Friends and Supporters of Article 9,
We are pleased to send you a special double-issue newsletter with information about the Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War's current activities and related events and developments.
November 5-6, Peace Boat and the Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War is jointly organizing the International Peace Constitutions Conference for Nuclear and Foreign Military Base Abolition. It will take place in the city of
Montecristi, the emblematic place where Ecuador adopted a new peace constitution in 2008, and in Manta, site of a US military base that is
currently being dismantled and removed under the the new constitution's
prohibition of foreign military bases and installations on its
territory. The conference coincides with Peace Boat's visit to Ecuador as part of its 67th Global Voyage for Peace. The conference is supported by the Eloy Alfaro Ciudad Civic Center of
Manabi, the Eloy Alfaro Lay University of Manabi, the Tohalli Movement,
and co-organized by Peace Boat and the No Base Coalition.
The conference will
focus on the concrete functions and outcomes of peace constitutions,
especially in the areas of nuclear abolition and foreign military
base abolition. In particular, Article 9 of Japan's Constitution and Article
416 of Ecuador's Constitution will be analyzed and discussed. Just as Japan's Article 9
war as a method of settling international conflicts and the
maintenance of armed forces, Ecuador's Article 416 also promotes the peaceful
solution of conflicts and rejects the use or threat of use of force. In addition, it promotes universal disarmament, and condemns the use of
weapons of massive destruction, as well as the imposition of foreign military
The conference will also include sessions on peace constitutions, the abolition of nuclear and foreign military bases, and testimonies from ten Hibakusha (survivors of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki who are participating in Peace Boat's 67th Global Voyage Hibakusha Project). There will be exhibitions, cultural events, and a peace festival held, too. The conference is open to the public and is expected to draw hundreds of local citizens, activists, and officials!
To read more about the conference visit Peace Boat's website here.
request more information about the conference, please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
PAX CHRISTI INTERNATIONAL'S CALL TO ACTION TO SUPPORT US!
Pax Christi International, a non-profit and non-governmental Catholic peace movement that is working on a global scale on a wide variety of issues, is an active supporter of the Global Article 9 Campaign. It has recently issued a call to action to its members to join in our efforts to advocate for peace.
Pax Christi International, along with the Japan Catholic Council for Justice and Peace, joins us in our commitment to eliminate the chance of war and to spread the message of "no war, no military."
Please visit the website of Pax Christi International and read more about their support here
| GSoA'S CAMPAIGN TO INSCRIBE A BAN ON ARMS EXPORTS IN SWITZERLAND'S CONSTITUTION
After collecting over 100,000 citizens' signatures, the Group for a Switzerland Without Army (GSoA) has obtained enough signatures for a national referendum to be held on November 29th, 2009 to inscribe in the Constitution a ban on all exports of war material from and transit through Switzerland. It will be the third time Swiss people go to the polls to say whether or not they agree to ban weapons exports. In 1972, 49.7% voted in favor of such a ban.
Although Switzerland is a minor arms producer and exporter, it is one of the largest export countries for small arms ammunition, and it has over the years sold war material, including military aircraft, to conflict regions, human rights violating regimes and developing countries. As a neutral state with a great humanitarian tradition, Switzerland would give a very positive signal for disarmament in the world if it decided once and for all to renounce the war profiteering business. Furthermore, exporting arms is incompatible with the promotion of human security and of a stable global community that Swiss foreign policy officially pursues through its efforts in terms of prevention of armed violence, conflict resolution and peace consolidation.
As a member of the Global Article 9 Campaign, GSoA is looking with interest at the role Article 9 has played in Japan-namely as prohibiting the country from exporting arms, and thus preventing the resurgence of Japan's pre-WWII military-industrial complex and restraining the militarization of the country to what it calls an "exclusively defence-oriented policy." While the Swiss government argues that exports are vital to the Swiss arms industry, the Japanese example shows that adhering to strict principles of not exporting arms have not hampered the development of a state's economy.
GSoA was founded in 1982, with the main goal of "civilizing" Swiss society by abolishing its army. In 1989, over one third of the Swiss population supported this proposal in a federal referendum, shaking profoundly the country's militaristic convictions. Since then, the GSoA has launched several "popular initiatives" (leading to national referendums) aiming at downsizing the army and its budget or proposing civilian alternatives. Currently, the group has around 20,000 members and supporters.
Your support to ban Swiss arms exports campaign is welcome!
Contact GSSA at email@example.com
For more information, visit GSoA's website (English page) or the Ban Weapons Exports Campaign's site (in French, German or Italian).
| UN SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING ON NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT AND NON-PROLIFERATION
On September 24, US President Obama chaired a special session of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) that focused on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. President Obama and 13 other heads-of-state and governments unanimously voted on UNSC Resolution 1887, which reaffirms the group's responsibility to address nuclear threats and commits it and the international community to restart the hard work to end the proliferation of nuclear weapons, to reduce the world's existing nuclear arsenals, and to control fissile material - in essence, moving the world to a nuclear-free future.
The actions of the UNSC and passage of Resolution 1887 is one step towards our campaign's goal of abolishing war and shifting the world's resources from military expenditures to meaningfully solving global poverty and protecting
humans from war and violence. Our campaign is encouraged by the actions taken at this meeting to abolish nuclear weapons, President Obama's speech earlier this year in April to move the world, especially the US and Russia, toward a nuclear-free future, and his receipt of this year's Nobel Peace Prize for his effort to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation among peoples and his vision of a world without nuclear weapons.
This period is critical for making progress around the world to reduce nuclear weapons arsenals and stop nuclear proliferation. We hope to seize the new opportunities created by these recent actions and to work in the near future with our civil society partners to push heads-of-states and governments to adopt more concrete plans toward a nuclear-free world.
Read meeting notes and the full UNSC Resolution 1887 here.
|MOVIE AND LECTURE: "ARTICLE 9, JAPANESE PACIFISM AND AMERICAN MILITARISM"
The film director John Junkerman introduced his film Japan's Peace Constitution (2005) on September 29 in the Iwasaki Koyata Memorial Hall at International House of Japan, Tokyo. In a discussion and lecture moderated by Takahara Takao, a professor at Meiji Gakuin University, Junkerman talked about the
Constitution's Article 9 within the broad context of Japanese pacifism
and American militarism.
Mr. Junkerman was one of the co-initiators of the Global Article 9 Conference that was held in Tokyo in May, 2008. Born in Milwaukee, the United States, he also is a leading American filmmaker attempting to raise public awareness through his films on various socio-political and historical issues facing Japan and the global community. His first film was Hellfire - A Journey from Hiroshima (1986). A co-production with John Dower, the noted historian, it is based on his interviews with Iri and Toshi Maruki, Japanese artists known for their "Genbaku no zu (Hiroshima Murals)," paintings dealing with the aftermath of the atomic bombing, and was nominated for an Academy Award in 1988. His Power and Terror: Noam Chomsky in Our Times (2002) gives viewers a rare opportunity to listen to and reflect on the critical discourse of Noam Chomsky, one of the most important public intellectuals and political dissidents of our time.
Read more about John Junkerman's 2005 film on Japan's Peace Constitution here.
| WORLD MARCH FOR PEACE AND NONVIOLENCE
the first time ever, a World March for Peace and Nonviolence is taking
place to ask for the end of wars, the dismantling of nuclear weapons
an end to all forms of violence (physical, economic, racial, religious,
cultural, sexual and psychological).
The World March began in New Zealand on October 2 - the "International Day of Nonviolence" selected by the
United Nations after Gandhi's birth anniversary.
For 90 days, the March will travel around the world, going through all climates, seasons and environments.
core group of about hundred people of different
nationalities will complete the whole journey, with many people,
organizations, collectives, and groups will join for shorter segments
and/or specific events in different locations.
Indeed, local groups and individuals have taken the initiative to organize hundreds of projects in cities the March passes through, including festivals, forums,
conferences and cultural, social, political and sport events for peace and nonviolence.
Visit the World March for Peace and Nonviolence website to view the March's itinerary, find out what events and initiatives are taking place in your area, endorse the March, and more, here.
Thank you for your interest in and support for the
Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War.
| Newsletter Editor:
Celine Nahory, International Coordinator
Jay Gilliam, Intern
Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War / Peace Boat