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February 2009
Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War

Newsletter #13
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Dear Friends and Supporters of Article 9,

We are pleased to send you some information about the Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War's recent activities and related developments.


After four months of intense activities, the 103 Hibakusha (Atomic Bomb Survivors) of Hiroshima and Nagasaki returned to Japan in January.

Hibakusha in front of Article 9 Memorial in Las PalmasSince September, they travelled all over the world to share their stories, give testimonies and generate exchange with over 2000 people including street children, young students, elderly citizens, victims of wars, indigenous people, grassroots groups, activists, NGOs, local mayors, parliamentarians, high level government officials, and more. All along, Hibakusha carried the message enshrined in Article 9.

Peace Education
In addition to extensive interactions with the 600 Peace Boat passengers onboard, Hibakusha visited schools, hospitals and city halls, from Greece to Easter Island, New York to Ecuador, to give testimonies and educate younger generations about the dangers of war and nuclear weapons. In Venezuela, a delegation met with the Minister of Education to discuss developing an official education curriculum for nuclear abolition.

As Setsuko Thurlow, who was 13 when the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and who received the Order of Canada in 2007 for her service to anti-nuclear campaigning, explains: "I don't tell my stories for sympathy; we are all responsible for the world. We are passing messages around the world."

Onboard the ship itself was also an important venue for the testimonies. Many of the Hibakusha had never publicly told their stories and memories before. Peace Boat helped them create a space for communication.  Filmmakers Erika Bagnarello of Costa Rica and Kunimoto Takashi of Japan spent time with them, recording video footage and documenting their testimonies to ensure that history is passed onto future generations.

People to People Diplomacy
The Hibakusha participated in a number of exchange programs in the ports. In Viet Nam, they spent time with victims of Agent Orange; in India, they held workshops with street children; they met with victims of nuclear tests in the Pacific in Tahiti, impoverished communities in Peru, indigenous people of Aotearoa/New Zealand, survivors of the Pacific War in Papua New Guinea, and more.

Through those interactions, they shared their own stories and memories directly with people throughout the world. They also learned the realities of others, and built ties with them to work together as citizens of the world toward the abolition of nuclear weapons, the realization of permanent peace and the achievement of sustainable development for all.

Onboard and in ports, Hibakusha relentlessly raised their voice to remind the world about the horrors of atomic bombs and issued wakeup calls for the immediate necessity of nuclear disarmament so that no one ever has to experience what they have lived through.

In Spain and Greece, they issued statements to the nations of the European Union calling for renewed disarmament efforts and a nuclear free Europe; in India, they called for the freeze of nuclear development; in Sydney, they submitted a letter commending the creation of the Australia-Japan initiated International Commission o
nHibakusha UN New York Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND); in New York they addressed the First Committee of the UN General Assembly on Disarmament and met with Sergio Duarte,  UN Special Representative on Disarmament and Tarui Sumio, Ambassador of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament; and more.

In cooperation with Mayors for Peace, they recruited 27 new cities to join the initiative and collected 25 new endorsements of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Protocol,
which calls for the total abolition of nuclear weapons by 2020. They also met with parliamentarians, government officials and public figures.

In all of their statements and appearances, the Hibakusha's appeal for "No more Hibakusha, No more Hiroshima/Nagasaki, No more Wars" embodied the spirit of Article 9 and promoted the Campaign.

Outcomes and Future of the Project
Throughout the voyage, the project received excellent positive reactions by local people and prompted extensive media coverage. In light of the positive impact this first Hibakusha voyage has had in terms of contributing to build a political consensus for a nuclear-weapon-free world, Peace Boat decided to continue its Hibakusha Project into 2009.

Connected to the project's success, a delegation of Hibakusha was invited to participate in the second meeting of the ICNND held in Washington on February 14-15 and give testimonies to the Commission.

The experience revitalized the Hibakusha movement, and built bridges between Hibakusha and young people. So much so that Peace Boat decided to invite Hibakusha to participate in its Summer 2009 voyage, during which they will be paired with young students from Japan, Europe, the US and beyond to perpetuate such intergenerational exchanges.

The documentary produced from the first voyage will be officially released and screened at the plenary session of the International Conference of Mayors for Peace in Nagasaki in August. It will then be promoted worldwide as an advocacy tool for nuclear abolition, as part of the Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War.  

Read more about Peace Boat's Hibakusha Project and find Hibakusha's testimonies on Peace Boat's website here, or on the site of the Hiroshima Peace Media Center, here and here.

Picture Credit: Peace Boat
Hibakusha posing in front of the Article 9 Monument in Las Palmas, Spain
Delegation of Hibakusha in front of UN Headquarters in New York


On January 25, Bolivia enacted a new constitution, in which the country defines itself as a "pacifist state" that "rejects all wars of aggression as an instrument to solve differences and conflicts between states" and "promotes a culture of peace" and "cooperation between the peoples of the region and the world."

Furthermore, following Ecuador's example, Article 10 prohibits the existence of foreign military bases on Bolivian soil.

Promoting equitable development, the new charter guarantees the Bolivian people the rights to water, food, education, health care, housing, retirement, electricity, telecommunications, and other basic services.

"For the first time in the history of Latin America, and in the world, basic services, water, electricity, telephone are now a human right, they will be a public service not a private business," President Evo Morales said in his speech.

Human rights activists and feminist groups welcome the fact that the constitution empowers the country's indigenous majority by promoting their rights and recognizing the country's many autochthonous ethnicities. It also significantly improves women's rights.

Article 10 of the new Bolivian Constitution reads as follow:

I. Bolivia is a pacifist State, which promotes a culture of peace and the right to peace, as well as cooperation among peoples of the region and the world, in order to contribute to mutual understanding, equitable development and the promotion of interculturalism, with full respect for the sovereignty of states.
II. Bolivia rejects any war of aggression as a way of settling disputes and conflicts between states, and reserves the right to self-defense in case of aggression that compromises the independence and integrity of the state.
III. It prohibits the installation of foreign military bases on Bolivian soil.

Peace Vigil Against Aero India, BangaloreWhile about 600 arms companies and 30 defense ministers from all over the world were gathering in Bangalore for the Aero India 2009 Exhibition, NGOs organized a three-day event on disarmament for peace, human security and development.

The event, organized by 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) advocated for an arms trade treaty and called for a 10% reduction of military expenditures to be invested instead in areas like social security, health and education.

In a country where 900 million people lack social security protection, a demand for unilateral 10 percent reduction in military expenditure is not a big deal, they said. And if less money was spent globally on the military, more resources would be available for tackling poverty.
About 200 participants, including students, grassroots activists and marginalized groups from the South of the country attended a series of presentations, roundtables, workshops and discussions, as well as peace vigils and protests against the Aero show.

Article 9 Presentation at Bangalore Disarmament ConferenceA representative of the Global Article 9 Campaign presented the campaign in the framework of a session named "Learning from Experience Worldwide: Campaign on Disarmament and Development - Human Security in Action", as an example of how civil society can use specific local experiences to contribute successfully to the global debate.

Members of SPAS spoke of the efforts undertaken in Sweden, FEDINA described its work in India, and a statement by the International Peace Bureau showed how all these initiatives are part of an international movement for peace, disarmament, nuclear abolition and global justice.

Find the program and a concept paper on the official website of the conference here.
Also see CAFI's website here; FEDINA's here; and SPAS' here (in Swedish).

To read more about the 10% Option, please see Freres des Hommes' website, here.
Also read about IPB's Sustainable Disarmament for Sustainable Development Campaign, here.


On February 13-15, the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND) held its second meeting.

Members of the Commission met with key members of the new US administration, including Vice President Joseph Biden, National Security Advisor Jim Jones, and Chairman of the Senate's Committee on Foreign Relations John Kerry.

These meetings offered the Commission an opportunity to encourage the US administration to work on the five following priorities:
- ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)
- push the negotiations toward a Fissile Materials Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) forward
- advance the US-Russia negotiations for the renewal, replacement or extension of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) before it expires on December 5, 2009
- conduct strategic dialogues with Russia and China, including on the missile defense issue, and
- review nuclear posture and declare that the sole role of nuclear weapons is to deter nuclear weapons of others (i.e. no first use).

According to the Commission's Co-Chairs, initial reactions from the US were generally positive.

NGO Advisors to the Co-Chairs Tilman Ruff from International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and Kawasaki Akira from Peace Boat have been pushing the Commission to include discussions on  the Nuclear Weapons Convention - a priority identified by both the Global Article 9 Declaration to Abolish War and the Global Article 9 Statement to the NPT.

The NGO Advisors are also calling on the Commission to hold a side event during the upcoming NPT PrepCom in April, so as to have meaningful discussions with NGOs who will come from all over the world to attend the event.

The Commission will hold its third meeting in Moscow mid-June and its fourth meeting in Hiroshima mid-October. It plans to publish its final report at the end of this year or early 2010, so as to target the 2010 NPT Review Conference.

Read the Joint Statement made by Gareth Evans and Yoriko Kawaguchi on the Conclusion of the Second Meeting of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, here.

For a NGO perspective, see ICAN's media statement, here.

You can find the Global Article 9 Declaration to Abolish War here, as well as the Global Article 9 Statement to the NPT here.

We would like to invite supporters of the Global Article 9 Campaign to share with us reports of activities and calls for actions related to the Campaign. From a conference, to a sign-on letter or a protest, please send us information at

This newsletter is a great forum to keep ourselves informed of the many initiatives taking place around the world - let's use it!

Thank you for your interest in and support for the Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War.


The Article 9 Team

Newsletter Editor:
Celine Nahory
International Coordinator
Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War / Peace Boat
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