RETROSPECTIVE OF THE CAMPAIGN'S ACTIVITIES IN 2009
This year, the Global Article 9
Campaign has followed the many
dimensions that emerged from the 2008 Global Article 9 Conference: from conflict
prevention to disarmament, development, peacebuilding, the promotion of peace
constitutions worldwide and more.
In addition, significant events
and developments on the international scene have led the Campaign to
particularly concentrate on a few themes and regions, notably nuclear weapons
abolition, disarmament for development and conflict prevention, with a
particular regional focus on Northeast Asia and Latin America.
Nuclear Weapons Abolition
2009 has seen the debate on nuclear disarmament and
non-proliferation come a long way, thanks to a number of encouraging developments,
notably US President Obama's speech in Prague, UN Secretary General Ban
Ki-Moon's five-point action plan, Washington and Moscow's renewed commitment to decrease
nuclear weapons stockpiles, progress in the Conference on Disarmament
and the holding of a historic UN Security Council's meeting on the topic.
Seizing this momentum, the Global
Article 9 Campaign took part in several significant initiatives in the area of
nuclear weapons abolition:
Peace Boat Hibakusha Project
From August to December 2009, ten
Hibakusha (survivors of the atomic bombings) joined Peace Boat's around-the-world
Voyage for Peace to act as peace and disarmament educators. Since 2008,
delegations of Hibakusha have gone onboard to educate citizens, NGOs and youth
throughout the world about the spirit of Article 9 and raise awareness on the
global value of Article 9 as an international peace mechanism. The Global Article
9 Campaign has supported this project, for Hibakusha serve as strong advocates of
nuclear weapons abolition and convincing messengers of the Campaign's call for
a global peace and stability that do not rely on force.
Visit Peace Boat's website here.
International Commission on
Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND)
The ICNND is a joint Australian and
Japanese initiative aimed at reinvigorating international efforts on nuclear
non-proliferation and disarmament, in the lead up to the 2010 Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference and beyond. The appointment of
Kawasaki Akira, Executive Member of Peace Boat and central organizer of the
Global Article 9 Campaign, as NGO Advisor to the Co-chairs of the Commission
has provided a firm basis for advocacy on nuclear weapons abolition,
disarmament and human security.
Visit the ICNND Japan NGO Network here.
International Peace Constitutions
Conference for Nuclear and Foreign Military Base Abolition
The Global Article 9 Campaign to
Abolish War co-organized, along with Peace Boat and the International Network
for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases (NO Bases), an International Peace
Constitutions Conference for Nuclear and Foreign Military Base Abolition that
took place in November in Ecuador. The event focused on the concrete functions
and outcomes of peace constitutions, especially in the areas of nuclear weapons
abolition and foreign military base abolition. The final declaration of the
conference urged governments to adopt pacifist clauses in their countries'
constitution, encouraged the adoption of a UN resolution that recognizes the
role that peace constitutions can have in the promotion of global security and
disarmament for development, and called on world governments to take concrete
steps towards the abolition of nuclear weapons and the strengthening of
international mechanisms for arms control, non-proliferation and the
disarmament of ALL weapons.
Read more about the conference here.
Disarmament for Development
Since 2008, the Global Article 9
Campaign to Abolish War has worked in concert with partners, including the
International Peace Bureau's program on Sustainable Disarmament for Sustainable
Development and Freres des Hommes' campaign for "Disarmament to
Combat Poverty", jointly advocating a shift in resource allocation from
the military to sustainable development and human security.
"Warfare or Welfare: Disarmament or Peace, Human Security and
Development in 21st Century India"
While Aero India 2009 Exhibition
was taking place in Bangalore, India, the Control Arms Foundation of India
(CAFI), the Foundation for Educational Innovation in India (FEDINA), Christ
University and the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society (SPAS) organized a
counter-event on disarmament for peace, human security and development.
A representative of the Global Article 9 Campaign participated in the event,
introducing the Campaign as an example of how civil society can use specific
local experiences to contribute successfully to the global debate. The
conference advocated for an arms trade treaty and called for a ten percent reduction of
military expenditures to be invested instead in areas like social security, health
Visit the conference's website here.
Statement to the UN Conference on
the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development
In June, the United Nations
General Assembly convened a Conference on the World Financial and Economic
Crisis and its Impact on Development in New York aimed at identifying emergency
and long-term responses to mitigate the impact of the crisis and initiating a
dialogue on how to tackle it. The Global Article 9 Campaign endorsed a statement issued by Peace Boat calling on governments, in addition to
mobilizing new innovative sources of financing development, to reconsider their
spending priorities, reduce their military expenses and reallocate part of
their military budget into sustainable development and peace promotion.
Read the full statement here.
Article 9 & Article 12 Conference - Peace
Constitutions for Global Disarmament
In July, the Global Article 9 Campaign co-organized an
international event held onboard Peace Boat at the port of Puntarenas, Costa
Rica. In addition to exploring the value of Article 9 of the Japanese
Constitution and Article 12 of the Costa Rican Constitution's regional and
global significance, the conference looked at the links between these peace
clauses and Article 26 of the United Nations Charter, which calls for the establishment
of a system for the regulation of armaments with the least diversion of the
world's human and economic resources for armaments in order to promote the
establishment and maintenance of international peace and security. The
Puntarenas Declaration called for the adoption of a UN resolution acknowledging
the role peace constitutions play in promoting global disarmament and urges
government to shift priorities in the allocation of resources and decrease
military expenditures to invest in financing sustainable development, human
security and peace. This event was
co-sponsored by the Global Article 9 Campaign, Peace Boat, the Latin American
Branch of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms
(IALANA), the Faculty of Law at the University of Costa Rica, and the Japanese
Lawyers International Solidarity Association (JALISA).
Read more about the conference here.
Six Party Talks
The North Korean missile launch in
April led to several civil society initiatives and statements related to
Article 9 of Japan's Constitution and its use as the foundation for Northeast
Global Partnership for the
Prevention of Armed Conflict's (GPPAC) Northeast Asia Regional Steering Group
April, GPPAC Northeast Asia Regional Steering Group's meeting focused on the
theme "Civil Society Six-Party Talks" as a framework for conflict
prevention and peacebuilding in the region. Participants reiterated some of the
fundamental messages of the 2005 GPPAC Northeast Asia Regional Action Agenda,
namely the need to create a sustainable peace in Northeast Asia based on Article
9's three fundamental principles of renunciation of war, no maintenance of
military or other war potential and the right for people to live in peace.
Read GPPAC Northeast Asia Regional Action Agenda here.
International Conference against
the Asia Pacific Missile Defense and for the End of the Arms Race
The International Conference
against the Asia Pacific Missile Defense and for the End of the Arms Race took
place at the same time as the GPPAC meeting and insisted as well on the need
to urgently address the root causes of the conflict and the important role
civil society can play in helping to resolve conflicts. The two meetings
adopted a joint statement denouncing the arms race taking place in the Asia
Pacific region and referring to "the war-renouncing Article 9 of Japan's peace
constitution [as] a key foundation for peace and security in the Asia-Pacific
Read more about the conference here.
"The Future of the Six-Party
Talks - A view from civil society"
Co-sponsored by Sejong Society of
Washington DC and the Institute for Policy Studies, a panel discussion on the
"Future of the Six-Party Talks" was held at Johns Hopkins University, in
Washington D.C. in May. Experts and activists from South Korea, Japan and the
US explored how to resume the stalled Six-Party Talks, work towards the
denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and bring about peace in Northeast
Asia. One of the main speakers, Kawasaki Akira from Peace Boat and the Global
Article 9 Campaign (Japan), emphasized the need to pursue confidence-building
measures and promote conflict prevention in Northeast Asia, and encourage a
less military-dependent security mechanism in the region.
Pacific Freeze Campaign
The Global Article 9 Campaign to
Abolish War has endorsed the Pacific Freeze Campaign - an initiative aimed at
bringing Asian issues into the US peace movement and supporting peace efforts
in Northeast Asia, especially by building momentum around the Six Party Talks. The
two campaigns have jointly called on the participating countries to freeze and
reduce their military spending and redirect the hundreds of billions of dollars
spent on preparing for war towards improving the lives and welfare of millions
of people to achieve human security in the region and globally.
Visit the Pacific Freeze Campaign's website here.
Promotion of Peace Constitutions
The preservation of Article 9 of
Japan's Constitution and the promotion of peace clauses in other countries'
constitutions have been at the core of the Global Article 9 Campaign's advocacy
Peace Constitutions Conferences
Both the Article 9 & Article
12 Conference - Peace Constitutions for Global Disarmament held in Costa Rica in July and the
International Peace Constitutions Conference for Nuclear and Foreign Military
Base Abolition that took place in Ecuador in November focused on the contribution of Japan's Article 9 and of the
several Latin American peace constitutions, notably those of Costa Rica and Ecuador.
In addition to the role of such peace clauses at the national level, the
regional and global dimension of peace clauses was emphasized. Indeed, peace
constitutions play an important role in
fostering an environment conducive to peace, disarmament and sustainable
development. The Puntarenas Declaration and the Manta and Montecristi
Declaration called on governments to adopt
a peace clause into their own national Constitutions, similar to Article 9 of
the Japanese Constitution, Article 12 of the Costa Rican Constitution and Articles 5, 416
and others of the
Ecuadorian Constitution. They also encouraged countries that already have a peace
clause to adhere to it and advocated for the adoption of a UN resolution
acknowledging the role peace constitutions can play in promoting global
security and disarmament for development.
Read more about the Global Article 9 Conferences here.
International Association of
Democratic Lawyers (IADL)'s XVIIth International Congress
In June, the International
Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) held its XVIIth International Congress
in Hanoi, Vietnam, where a strong Japanese delegation represented the Global
Article 9 Campaign. In its Hanoi Declaration, the Congress
reaffirmed its commitment to peace and explicitly "renewed its support for
the Global Article 9 Campaign led by Japanese lawyers" and "urge[d]
all lawyers and jurists to work for the implementation in every country of the
Japanese Constitution's "No War" clause."
Read more about IADL's XVIIth International Congress here.
As this non-exhaustive list
shows, in 2009 the Global Article 9 Campaign has become truly global with
activities taking place on many continents and across oceans. The Campaign's many achievements this year have confirmed
the global scope and significance of peace clauses.