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PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the first half of the Decade?
Overall, we would argue that there has been progress towards a culture of peace and non-violence. The drastically altered situation of the world following the 9/11 attacks has horribly increased violence and certainly turned back progress towards a culture of peace in the short term. However, at the same time, it has provoked an urgent understanding amongst civil society across the world that humanity is at a crossroads and must choose a course of peace or war. We would argue that there are positive signs that global civil society is tending towards choosing the path of peace.
This has been illustrated powerfully in the emergence of civil society as the “other superpower” in the massive worldwide demonstrations against the Iraqi war, and in the reasonable amount of coverage given to such activities in the mass media. The emergence of the World Social Forum movement, which brings the anti-globalisation, economic and social justice movements together with peace and environmental groups, is a very positive indication of civil society’s recognition that the development of a holistic culture of peace is essential.
At the UN level also, we can interpret the last report from Kofi Annan – “In Larger Freedom” – as an effort and new political will to harmonise the development and security agenda, recognising the natural and indivisible link between the two. If accepted by governments, this new logic will necessarily trigger new synergies for the construction of a more peaceful and fairer human society.
To return to the level of our own activity, this positive potential for change has manifested itself in a significantly increased number of people joining our peace education voyages and our volunteer activities. Additional hopeful signs are in the increased number of opportunities we have found for NGO networking in the field of peace education (such as the continued activities of the Hague Appeal for Peace Global Campaign for Peace Education) and in the numbers of universities interested in cooperation over peace education. The Northeast Asia regional process of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (http://www.gppac.net) has resulted in new and exciting joint civil society commitments to develop a culture of peace in the region.
OBSTACLES: What are the most important obstacles that have prevented progress?
The single most important obstacle towards progress in building a culture of peace has been the US-led reaction to the 9/11 attacks and the development of the “with us or against us” War on Terror. In particular, the pre-emptive war on Iraq has had serious implications for the Northeast Asian region in that tension between the United States and North Korea has increased considerably, and in that Japan has sent troops to Iraq, further weakening its commitment to its peace constitution. Japan’s arguable re-emergence as a military power is causing considerable anxiety amongst neighbouring countries and this – coupled with the continued crisis over history textbooks – is threatening to destablise the region.
More general obstacles to progress towards development of a culture of peace include a lack of cooperation between governments, UN and NGOs/CSO in the peace and security fields, and a lack of coordination of activities in NGO networks. The development of many NGO projects is also often seriously inhibited by a lack of funds.
ACTIONS: What actions have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the first half of the Decade?
Work by Peace Boat to promote a culture of peace and non-violence has concentrated in these main areas:
* Peace Boat voyages for peace
In this first half of the Decade, Peace Boat has launched twenty-two voyages for peace, of which nineteen have been global voyages and the other three have been regional voyages in Northeast Asia. A further voyage is at sea at the moment, and another four are planned for later in the year. See the end of this report for a full list of the voyages undertaken since the beginning of the Decade.
Onboard each of these voyages, the ship, as a neutral space beyond borders, becomes a floating peace village, encouraging a sense of community and enabling direct dialogue between those onboard and in the ports that we visit. Our programmes, both onboard and in port, explore the main aspects of Peace Boat activity - peace, human rights, sustainability and respect for the environment - and aim to develop travel as a tool for peace and sustainability.
Peace Boat visits an average of 15 ports on each global voyage. During our visits, typically one to three days in length, we develop various ways through which our overall objective of promoting peace and sustainability can find a concrete expression, locally and globally. The port is the place for us to build alliances and promote solidarity with different actors and at different levels of each society. Activities are jointly organized and aim to answer to the needs of our partners in each port at the same time as they become powerful mobilizing tools for the whole range of Peace Boat participants.
Of the upcoming voyages, the most significant is Peace Boat’s 50th Voyage for Peace, titled " Peace and Green in Asia - Towards A Common Vision of the Future for East Asia." This is a historic project undertaken in cooperation with the Green Foundation of Korea. The voyage marks the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II and the 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Korea and Japan and is a concrete step by civil society to strengthen peaceful relations in East Asia.
Looking back at this history, participants will explore ways to shape a much more peaceful community of East Asian people and states for the next 100 years and beyond, founded on principles of peace, respect for the environment and a strong, participatory civil society. Departing Tokyo on August 13, 2005 and returning to Nagasaki on August 27, 2005, this voyage will call on two ports each in Korea and China before visiting Okinawa. There will be 300 Korean and 300 Japanese participants, along with a number of guest speakers and staff, participating in the voyage. Special study and exchange programmes will be carried out in port, while lectures, panel discussions, workshops and other educational activities will be organized onboard.
* Peace Education - development of Global University, International Students Programme and GET (Global English/Espagnol Training)
* Global University is an intensive peace and sustainability studies programme for participants onboard, combining advanced study of selected topics onboard the ship with exposure programmes in various countries. Our goal during each voyage is to provide participants with the insight and skills necessary to play an active role in education, activism and peace-building activities at the grass-roots level in Japan and internationally. The programme is guided by special guest educators and specialists from Japan and many countries around the world. Among the wide-ranging topics of study are the conflicts in Israel/Palestine, the former Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland; globalization; media literacy; HIV/AIDS with a focus on Africa; and climate change as it affects South Pacific Island states. Key developments in the last two years have been the completion of partnership agreements with Seisen University in Tokyo, and Song-Kong-Hoe University in Seoul, South Korea. Other partnership agreements are under discussion.
* International Students Peace Boat aims to increase access to peace education and conflict resolution training to young people from regions in military or political conflict through the International Student (IS) programme. We invite a select number of young people from opposing sides of conflicts to participate in an advanced conflict analysis and peaceful conflict resolution training programme, on a scholarship basis. As well as peace training, the international students help other participants onboard understand their lives and challenges, thus contributing greatly to the general participants' overall understanding of the nature of conflict.
The aim of the programme is for students to learn about peaceful conflict resolution and develop the knowledge, skills, experience and motivation that will equip them with the means to work for peace when they return to their homes.
To date, students have come from Palestine, Israel, Serbia, Croatia, Cyprus, India, Pakistan, Northern Ireland, Colombia, the United States, Korea, China, and Taiwan.
* Peace Boat, through its GET Programme, organizes onboard English and Spanish language programmes that allow participants to communicate more effectively with the people they meet in port, with the philosophy that shared language and better communication are an important tool for peace.
* Participation in international networks
* Northeast Asia Regional Initiator for the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict
Peace Boat is co-initiating the Northeast Asia regional process in this global effort to highlight the role of civil society in the non-violent prevention of armed conflict and improve interaction between civil society, government and the United Nations in this field. To date, we have hosted a Regional Consultation Meeting and a Regional Conference in which civil society from across the region have participated. The Northeast Asia Action Agenda - adopted at the Regional Conference in February 2005 - emphasises the importance of work towards a culture of peace.
Participation in the World Social Forum movement, including taking Peace Boat's ship to coincide with the opening day of World Social Forum IV in Mumbai, India in January 2004.
* Advocacy Activities for a Culture of Peace
* No War in Iraq - No dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces
The dispatch of Japan’s Self-Defense forces to Iraq in support of the US-led invasion and occupation of the country marks the first time since the end of the World War II that Japanese troops have been sent to an overseas combat-zone - an action that violates Japan’s constitution. Peace Boat is campaigning for the troops to be withdrawn, and for the government to support instead civilian-led humanitarian efforts to rebuild Iraq.
* Medical supplies for Iraq
Peace Boat has initiated a fundraising campaign in Japan with the objective of providing medical and related equipment to support the people of Fallujah, one of the Iraqi cities most devastated by the US-led attacks. To date, Fallujah General Hospital has received hundreds of blankets.
* No War in Iraq
As a member of Japan-based coalitiion World Peace Now and part of the Global Anti-War Assembly developed through the World Social Forum network, Peace Boat campaigned at a national and international level against the US-led invasion of Iraq.
* Olympic Truce Campaign
Ekecheiria (Olympic Truce) is the ancient Greek tradition of calling a cease-fire from all hostilities for the duration of the original Olympic Games. Under the slogan " From Fires of War to Flames of Peace," Peace Boat campaigned for the renewal of an Olympic Truce for the Athens Games, carrying a flame lit from the memorials at Hiroshima and Nagasaki to Greece onboard the ship.
* Peace for Palestine - end the Occupation!
Peace Boat actively supports work towards a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, recognising that both Palestinians and Israelis deserve to live in peace, security and justice. However, peace cannot be achieved without an end to the Occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Activities include an onboard scholarship programme for Israeli and Palestinian students, study visits to Palestine and Israel and advocacy work in Japan.
* Colombian Women Consensus for Peace: supporting the role of women in the conflict prevention and resolution.
After meeting for the first time on Peace Boat in 2001, a group of Colombian women coming from different political backgrounds and experiences of the Colombian conflict, created the " Women’s Consensus for Peace". The group has been mandated to organise the Colombian Chapter of the Court of Women.
Northeast Asia Advocacy
* Save Article Nine
Article Nine of Japan's Constitution, which renounces the sovereign right of the nation to wage war or hold weapons, is under immediate threat of revision. Recognising the value of Article Nine as a conflict prevention method, that its abandonment will significantly destabilize the Northeast Asian region, and that the renunciation of war is a key to peace for the future, Peace Boat is working to protect Article Nine through education, lobbying and campaigns.
* Common History Textbook for Northeast Asia
Japan has so far failed to atone for its colonization and military invasions of neighbouring countries and the human rights abuses and war crimes committed in this period. The teaching of history in this region is therefore intensely politicized and divisive. Besides contributing to a region-wide initiative to write a common history textbook for the region with the objective of building mutual understanding, Peace Boat’s own Asian History Project Team is compiling booklets aimed at Japanese youth which tackle the suffering caused by the Japanese military occupations and highlight the viewpoints of other Northeast Asian peoples.
* Dialogue on history and reconciliation - peace voyages to Korean peninsula
Peace Boat have organized three peace education voyages to the DPRK since 200. Approximately 1000 participants have taken part in these voyages that promote grassroots level interaction and understanding. Topics for dialogue have included Japan-Korea history and the problem of Japan’s revisionist textbooks, war responsibility and reconciliation between Peace Boat participants and Korean civilians, and the creation of a Northeast Asia Nuclear-Free Zone.
Peace Boat is working to promote nuclear disarmament, in particular the creation of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Northeast Asia. A position paper on this topic was delivered to the Under-Secretary General for Disarmament in 2003. Peace Boat is actively following the NPT Review process and is a member of the Geneva-based NGO Committee on Disarmament. Specialist staff engage in advocacy and outreach work in Japan through lectures, writing and media contributions.
Sustainability and the Environment
* Patagonia, Human Heritage campaign, No to ALUMYSA
For many years, Codeff - Friends of the Earth Chile - as been fighting against the Canadian firm, Alumysa, and its plan to build a aluminium industrial complex in one of the most pristine areas of the world. During last visit to Puerto Montt and Valparaiso, Peace Boat joined the " Patagonia, Human Heritage" campaign.
* " No Sustainability without Peace, No Peace without Sustainability" Peace Boat in the World Summit for Sustainable Development, WSSD
In 2002, 10 years after the Earth Summit in Rio, Johannesburg was host of the WSSD, the UN conference intended to check the progress of the Agenda 21 decided in Rio. Peace Boat’s delegation sought to stress the importance of peace as a pre-condition for sustainability.
* Organic Agricultural Project
Growing rice, wheat and other crops in Japan using organic practices for consumption onboard Peace Boat, this project aims to raise awareness of sustainable agriculture and provide a hands-on education in organic farming for volunteers.
List of Peace Boat Voyages:
* 47th Voyage October 21- January 30, 2004 Global Voyage (Capes route)
Kobe - Tokyo - Subic Bay - Vung Tau - Singapore - Port Victoria - Mombasa - Cape Town - Walvis Bay - Rio de Janeiro - Buenos Aires - Ushuaia - Valparaiso - Rapa Nui - Papeete - Auckland - Sydney - Rabaul - Kobe - Tokyo
* 46th Voyage July 14 - October 19, 2004 Global Voyage (Canals route)
Tokyo - Kobe - Keelung - Da Nang - Singapore - Colombo - Massawa - Port Said - Piraeus - Catania - Tangier - Dover - Bergen - Belfast - New York - Montego Bay - Cartagena - Puerto Quetzal - Vancouver - Tokyo
* 45th Voyage April 4 - July 11, 2004 Global Voyage (Canals route)
Tokyo - Kobe - Da Nang - Singapore - Cochin - Mombassa - Aqaba - Port Said - Piraeus - Civitavecchia - Marseilles - Las Palmas - Miami - Montego Bay - Puerto Quetzel - Vancouver - Seward - Tokyo - Kobe
* 44th Voyage December 25, 2003 - April 1, 2004 Global Voyage (Capes route)
Tokyo - Kobe - Naha - Manila - Muara - Singapore - Mumbai - Mombasa - Cape Town - Walvis Bay - Rio de Janeiro - Buenos Aires - Ushuaia - Valparaiso - Rapa Nui (Easter Island) - Papeete - Honolulu - Tokyo - Kobe
* 43rd Voyage September 22 - December 22, 2003 Global Voyage (Canals route)
Tokyo - Kobe - Keelung - Da Nang - Singapore - Chennai - Colombo - Massawa - Port Said - Istanbul - Dubrovnik - Naples - Algiers - Casablanca - Las Palmas - Bridgetown - La Guaira - Cartagena - Panama Canal - Acajutla - San Francisco - Honolulu - Tokyo - Kobe
* 42nd Voyage August 6 - 18, 2003 (postponed) Voyage for Korea-Japan Peace
Hiroshima - Nanpo - Incheon - Nagasaki
* 41st Voyage June 14 - 18 September, 2003 Global Voyage (Canals route)
Tokyo - Kobe - Naha - Da Nang - Singapore - Cochin - Mombasa - Port Said - Limassol - Civitavecchia - Piraeus - Barcelona - Lisbon - New York - Montego Bay - Panama Canal - Puntarenas - Acapulco - Vancouver - Seward - Tokyo - Kobe
* 40th Voyage December 10, 2002 - March 15, 2003 Global Voyage (Capes route)
Tokyo - Kobe - Hong Kong - Da Nang - Singapore - Victoria - Mombasa - Cape Town - Walvis Bay - Rio de Janeiro - Buenos Aires - Ushuaia - Puerto Montt - Valparaiso - Rapa Nui (Easter Island) - Papeete - Apia - Ponpei - Tokyo - Kobe
* 39th Voyage September 1 - December 9, 2002 Global Voyage (Capes route)
Tokyo - Kobe - Manila - Singapore - Cochin - Massawa - Port Said - Istanbul - Marseille - Las Palmas - Santiago de Cuba - Cartagena - Panama Canal - Callao - Rapa Nui (Easter Island) - Papeete - Bora Bora - Auckland - Sydney - Rabaul - Kobe - Tokyo
* 38th Voyage August 15 - 30, 2002 Northeast Asia Peace Voyage
Kobe - Wonsan - Pusan - Korsakov - Kunashiri - Tokyo
* 37th Voyage May 2 - August 15, 2002 Global Voyage (Canals route)
Tokyo - Kobe - Shanghai - Da Nang - Singapore - Male - Safaga - Port Said - Piraeus - Dubrovnik - Tripoli - Bilbao - London - Amsterdam - Oslo - Geiranger - Swartisen - Belfast - Ponta Delgada - Havana - Panama Canal - Acajutla - Acapulco - Vancouver - Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky - Tokyo - Kobe
* 36th Voyage December 25, 2001 - March 31, 2002 Global Voyage (Capes route)
Tokyo - Kobe - Keelung - Muara - Singapore - Port Victoria - Mombasa - Nosy Be - Cape Town - Rio de Janeiro - Buenos Aires - Ushuaia - Valparaiso - Rapa Nui (Easter Island) - Papeete - Apia - Suva - Chuuk - Tokyo - Kobe
* 35th Voyage September 9 - December 23, 2001 Global Voyage (Canals route)
Tokyo - Kobe - Nanking - Da Nang - Singapore - Cochin - Mombasa - Massawa - Istanbul - Tripoli - Barcelona - Las Palmas - Belem - La Guaira - Panama Canal - Guayaquil - Rapa Nui (Easter Island) - Papeete - Apia - Ponpei - Kobe - Tokyo
* 34th Voyage August 28 - September 8, 2001 North-South Korea Peace Voyage
Kobe - Nanbo - Incheon - Tokyo
* 33rd Voyage 22 May 22 - August 26, 2001 Global Voyage (Canals route)
Yokohama - Kobe - Hong Kong - Ho Chi Minh City - Singapore - Male - Mombasa - Massawa - Port Said - Ashdod - Piraeus - Dubrovnik - Naples - Casablanca - Las Palmas - Havana - Montego Bay - Panama Canal - Acajutla - Acapulco - Vancouver - Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky - Yokohama - Kobe
* 32nd Voyage January 16 - May 8, 2001 Dawn of the Centry Global Voyage (South)
Tokyo - Keelung - Danang - Singapore - Port Victoria - Mombasa - Cape Town - Walvis Bay - Rio de Janeiro - Buenos Aires - Punta Arenas - Valparaiso - Rapa Nui (Easter Island) - Papeete - Suva - Rabaul - Chuuk - Tokyo
* 31st Voyage October 18, 2000 - January 15, 2001 Dawn of the Century Global Voyage (North)
Tokyo - Keelung - Danang - Singapore - Cochin - Massawa - Port Said - Ashdod - Heraklion - Naples - Barcelona - Las Palmas - Havana - Panama - Callao - Rapa Nui (Easter Island) - Papeete - Lautoka - Pohnpei - Tokyo
* 30th Voyage August 31 - October 14, 2000 Southern Cross Cruise
Kobe - Subic - Dili - Darwin - Brisbane - Auckland - Noumea - Rabaul - Chuuk - Tokyo
* 29th Voyage Part 1: August 21 - 29, 2000 29th Voyage Part 2: September 5 - 14, 2000
Pyongyang Peace Voyage: Niigata - Wonsan - Niigata
* 28th Voyage May 22 - August 21, 2000 Summer 2000 Global Voyage (Canals route)
Tokyo - Hong Kong - Danang - Singapore - Colombo - Port Victoria - Mombasa - Massawa - Port Said - Ashdod - Piraeus - Dubrovnik - Civitavecchia - Las Palmas - Havana - Panama - Acapulco - Vancouver - Tokyo
* 27th Voyage January 16 - April 14, 2000 Millennium Global Voyage (Capes route)
Tokyo - Keelung - Danang - Singapore - Port Victoria - Mombasa - Toliara - Cape Town - Rio de Janeiro - Buenos Aires - Punta Arenas - Valparaiso - Rapa Nui (Easter Island) - Papeete - Suva - Rabaul - Chuuk - Tokyo
* 26th Voyage October 18, 1999 - January 15, 2000 Millennium Global Voyage (Canals route)
Tokyo - Hong Kong - Danang - Singapore - Colombo - Massawa - Port Said - Haifa - Dubrovnik - Rome - Las Palmas - Havana - Panama Canal - Acajutla - Acapulco - Papeete - Lautoka - Chuuk - Tokyo
ADVICE: What advice would you like to give to the Secretary-General and the General Assembly to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the second half of the Decade?
PARTNERSHIPS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?
NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations
Affiliate Member of Friends of the Earth International http://www.foei.org
Member of the International Peace Bureau http://www.ipb.org
Member of the Hague Appeal for Peace Global Campaign for Peace Education
Northeast Asia Secretariat - Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict
World Social Forum http://www.forumsocialmundial.org.br/
Founding member of Peace Now Korea Japan http://give-peace-a-chance.jp/pnkj/
Member of the Non-Violent Peace Force http://www.nonviolentpeaceforce.org
World Peace Now http://www.worldpeacenow.jp/
Abolition 2000 http://www.abolition2000.org/
PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence in the second half of the Decade (2005-2010)?
We will be continuing with our activities as described, and in particular taking initiatives to develop our Global University peace education programmes as part of the Hague Appeal for Peace Global Campaign for Peace Education.
Postal address of organization
2F, 3-14-3 Takadanobaba
Shinjuku, Tokyo, 169-0075, JAPAN
E-mail address of organization
Website address of organization
Highest priority action domain of a culture of peace
Education for a culture of peace
Second priority action domain of a culture of peace
Understanding, tolerance, solidarity
Highest priority country of action (or international)
Second priority country of action (or international)
Northeast Asia region
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