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Conscience and Peace Tax International (CPTI) was founded in Hondarribia, Spain, on September 17, 1994. It was incorporated as an international non-profit association in Belgium by Royal Decree of March 20, 1996 and by publication of its articles of association on July 4, 1996 in the official Bijlagen tot het Belgisch Staatsblad (number 15.075/96). CPTI was granted ‘special consultative status’ with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the UN in July 1999.
The Objects of CPTI
The aim of the association is to obtain recognition of the right to conscientious objection to paying for armaments and war preparation and war conduct through taxes. It does this by means that conform to English and international law. The association may also support conscientious objectors and work towards the recognition of human rights generally. In furtherance of these objects the association lobbies international organizations, such as the United Nations and other international organisations, in order to obtain and/or improve legal and other instruments, which may be national and international legislation, conventions, resolutions, directives, declarations, etc. The association publicizes efforts to obtain recognition of the afore-said right. It facilitates coordination of similar activities of national movements at the international level.
Conscience is Central to CPTI
The principle of conscience, a moral imperative governing the behaviour of an individual, is central to the objectives and work of CPTI. Conscientious objection to war is a well-established concept in many western countries and the rights of conscientious objectors are enshrined in many countries in legislation relating to conscription. However the changes in warfare require an extension of legislation. Modern warfare is now more dependent on money than on physical conscripts, but fiscal conscripts have no legal mechanism for preventing their money, their taxes, being used to wage war. It is this that led to the establishment of many national movements and of CPTI.
The Structure of CPTI
Conscience and Peace Tax International is legally based in England, but has an international Board, with representatives from three countries. Currently the Board is comprised of:
The Main Representative to the United Nations is Naomi Paz Greenberg.
Some photos of our representatives at work in Geneva.
A General Assembly meets every two years to review progress, approve the budget and accounts, and considers changes to the Board or the articles of association.
Formal membership is open to organizations that have been recognized in their own country, and to individuals. New members should subscribe to the objects of the association.
The Finance of CPTI
CPTI runs on a low budget financed by membership contributions, donations, and grants. Board members receive no remuneration and contribute their time on a voluntary basis.
The History of CPTI
1992 – Brussels, Belgium:
The 4th International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns 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 – Hondarribia, Spain:
The Founding General Assembly, held at the 5th International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns, adopted the articles of association, elected the Board of administration, decided formal repartition of tasks of officers, and signed documents. Incorporation as an International Association Without Lucrative Purpose, was asked at 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 (N° 15.075/96). This incorporation made CPTI eligible to apply for NGO status in the UN.
The task of getting incorporation occupied the first two years after the foundation of CPTI.
The main activity for 1997 and 1998 was the preparation of publicity materials and attendance at the Second European Ecumenical Assembly on Reconciliation in Graz (Austria, June 1997) and at the European Conscientious Objectors' Meeting (ECOM) in Norway (August 1997). Materials were distributed at other relevant conferences and gatherings (such as the Osnabrück Peace Congress in May 1998, and the meeting of Christian grass-root organisations in Maastricht, August 29, 1998).
1999 – CPTI is granted NGO “special consultative status”
with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations. This status confers rights to attend and make written and oral contributions to certain UN meetings, especially those concerned with human rights. More information.
A web site was created and subsequently improved.
2000 – CPTI participated in the NGO Millennium Forum
(May 22-26, 2000), which preceded the Millennium Assembly of the UN in September 2000.
CPTI IS NOT an umbrella organization of all WTR-PTCs (War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns). Nor is it a board of the international WTR-PTC conferences, which have no board or governing body. The international conferences are organized and hosted by national movements. Those 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-Bhajanpura (India, 1998), Washington, DC (USA, 2000), Berlin (Germany 2002), Brussels (Belgium, 2004), Woltersdorf (Germany, 2006), Manchester (U.K., 2008), Sandefjord, (Norway, 2010), and Bogotá (Columbia 2013)
The Articles of Association were amended.
The General Assembly in Bogotá voted, by the required 2/3 majority, to move the administrative seat of CPTI from Belgium to England in order to reduce the administrative requirements and costs and to remove the need to report in the Dutch language, which is not well known amongst the members. The move to England required the adoption of a new form of the articles (new window), but the objects are fundamentally unchanged in their purpose, though phrased in different words. The English Company, Limited by Guarantee of its members, registered number 8514742, has applied for registration as a charity with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, the United Kingdom Tax Authority.