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On March 27, the Global Article 9 Campaign held a session on Article 9 at the World Social Forum that took place in Tunis.

Entitled "Save Japan’s Peace Constitution! – Article 9, its global scope and its relevance for the Arab Spring and the Middle East", the event gave an insight on the challenges posed to Article 9 in Japan and highlighted the importance and relevance peace constitutions have as guarantee of international peace and political stability.

WSF 2013 panelOrganized by Peace Boat and JALISA, in cooperation with Al-Taller International, the session started by presentations by panelists Mr. Hiroshi Miyasaka, Secretary General of JALISA, Ms. Jasna Bastic, International Coordinator at Peace Boat, as well as young Tunisian lawyers Belhassen Ennouri and Meriam Triki.

Participants, including young people from Tunisia and European countries, engaged in intense discussions about the meaning history of Japan’s Article 9, its history, regional impact in after WW2 reconciliation process and international legal implications of such a peace mechanism.

Debating how it could be applied in the North African and Middle Eastern contexts, Tunisian participants discussed the issues they face in re-writing their country’s constitution. Indeed, if the Arab Spring produced revolutionary changes of the political systems, many expressed a certain amount of disillusions by the new governments in place and the possibilities to bring about progressive constitution and needed political reforms. For many young people present at the panel it was first time to hear that a legal and juridical possibility to denounce military attacks and preparations for war can exist in constitutions, which they found very inspirational in terms of potential such peace clause could have in securing peace, democracy and international cooperation.

As a follow-up to the event, five Tunisian lawyers have formed a group that will explore and publicize the constitutional and judicial possibility to abolish war and military aggression, with the intention of making an official proposal to the Tunisian Constitutional Assembly to include the content of the Article 9 in the draft of new Tunisian constitution.

Read the meeting’s concept paper here.

For more information about recent political developments in Japan related to the country’s peace constitution, read this.

For more information about the World Social Forum 2013 in Tunis, visit the WSF website here.

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