Explanation of Conscience and Peace Tax International

CPTI IS NOT a board of the international conference, which has no board or governing body. CPTI is an instrument for finding ways to move forward in recognizing the right to conscientious objection to taxation for military purposes in international bodies.

CPTI (Conscience and Peace Tax International) has one main thrust and one focus: to establish itself as an NGO and to lobby for the inclusion of the right of conscientious objection (sometimes still to military service, and then afterwards to paying taxes for military purposes) in international agreements with the United Nations, the European Parliament and other international bodies.

Timeline in Formation of CPTI

1992 - Brussels:

The International Conference named five persons to explore non-governmental organization (NGO) status to lobby in the United Nations' Economic and Social Council and in the European parliament and other international bodies.

1994 - Spain:

The Founding General Assembly adopted the statutes, elected the Board of administration, decided formal repartition of tasks of officers, and signed documents.

In bringing the proposal for the new organization before the conference, board chair, Kees Nieuwerth, acknowledged two distinctive perspectives among participants of international conferences:

  1. Those who attempt to legalize the right to conscientious objection to taxation for military purposes and fervently believe in getting bills through parliaments; and
  2. those who believe actions should be far more radical, should involve only war tax resistance and civil disobedience, and should express themselves in non-cooperation with governmental systems. The conference decided that in these two facets of the movement, we would agree to disagree and free each other for these two pursuits.

The aims as stated in the articles of association are:

  1. to obtain recognition of the right to conscientious objection to paying for armaments, war preparation and war conduct through taxes;
  2. to lobby international organizations in order to obtain and/or improve legal and other instruments to obtain this right (the instruments can be national and international legislation, conventions, resolutions, directives, declarations, etc.);
  3. to publicize efforts to obtain recognition of the aforesaid right; and
  4. to coordinate the activities of national movements at the international level.

To become incorporated as an International Association Without Lucrative Purpose, Dirk Panhuis submitted the proposal for incorporation to the Ministry of Justice of Belgium.

1996 -

CPTI was incorporated by Belgian Royal Decree in March of 1996 by King Albert II and by publication of the articles of association in the Official Journal on July 4, 1996. Incorporation makes CPTI eligible to apply for NGO status in the United Nations.

1997 -

CPTI applies for non-governmental status in the United Nations. The application was denied because CPTI had not yet existed for the required three years.

1999 -

CPTI is granted special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations. Advantages of such consultative NGO status are: attendance at meetings of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), ability to propose items for the agenda, representative attendance at meetings at the UN, and accessibility to documents. ECOSOC has a Commission on Human Rights. CPTI is participating in the NGO Millennium Forum (May 2000), which precedes the forum to be held by the UN in the fall of 2000.

Formal membership in CPTI is open to organizations which have been recognized in their own country, and to physical persons.

CPTI Officers are: Erik Hummels (Netherlands), chair; Marian Franz (USA), vice chair; Dirk Panhuis (Belgium), secretary; Gerald Drewett (UK), treasurer; and Christa Voigt (Germany), Pedro Otaduy (Spain), Cosimo Tomaselli (Italy).

Former international WTR-PTC conferences have been held in Tübingen (Germany 1986); Vierhouten (The Netherlands,1988); Aosta (Italy 1990); Brussels (Belgium, 1992); Hondarribia (Spain, 1994); Hoddesdon (UK, 1996); New Delhi (India 1998). The conference in 2000 is in Washington, DC, USA.