obligatory conscription. In 1996 I joined the MOC/COM group in Valencia and I participated in a new form of civil disobedience called “disobedience in the barracks”, which involved publicly deserting as a recruit in a barrack. In the following years, when I was in a military prison alongside 30 other people refusing to do compulsory military service, the period was an important life experience, as well a political one in which I learnt about the politics involved in self-organisation, meetings based culture, grassroots campaigns, direct non-violent action and civil disobedience.
With the collapse and disappearance of the military service in 2001, I continued to be very active in the MOC network, trying to contribute analysis and proposals throughout an uncertain transition period towards an anti-militarist movement after the refusal to participate in the military service. For example, in the past three years I have tried to revitalize/ encourage the MOC’s participation in a network of pacifist groups focused on direct non-violent action on a European scale which is being set up. I also co-manage the website www.antimilitaristas.org. I have also recently been working with the WRI as a translator and proofreader.
As for my work in the WRI council, I hope I will be able to create stronger ties between the Spanish anti-militarist movement and the WRI, and that this link be based on a two way collaboration. I hope to continue strengthening the Spanish movement thanks to the longstanding tradition which has been maintained with the WRI, as well as the large scope of the network, whilst also contributing to the WRI, by providing the perspectives of the Spanish anti-militarist movement.
6. Helena Rill, Serbia
Nominated by FMK, Vredesactie
I was born in 1972 in Voivodina/Serbia and my activism is influenced mostly by wars in the former Yugoslavia, but also by injustice, and violence in general. I am active in the Centre for Nonviolent Action (CNA) Belgrade-Sarajevo and I am dedicated to changing my society which is full of hatred, animosity, non-understanding, nationalism. I want to believe that this change is possible, but peacebuilding is challenging process and sometimes I have questions, dilemmas and doubts. However, my persistence is related to my strong belief in importance of these processes.
I started my activism on a local level and continued it on a regional one; during my activism I worked on prejudice reduction, nonviolence, antimilitarism, gender, conflict transformation, trust and peacebuilding and other issues in the region of the former Yugoslavia. I have been part of creating, planning, organizing and implementing the programs in CNA but most of the time I am a part of education on trainings in peacebuilding and actions in peacebuilding promotion (through publication and book editing mostly).
My motivation to be part of the WRI are values that we share and which I (try to) live. When speaking of my priorities within the WRI work, it would be connecting the former Yugoslavia experience in nonviolence and peacebuilding (on which I have most knowledge/experience and contacts with individuals and organizations in this field and the region) with the WRI work and supporting planning and organisation of education and actions within WRI. It is also important for me to link the nonviolence programs in the globalised world. I would like to be active in Nonviolent Training working group and Women's group at WRI.
7. Hilal Demir, Turkey/Spain
Nominated by FMK, War Resisters League, Institute for Peace Work and Nonviolent Transformation of Conflicts (IFGK), Germany, Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft/Vereinigte KriegsdienstgegnerInnen
I became a peace activist, nonviolent trainer, antimilitarist- feminist, gay activist, eco-activist, concientious objector and may be many others which I am forgetting to mention since when I first involved antimilitarist movement in Turkey within Izmir War Resisters’ Association when i was 18. I worked with several groups like women groups, nonviolent trainer group, gay groups and some others; also founded several of them which were the first political groups on their fields.
After becoming an antimilitarist activist, my main interest turn onto feminism and nonviolence. Having couple of years of trainer's trainings and experience, I have started to work as a nonviolent trainer within Turkey and also internationally.
But for sure I was part of the CO movement. In 2005 i declared my CO publicly as a political strategy and as a personal expression with some other women.
Now I am living in Spain since 2008. I can not phsically involve into Turkish movements but still working with them, especially on nonviolence with using the advantages of the virtual life. I've just launched the first nonviolent web page in Turkish which is aiming to become a source of material for nonviolent trainers and activists.
My aim of contribution to WRI is strenghining the link between WRI and Turkish antimilitarist movement. WRI is ready to give any support and i like to use this energy and international opportunities to accelerate Turkish movement which is constant for a while.
8. Kerstin Bergeå, Sweden
Nominated by FMK
Hi, my name is . I am sorry to say that I cannot attend the council. I am hindered by a training of trainers in nonviolence in Sweden that I am facilitating. It is a 21 days training and I can’t miss the end of it. Some of you met me at the WRI NV-training exchange in Bilbao 2008. (I also attended the council in Germany 2006)
WRI is a collective and powerful resource that opposes the ongoing militarism and shows the enormous potential of nonviolence as a method and a way of life and always puts emphasis on strategic planning and campaigning. I would be honored if I would get the chance to be elected to the WRI Council.
There I could contribute with a gender perspective on nonviolence and conflict resolution. Furthermore I have vast experience of nonviolence training from different settings such as Sweden, West Sahara, Colombia and in the Northern Uganda. I like to organize and carry out creative workshops and I am very fortunate that it is a part of my work as a nonviolence secretary at SWEFOR. I am coming from a background being involved in different movements such as the global justice (Attac Sweden) and woman’s peace movement working to implement resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. I have also worked as a peace observer in Guatemala and Chiapas 2003-04.
I thrive in both a national and international environment and would like to build international networks of cooperation.
P.S. If you wonder -If I get elected I plan to attend all meetings ; -)
. I am sorry to say that I cannot attend the council. I am hindered by a training of trainers in nonviolence in Sweden that I am facilitating. It is a 21 days training and I can’t miss the end of it. Some of you met me at the WRI NV-training exchange in Bilbao 2008. (I also attended the council in Germany 2006)
9. Rafael Uzcategui, Venezuela
Nominated by Ni Casco Ni Uniforme
I am Rafael Uzcátegui and I am 36 years old. I joined the conscientious objection movement thirteen years ago in Venezuela, from 1995 to 1998, which led to the term “conscientious objection” being included-albeit in a contradictory way/ form- in the National Constitution, which was drawn up in 1999. I am currently coordinator of an Area of Investigation of a Venezuelan NGO working on human rights called Provea.
I would like to be part of the WRI council so as to be able to bring to the organization a deeper understanding of the militarist phenomena in Latin America, which has historically been linked to mass movements which have been categorized/ described as “populist” in nature. I would also like to help create stronger links between the WRI and the antimilitarist movements of Latin America, which would promote the coordination of links between initiatives against war and militarism in the region.
Finally, I present myself as a candidate, in the hope that the situation in Venezuela be understood in its complexity, so as to further strengthen the erosion of the autocratic/ dictatorial style and military model which is currently in vogue in the country. I also hope to initiate the organization of collective groups of local social movements who appreciate the causes of conscientious objection, demilitarization, direct non-violent action and other related issues.
10. Patrick Sheehan-Gaumer, USA
Nominated by FMK, War Resisters' League
I have been active with the War Resisters League since 1997, when I was still a teenager. I started out in counter-military recruitment work and continue in it today. I have served on WRL's National Committee twice and am the convener of its International Task Force.
My term as the War Resisters League representative to WRI is finishing and I would enjoy continuing to serve on the Council as an independent member.
I consider myself a pacifist and a conscientious objector. I strive to resist war and violence everyday, a tough task in the US where we 'support' war in many ways without realizing it. I am a war tax resister and do not pay tax money that goes to our military.
I believe in the importance of learning tactics and listening to perspectives from other countries. My desire to be on Council is probably as much self-interest as what I think I can offer Council. I enjoy helping to facilitate at WRI Council meetings and am willing to volunteer for some of those types of jobs.
11. Pelao Carvallo, Chile/Paraguay
Nominated by Ni Casco Ni Uniforme
I am an experienced internationalist anti-militarist: I lived in Chile a long time and it was there that I was part of the founding group of GOC Ni Casco Ni Uniforme and in Paraguay I am now a main driving force behind Gaaa! (grupo de afinidad antimilitarista de asunción), de la Revista antimilitarista latinoamericana Periférica y del centro social y biblioteca La Comuna de Emma, Chana y Todas las Demás. At the moment we are organising a meeting on May 15th in Asunción. I actively support the creation of a space for antimilitarism and conscientious objection in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is a network based on our opposition to militarism, buildup of arms, and military coups which the region has suffered recently. I have worked so that the WRI is of/ bears greater relevance in the Latin American context and raising awareness of the WRI, so that more people become directly or indirectly integrated within the network.
From 2006 I have been part of the WRI council and in 2008 I joined the executive committee. I would like to further contribute to the WRI through antimilitarist grassroots based work, which is questioning/ inquisitive/ analytical, as well as based on community spirit. I am also interested in continuing to support the WRI within the WRI council, supporting the work which the team, who were voted in in 2006, have been carried out, thereby strengthening and helping the WRI grow, especially in Latin America.
12. Sergeiy Sandler, Israel
Nominated by FMK, War Resisters' League, Institute for Peace Work and Nonviolent Transformation of Conflicts (IFGK), Germany, Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft/Vereinigte KriegsdienstgegnerInnen
I am an antimilitarist activist living in Israel. I refused to be drafted into the Israeli army as a pacifist (even spent some time in prison back in the 1990s) and have been active in the field since. In 1996 I was among the founders of the small Association of Conscientious Objectors in Israel, and in the last ten years I've been an activist of the Israeli antimilitarist movement, and WRI associate, New Profile. For our work in counselling conscientious objectors and draft avoiders the State of Israel has recently awarded me, together with 11 other New Profile activists, the honorary status of criminal suspects.
I have been on the WRI Council since 2002 and on the Executive Committee since 2006. On Council, I intend to continue focusing on Right to Refuse to Kill work and work against militarism in general, as well as do what I can to improve the WRI's situation financially and organisationally.
13. Stellan Vinthagen, Sweden
Nominated by FMK, War Resisters' League, Institute for Peace Work and Nonviolent Transformation of Conflicts (IFGK), Germany
I am born 1964 and am a scholar-activist. I have been involved with nonviolent activism and civil disobedience since 1986 and as an academic since 1997. I have been involved in groups and movements dealing with refugee rights, global justice, poverty, antimilitarism, gender, nuclear energy, nuclear weapons, weapon trade, animal rights, etc. I have taken part in more than 15 trials because of civil disobedience and spent more than one year in prison. I live in the Eco-Village Krossekärr on an island at the Swedish west-coast. I have a PhD dealing with the sociology of nonviolent action and am a senior lecturer in Sociology at University West, and in Peace and Development Research at School of Global Studies, Gothenburg University. I am also a scientific advisor for International Center for Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC, www.nonviolent-conflict.org), and co-founder of the Resistance Studies Network (www.resistancestudies.org). My research is focused on resistance, power, social movements, nonviolent action, conflict transformation and social change. I have written or edited four books and numerous articles, among the latest ”Is the World Social Forum a Democratic Global Civil Society?”, in Societies without Border, 2008 I have travelled in five continents to interview movement activists, done participant-observations at several top-summit protests of the global justice movement and discussed research results with participants at four WSF since 2002.
I have been a Council Member of War Resisters International since 2006 and has during that time contributed to the theme work on “Globalising Nonviolence” at the WRI conference in Germany 2006; to the WRI Handbook; the the book on Unarmed Resistance (ed. Howard Clark) and the seminar in Coventry on Unarmed Resistance; the WRI workshops on nonviolent actions at the European Social Forum 2008.
My interest and possible contribution to WRI is to
(1)continue the development of connections between research/academia and nonviolent resistance/activism (see e.g. my work on Academic Seminar Blockades in Faslane 365 at www.faslane365.org),
(2)to increase collaboration with the “global justice movement” and the World Social Forum process.
I would like to contribute as much as ever possible to WRI since I share the goals and methods of WRI and think the organization is unique. I am an individual member of WRI, not representing any WRI member organization (the only one politically possible is FOR Sweden but I am not religious). My problem is that I don’t have much time to spend on WRI work since I am already involved in many projects. Still, I think I am able to contribute something, as I have done before. But if there is anyone suitable having more time I have no problem with withdrawing as a candidate.
Nominated by Institute for Peace Work and Nonviolent Transformation of Conflicts (IFGK), Germany
During the term 2006 to 2010 I was already a member of the WRI Council. The focus of my work was on international and European peace work.
Until mid-2009 I was a member of the European Parliament, first as an independent on the list of the then PDS, and later as a member of the Left Party (DIE LINKE). During my work in parliament, I always remained true to my antimilitarist and movement oriented approach. From June 2004 until July 2009 I was the coordinator of the Left Group (GUE/NGL) in the Sub-Committee Security and Defence, and member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. My re-election failed due to the insufficient election results of the Left Party at the European elections in Germany.
I have been asked several times to continue my work in the WRI Council also without being a member of the European Parliament. After some hesitation I accepted and I am now again standing for the elections for the WRI Council.
As a founding and board member of the Information Point Militarisation (Informationsstelle Militarisierung e.V.(IMI)) the focus of my work is and remains the foreign and military policy of the European Union, and the role of Germany in international politics (The Information Point Militarisation has been registered as charitable organisation since March 1996 and wants to support peaceful settlement of conflicts through education and information, and provides information against the creeping militarisation of Germany and the European Union).
In close co-operation with the WRI office in London and several affiliated organisations such as DFG-VK and others I was especially concerned with the militarisation of the European Union. Main areas have been the EU Constitutional Treaty and later the Lisbon Treaty of the European Union, which will transform the European Union into a military alliance. In this work we had a close co-operation with our friends in Ireland, who represented a progressive 'no' against the Lisbon Treaty in two referendums.
Issues of conscientious objection in Europe were also part of my work, and in co-operation with WRI I published a booklet on this topic, which provides an overview of the situation of conscientious objectors in Europe. I also helped to make possible several hearings on conscientious objection.
For years I am active in the world-wide movement against military bases, and contributed to international meetings such as in Quito / Ecuador, made a European meeting in Strasbourg possible because of my parliamentary mandate, worked closely with groups in several European countries (e.g. Czech Republic, Italy, Sweden, etc), and in Germany I organised with a range of groups several actions at different military bases such as Ansbach, Calw, Potsdam-Geltow, Magdeburg.
I also was heavily involved in the protest activities against the NATO summit 2009 in Strasbourg / Baden-Baden and Kehl (Counter-conference, demonstration, actions etc.). Right from the beginning I worked in the International Co-ordination Committee “No to war – No to NATO”. In October 2009 I have been re-elected to this committee.
Other areas of my work have been and are: work against the murderous refugee policy of Germany and the European Union, against the re-emergence of fascism and against nuclear power.
15. Yeidy Rosa, Puerto Rico/Ecuador
Nominated by War Resisters League, Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft/Vereinigte KriegsdienstgegnerInnen
Greetings to you all. I am Yeidy Rosa and I am addressing you to present myself as a candidate for becoming a member of the WRI council. I am currently part of an antimilitarist movement (in every sense of the word), with a regional and gender based focus in Latin America, in Indigenous America and in the Caribbean. The movement is called GOCE- Grupo de Objeción de Conciencia del Ecuador (Group of Conscientious Objection of Ecuador).
My participation in the movement began in my birthplace, Puerto Rico, during the struggle to oust the US military base from Vieques Island in 1994. Since then, having firmly believed in revolutionary non-violence, civil disobedience and creative, direct action (all elements which were used to shut down the base in May 2003), I have been active in counter-recruitment movements, anti-war movements as well as those working for peace and justice, especially throughout my years in the United States, where I worked with the Latin American community. Through this work, we created a group called Women in Black in the state of Ohio in 1999 and this is where I got to know the War Resister’s League (WRL), which was my political base up until 2006.
Throughout my years in Ecuador, I became a member of several grass roots activist groups, such as the feminist and environmental networks; always linked to the anti-militarist struggle. I can see that here, more than any other place, the revolutionary non-violence movement is a movement of movements. By working as a network and mutually supporting one another, one can see a consistent link between violence, the feminization of poverty, injustice and abuse of power, natural resources, persistent/ sexism and the industry of warfare.
I would also like to mention that, throughout my time in Ecuador, my work has involved audiovisual projects, working with Ecological Action. In this areas I have worked with children and young people who live on the border between Ecuador and Colombia, who are affected by oil companies, as well as Plan Colombia (spraying) and the armed conflict. Furthermore, for the fourth consecutive year, we will carry out, within the GOCE, a campaign against violent or sexist toys. The campaign will travel to 10 urban-marginalized communities, and will be both fun and educational. We are proud of the fact that this campaign continues to grow each year.
The future of GOCE includes expanding our work on military spending/ expenses, and disseminating information about the recent unconstitutional nature of asking for a military service record in order to work, study or travel. One must emphasise that it was the GOCE that, for the past 15 years, has been fighting against and managed to abolish obligatory military service. One of our other priorities, as part of our planning, is to strengthen the movement on a regional scale, thereby coordinating out efforts which are representative of Latin and Indigenous America and the Caribbean.
We feel that the proposed candidacy for the WRI by the GOCE would contribute to these aforementioned plans of action, especially regarding the strengthening of the regional network, as it would facilitate communication and exchange between groups. It is for this reason that we would like to be represented on the council, as the wealth of experience and information of each group belonging to the network will be disseminated and new groups will be contacted and will join. It is work which, by all of us working together, will be made possible.