Conscience and Peace Tax International Conference

Hannnelore Morgenstern, of the German “peace tax” group Netzwerk Friedenssteuer, sent me a recap of the Conscience and Peace Tax International conference that was held in London . (I have made some edits for clarity, as English is not Morgenstern’s best language):

Fourteen participants from six countries met to make the necessary decisions. Now the work of the Board has been strengthened and the assignments for our Geneva delegate have been appointed. Board members are Jan Birk, Derek Brett, Robin Brookes, Dietmar Czemy (chairman), and Milena Romero. If necessary, Chris Coverdale and Cathy Deppy want to support the board. And it needs support.

Since the transformation of the association, only a few countries have reregistered themselves. In order for us to continue our work, we must levy a membership fee from now on. The modest balance in our account only allows for three assignments to the CPTI delegate, Christophe Barbey, in Geneva. New ways of funding must be found.

It was agreed that the website should be updated and maybe even redesigned. An expert, and the money, remain to be found.

No announcement was made regarding the next international conference.

For some context, one of the things CPTI members seem to value most about the organization is that it has “special consultative status” at the United Nations. Christophe Barbey is the representative at the UN who carries out whatever privileges this allows CPTI.

CPTI dissolved at its meeting in with the intention of reforming in another host nation under the same name. That, and the deaths of two board members, disrupted the already fraught group, and they’ve been struggling to find their footing ever since.

The group has only a tangential relationship with war tax resistance, though some of its members are war tax resisters. The group is mostly composed of representatives of various national “peace tax”-promoting groups, and it hopes to somehow convince some authority in the United Nations to declare that this form of conscientious objection to military taxation is a universal human right.