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59th UN DPI/NGO Conference
Article 9 at the UN DPI/NGO Conference

A workshop focusing on the abolition of war through peace constitutions such as Japan's Article 9 will be held at the 59th Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference in New York on 8 September. Organized by the Department of Public Information, more than 2,500 NGO and civil society representatives from over 90 countries will gather from 6 – 8 September, the week before the opening of the United Nations General Assembly, to discuss ways and means for strengthening collaboration between local communities and global institutions. The theme of this year's conference will be Unfinished Business: Effective Partnerships for Human Security and Sustainable Development. A major focus of the conference will be discussion regarding the implementation of the Millenium Development Goals adopted by 189 UN Member States in the year 2000 as a road map for tackling poverty, instability, HIV/AIDS, gender inequality and violence in virtually all parts of the world.

Details are as follows:

To Save Succeeding Generations from the Scourge of War

The UN Charter, Peace Constitutions and Civil Society

Sponsored by Peace Boat

Co-sponsored by International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA), International Peace Bureau (IPB), Hague Appeal for Peace (HAP), NGO Working Group on Disarmament, Peace and Security

Friday, 8 September 2006, 1:15-2:45 pm, Conference Room C

The United Nations was established in 1945 with the determination "to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war" (Preamble, the UN Charter). The UN Charter provides that Member States “shall refrain ... from the threat or use of force” (Article 2(4)) and calls for “the least diversion for armaments of the world's human and economic resources” (Article 26). Based on these principles, the world's governments and civil society have made efforts to achieve the ambitious goal of abolishing war.

In promoting this goal, the workshop will focus particularly on the roles of peace provisions in national constitutions. Among them, the Costa Rican Peace Constitution decided to abolish the country’s army. The abolishment has benefited the country in promoting human development and security. Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution renounces war and the maintenance of any war potential. This Japanese peace provision was adopted following the end of World War Two as a pledge to its neighbors and the world that it would never again wage war. Since this time, Article 9 has been a foundation of collective security in the Asia-Pacific. However, under the shadow of growing nationalism, Japan's Article 9 is now at stake of revision that could lead to a resurgence of militarism and an arms race in Asia.

At this critical juncture, citizens of Asia and the world's citizens are uniting to develop the “Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War.” This campaign is not only to protect Japan's Article 9, but also to spread Article 9-like peace provisions to national constitutions all over the world. The workshop will explore how global civil society can utilize the UN Charter and peace constitutions in promoting disarmament, demilitarization, peaceful conflict prevention, human security and a culture of peace.

Moderated by: Maiko Morishita, Peace Boat US

Presenters: (tentative themes)

  • Roberto Zamora, Student of Law, University of Costa Rica (video participation)
    Peace Constitutions of Costa Rica and Japan- Positive Outcomes and Challenges
    >>Download handout here
  • Peter Weiss, Founder and Vice President, IALANA
    Peace Constitutions and their Relation to International Law and the UN System
  • Akira Kawasaki, Executive Committee, Peace Boat
    Developing a Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War
  • Haruka Katarao, Student of International Relations, Tokyo's Tsuda College
    Youth Activism towards Abolishing War

For further information:contact Akira Kawasaki: kawasaki[at]

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