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Lobbying International Organisations

Present: Miyoko Bassett, Jan Birk, Terence Boughton, Gerald Drewett, Cesar Fiores, Marian Franz, Monica Frisch (chair), Thierry Gerard, Bart Horeman, Giorgina Momigliano, Pedro Otaduy, Drik Panhuis (report), Mario Pedretti, Bob Sandford, Christa Voigt.

Note: Text written in bold italics require action either by CPTI or by national movements!

1. The European Union
The British campaign knows about 22 British MEPs that are favourable to the peace tax idea. MEPs are often more open to new ideas than national MPs. Particular mention deserves Richard Balfe (a senior member of the European Parliament) and Pauline Green (leader of the Socialist Group). We also should seek support from the Liberal and Democratic Reformist Party.

Nobody knows how many MEP's would support peace tax. However, it is essential for the campaign that we all know their names. In this way we can mention the names of foreign MEPs to our own MEPs, so that they can talk to each other.

Petitions to the European Union (E.U.) should not be addressed to Brussels, but to the President of the European Parliament, L-2929 Luxembourg. A leaflet 'The right to petition the European Parliament' was distributed. National movements should encourage their members to write a petition. Petitions will be dealt with. Sometimes they are sent to the Civil Liberties Committee.

Information about the E.U. (e.g. leaflet with lst of MEPs of each country) can be obtained free from the information office in each country.

The European Civil Peace Agency is only an idea, which is only growing very slowly.

2. The Council of Europe
No action should be taken until conscientious objection to military service is included in the European Covenant. Quaker Council for European Affairs (QCEA) is working on this point.

Bart Horeman will contact Andreas Gross for a survey on military service.

3. European Ecumenical Assembly II (Graz: June 1997)
Pam Van der Esch-Mitchell and Christa Voigt will be going for other organisations. We ask that they bring also our concern to the attention of the church delegates.

Dirk Panhuis provided them with some documents. All national movements should send relevant brochures, leaflets, etc. in sufficient quantity to Pam in Brussels. CPTI should prepare a tect as well.

We should try to find out about Austrian conscientious objection to war tax.

4. O.S.C.E.
Would be a good institution for peace building initiatives, but it is badly treated.

5. United Nations Organisation
The UNO could be a good place to be for the PTC, particularly the UN Human Rights Commission. CPTI could apply for observer status with ECOSOC(Economic and Social Council). This would entitle us to attend meetings and seminars, propose items on conscientious objection to the agenda, receive documents. We have to prove we are a bona fide incorporated organisation. We have to show an audited budget, or an explanation why we cannot provide one. We have to give a statement of purpose. We have to show that our NGO association within the UNO is mutually beneficial. If we apply early in 1997, we may get recognised three years later.

We should get acquainted with Boutros Ghali's book on peace dividend and peace endowment fund - which shoul be a government affair. Could we redirent money to it?

6. World Court
There may be some potential for action in the recent ruling on nuclear weapons. Is it legal to pay taxes for illegal weaponry? Also, since the Yugoslavia Tribunal it is clear again (after Nuremberg) that 'Befehl ist Befehl' is not an excuse.

7. International Conscientious Objectors Meeting (ICOM)
ICOM holds biennial international meetings (1996 in Chad; 1998 in Ex-Yugoslavia:Voivodina) and bi-ennial regional meetings by continent (1995 in Greece and a Latin-American country). In 1997 there will be a European conference (ECOM) in Norway.

War tax resistance is occasionally mentioned in those meetings. Everyone is free to attend. The conferences work on a low budget (camp site in Greece). Some 60 - 80 people attend, many from the host country.

CPTI should send one person to ECOM in Norway in 1997. The delegate should propose our concern for the agenda and provide information to the participants.

10. Peace Congress, Osnabruck (29 - 31 May1998): 'From the Peace of Westphalia to a Europe for Peace ' (1648 - 1998)
Christa Voigt wrote a letter o the organisers and asked for more information, mentioning CPTI. Jan Birk and Bart Horeman are planning to go to the preparatory meeting.

CPTI should try to find money to send a delegate. CPTI should investigate whether it should ask a specific small contribution for this kind of delegation from national movements. A delegate should have documentation from national movements and from CPTI.