Statements Archive
Sep 7, 2015 - Peaceful Waters for Our Future: Appeal to the Peoples and Leaders of this Planet from Peace Boat's 88th Global Voyage
Peaceful Waters for Our Future
Appeal to the Peoples and Leaders of this Planet from Peace Boat's 88th Global Voyage

(Download this appeal as a PDF here)

We have crossed the Pacific - ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region and are sailing into the Indian Ocean - SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) region. Peace Boat was founded in 1983 and is dedicated to building an enduring culture of peace across the globe. This voyage across many waters symbolises the deep connection between peoples, lands, oceans and forests, transcending borders, nationality, ethnicity, language and religion. We have come together to call on peoples around the globe to raise their voices for peace and non-violence, and to seek non militaristic solutions to our common problems.

Being aware of :

  • The collective wisdom of the many ancient civilizations and new nations that have called for the building of a zone of peace across the Pacific and the Indian Oceans.
  • The urgency and seriousness of ecological disasters caused by climate change, which is the cumulative consequence of human actions, especially in the recent post industrial era.
  • The combination of natural and man-made disasters, such as Fukushima, which are warning signals which cannot be ignored and add to our already fragile human insecurity.
  • The profound wave of solidarity among and for the Japanese people who, within the space of a few generations, have experienced the world's biggest nuclear disasters - Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Fukushima. And the global support for the brave resistance in Japan against attempts to continue with nuclear energy.
  • The revival of militarism and the dominance of the corporate system, which, together with the power of neo-liberal economic and exclusionary policies, have only served to increase poverty and destitution, homelessness and displacement across the world.
  • The struggles of the common peoples of this earth who are fighting for self-determination, for the right to decide their future, and for demilitarization and denuclearization of these mighty oceans and the land masses around them.
  • The shared geography and shared history on which this appeal is based.

LEARNING FROM RECENT HISTORY

The year 2015 marks some significant anniversaries - which have had enormous implications in particular for the countries of Asia and Africa, as well as for the rest of the world.

1. DEFEAT OF FASCIST GOVERNMENTS - 1945

The year 2015 marks the Seventieth anniversary of the defeat of fascist regimes in Germany, Japan and Italy.

The Japanese participants of this voyage are especially aware of the critical importance of their constitution which incorporates the principle of the rights of all people to live in peace. Above all it was through Article 9 of this constitution that Japan pledged to abolish and foreswear its military capacity and thus open a new path towards reconciliation between the "colonizing West" and the "colonized rest".

We call upon all peace loving peoples to support the continuance of this critical component and clause in the Japanese constitution, currently the subject of debate and re-interpretation in the Japanese Diet.

2. RUSSELL-EINSTEIN MANIFESTO - 1945

The devastation caused by the nuclear attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki seventy years ago gave rise to the Russell-Einstein Manifesto. This in turn started the worldwide movement for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

In reaction to the bombing of Nagasaki Bertrand Russell wrote:

"The prospect for the human race is sombre beyond all precedent. Mankind are faced with a clear-cut alternative: either we shall all perish, or we shall have to acquire some slight degree of common sense. A great deal of new political thinking will be necessary if utter disaster is to be averted."

3. PANCHSHEEL TREATY FOR PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE - 1955

This year marks the sixtieth anniversary of the historic adoption of The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, known as the Panchsheel Treaty (from Sanskrit, panch:five, sheel:virtues), a set of principles to govern relations between states, at Bandung in 1955.

They were first formally codified in a treaty form in an agreement between China and India in 1954, signed by Prime Ministers Zhou Enlai and Jawaharlal Nehru pledging:

a. Mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty,
b. Mutual non-aggression,
c. Mutual non-interference in each other's internal affairs,
d. Equality and cooperation for mutual benefit, and
e. Peaceful co-existence.

An underlying assumption of the Five Principles was that newly independent states after decolonization would be able to develop a new and more principled approach to international relations. Nehru went so far as to say: "If these principles were recognized in the mutual relations of all countries, then indeed there would hardly be any conflict and certainly no war."

The historic Asian-African Conference in Bandung, Indonesia, in April 1955, did more than any other meeting to form the idea that post-colonial states had something special to offer the world, including a recognition of the importance of the UN, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and reaffirmation of the Five Principles.

4. NUCLEAR-FREE AFRICA - 1990s

In the early 1990s, South Africa unilaterally announced its decision to dismantle its nuclear weapons program. Nelson Mandela supported the call for the establishment of the African continent as a nuclear-weapon-free zone.

GAZING INTO THE FUTURE

As Peace Boat sails on beyond the Indian Ocean, we ask you to join us, passengers, participants, guests, in endorsing the following demands to governments, leaders and the people:

i. Eliminate all nuclear weapons and work towards complete disarmament. Start negotiations for a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, building on the achievements of the past three international conferences on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons. Dismantle all existing nuclear warheads and phase out nuclear power plants.

ii. Demilitarize the Pacific and Indian Oceans by agreeing to a new regime of maritime disarmament at both nuclear and non-nuclear levels. This is necessary in order to overcome the present competition between the US and China, which has created a regional arms race. This has involved Japan, Korea and ASEAN countries as India and Pakistan also face off.

iii. Strengthen regional associations to bring about dialogue and resolution of historical conflicts, for example ASEAN facilitating dialogue between the US and China. The peace principle of Article 9 of the Japanese constitution can be used as a powerful tool for mediation.

iv. Urge all countries, governments and the people to take immediate action to address the threat of climate change by all possible combined efforts including promoting renewable energy sources.

v. Honour and implement all human rights, humanitarian treaties and commitments - for the growing numbers of migrants and refugees in many parts of the world - especially now in the climate of growing intolerance.

vi. Demilitarize, eliminate state terrorism, and eradicate all forms of military and police brutality. There must be moderated discussion on the causes and consequences of what is indiscriminately labeled "terrorism" or the "war on terror".

vii. Initiate processes to end all forms of discrimination and violence, and implement all treaties and pledges to this end.

viii. Introduce processes of truth and reconciliation in global attempts to resolve conflicts and build human security between and among the people of various states.

ix. Pledge to work for the development of equitable and just societies, and reversing the power of neo-liberal economics and exclusionary policies in line with UN objectives on sustainable development. Draw on the invaluable indigenous and traditional wisdom from around the world.

We believe that peace is possible and can be attained by working together to realize the above.

September 7, 2015, onboard Peace Boat's 88th Global Voyage

Signed by:

Ela GANDHI, South Africa
Community Connect
Gandhi Development Trust

KAWASAKI Akira, Japan
Peace Boat

MUSHAKOJI Kinhide, Japan
International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR)

Carmelita NUQUI, Philippines
Development Action for Women Network (DAWN)

Lalita RAMDAS, India
Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP)

TAMURA Miwako, Japan
Peace Boat's 88th Global Voyage Director

Endorsed by:
Full list of signatories can be downloaded here.

(Download this appeal as a PDF here)