Conscience attends Conscience and Peace Tax International Conference

by Shaughan Dolan ~ June 28th, 2017. Filed under: News.

On the 23rd of June 2017 Peace Tax Campaign groups from 5 countries descended on North London for a bi-annual meeting to discuss progress, exchange ideas and plan for the future. Conscience UK sent four delegates and updated the group on our fantastic year which included having a Peace Tax Bill read in Parliament, receiving the public endorsement of Oscar winning actor Sir Mark Rylance and collaborating with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Stop the War Coalition and other peace organisations.

Conscience and Peace Tax International (CPTI) is a group that represents campaigns from across the world that fight for the right for Conscientious Objection to Military Taxation (COMT). We heard updates from the German, Norwegian, Swedish and Columbian campaigns – many of which seem to be making progress in a difficult political environment for the peace movement.

We made plans to step up our cross-country work and have signed off a new joint project working with the United Nations. Earlier this year the UN High Commission on Human Rights considered a paper submitted by both Conscience UK and CPTI which asked them to look again at the definition of conscientious objection and extend it to include taxes spent on military purposes. We want to build on this work and CPTI has proposed an exciting new project.

Almost all modern human rights law has emanated from the United Nations, including the modern right of conscientious objection. The UN could be the perfect vehicle for setting out in international law, a new and more inclusive right to conscientious objection. CPTI already enjoy consultative status with UN and we have agreed to put time and effort into ensuring this continues.

The next step is using that access reach out to diplomats and proposing motions at the UN to get the international community discussing the issues around COMT. A strategic plan for the next two years has been developed with the Swedish Conscience campaign leading the efforts in Geneva. Conscience will support them by offering advice and experience from our own attempt at passing a Taxes for Peace Bill.

It was a successful conference which led to a meaningful plan of action for CPTI for the next two years and it was inspirational for Conscience to connect with Netzwerk Friedenssteuer (Peace Tax Network – Germany) and Red de la Objecion de Conciencia Latinoamericana y del Caribe (Latin America Network of Conscientious Objectors) amongst many others.

The strength of the Peace Tax community remains unbowed and we look forward to working with our international partners from across the globe on this new and exciting United Nations project.

 

Attendees of the CPTI conference representing countries from across the world.

 


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