Global Article 9 Conference Statement to the G8

In our globalized world, the problems facing humanity are inter-connected more than ever. Global issues such as the environment, development with the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals as a first step and political issues including the “war on terror” and nuclear non-proliferation, can no longer be dealt with separately. Progress cannot take place in the absence of peace.

As major powers, G8 countries must take the initiative to break the cycle of violence and work multilaterally towards building a peaceful, non-violent, gender-balanced, just and sustainable world for all, based on respect of human rights and the fulfillment of human security. To achieve this goal, disarmament must take place and innovative financing mechanisms for development must be mobilized.

In its annual resolutions on the subject, the UN General Assembly has urged the international community “to devote part of the resources made available by the implementation of disarmament and arms limitation agreements to economic and social development, with a view to reducing the ever-widening gap between developed and developing countries.” It also encourages governments to “make greater efforts to integrate disarmament, humanitarian and development activities.” The Global Article 9 Conference to Abolish War joins UN efforts to push forward the promising debate on the relationship between disarmament and development.

May 4-6, 2008

As top military spenders (accounting for 70% of the world military expenditures), the G8 countries must take the lead in drastically reducing their military expenditures and diverting such resources towards peace, development and the protection of the environment.

We, the under-signed participants and supporters of the Global Article 9 Conference to Abolish War, recall the recommendations made in the final declaration of the conference about the potential of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution as an international mechanism to promote peace and global stability, and further call on G8 leaders, ahead of the Summit taking place in July in Hokkaido, Japan, to:

Promote and realize the fundamental human right to live in peace by supporting conflict prevention, peace-building and human security initiatives by peaceful means.

“War on Terror”
Put an end to the open-ended US-led “war on terror” that generates fear and repression and promotes hatred and violence; and instead address the root causes of terrorism through international cooperation, using international law and respecting human rights.

Disarmament, including the abolition of nuclear weapons

Strengthen multilateral efforts to achieve nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament towards the abolition of nuclear weapons. G8 countries must promote negotiations towards the early conclusion of the Arms Trade Treaty; foster a government-level process towards a total ban of cluster munitions; ensure the full implementation of the Landmine Ban Treaty; and build an international consensus for prohibiting the use of depleted uranium as a first step towards a comprehensive process of disarmament and demilitarization.

Promote initiatives linking disarmament to development and human security, and establish a ratio of military spending to be dedicated to national development expenditure towards the MDGs and beyond.

Recognize and reverse the negative impacts of war and the military on the environment and commit to address the well-recognized threat posed by outside interference and fight for control of the increasingly scarce natural resources and energy sources as a catalyst of conflict.

Global Corporate Social Responsibility to Peace

Create and enforce structures and systems to uphold the corporate social responsibility of the private sector, including towards peace, human rights and environmental protection.