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Posted by on Sep 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

E-news from VOW

Dear VOWs,

Looking forward to an exciting Fall of Peace work.  Our 2 PeaceMaker summer camps were very successful, very inspiring and we have so much to tell you and to share. Look forward to more information coming soon.

Please send your information on your peace work to the VOW office ( – photos, articles you have written, blogs, events and more.  We will post this information on our website, on Facebook and on Twitter.  Join our Facebook page and our Facebook group and follow us on Twitter. Check out the events page on our website for what is happening in your area and our News page to keep you up to date with all that is happening

In this newsletter

  • Breaking the Nuclear Change
  • Yves Engler on Militarism
  • Message to the 16th Summit of Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Movement

Breaking the Nuclear Chain

Just 5 minutes…

Everyone, every single person in the world is affected by the nuclear chain. Whether by cost,  contamination or insecurity the nuclear chain binds us together. And together we can break it. We can reduce risks, reallocate resources and increase our global security. To do that, we need your help.

The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), IKV Pax Christi andPeace Boat are launching ‘Breaking the Nuclear Chain’, a campaign to inform, motivate and activate people about this potential humanitarian disaster. The modernization of nuclear weapons, the tragedy at Fukushima, the devastation at Jabiluka- we see the need to address the whole nuclear chain. This campaign is about people- bringing the experience of actual people in how they have been affected by nuclear weapons, uranium mining, nuclear exports, nuclear power and nuclear waste; and how they are working to break the chain.

We are putting a human face on the often abstract debate on nuclear issues. We are collecting testimonies of affected people and making them available to a broad audience. This will reinforce the understanding that we are all affected, and that we can all act.

A large part of this campaign will take place on-line on the Peace Portal( We will offer video testimonies, facts and figures about the nuclear chain and more. This is where we need your help.

We want to expand the community of resistance to the nuclear chain- and encourage people to engage with you, where you are. We have developed a short questionnaire (below) to help do this. We would like to feature your organisation on the Peace Portal, so we can direct new volunteers, new energy and inspired persons directly to strengthen your own efforts. We will use thequestionnaires to develop organizational profiles for the online community of organizations around the world that work on issues related to the nuclear chain. In this way we hope not only to show all the things that are being done around the world, but also inspire people to get involved with these efforts.

That is why we would like to ask you to complete the questionnaire so people following or participating in the campaign can learn  who you are and which part of the nuclear chain your organization is working on. It should only take about five minutes of your time.  You can either fill out the questions below and email them to  or you can fill it out online.

What would you do with an extra volunteer working with you? How could one or two new voices change the discourse on nuclear issues where you are? We want to present a comprehensive global picture- those affected, by what, and what people can do about it. We know there is a huge global movement, and we want to show politicians, governments and the world just how many we are. We can break the nuclear chain- but we need your help.

Please take a few minutes to fill this out, and join us in Breaking the Nuclear Chain.

Kind regards,

Susi Snyder

P.S. If you’d like to get more involved in this effort, or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

A couple of questions..

Please send your responses to:

Please keep your answers short. Maximum of 200 words per answer.
Organizational Details
Please also send along a photo or logo that we can add to your profile.

The Nuclear Chain
What do you work on?  
Nuclear Power
Nuclear Weapons
Uranium Mining
Reprocessing and/ or Waste Facilities
Tell us more..

What motivates your organisation to work on this? What is your organisation’s mission statement?


What other issues does your organisation work on?


How long have you worked on nuclear issues?


What do you do? And how do you do it?


How could people/volunteers get involved in your work?


Thank you!



Conservatives promote militarism

An increase in military’s size and strength makes war more likely.

Dateline: Tuesday, August 07, 2012

by Yves Engler

Six and half years into Harper’s Conservative government Canada has become so militaristic that the head of the armed forces can demand a new war and few bat an eye.

Two weeks ago the Chief of the Defence Staff Walter Natynczyk told the Canadian Press “We have some men and women who have had two, three and four tours and what they’re telling me is ‘Sir, we’ve got that bumper sticker. Can we go somewhere else now?'” The General added that “you also have the young sailors, soldiers, airmen and women who have just finished basic training and they want to go somewhere and in their minds it was going to be Afghanistan. So if not Afghanistan, where’s it going to be? They all want to serve.”

  The Canadian Forces admit to having spent $353.6 million and directed 661 staff members to promoting their work in 2010-11.

It is not surprising that the head of the military would want to go to war (that’s his job after all). What’s troubling is that Natynczyk felt comfortable saying so in public, and that neither the opposition parties nor any mainstream commentators criticized his call to arms.

The Chief of the Defence Staff’s warmongering is the logical outgrowth of the Conservatives’ bid to make Canadian society more militaristic. During the Conservatives’ first six years in office, the military budget increased from $15 billion to $23 billion and the number of troops rose about a quarter to 95,000. The Special forces, which Ottawa can deploy abroad in total secrecy, more than doubled.

An increase in the size and strength of the military makes war more likely. In a recent article, leading foreign policy journalist Lee Berthiaume reported that the Harper government’s 2007 decision to acquire four massive C-17 Globemaster military transport planes spurred the plan to establish bases around the world. “The decision to acquire four C-17s (CC177) for strategic airlift indicates the government’s intention to utilize the CF [Canadian Forces] more extensively off continent,” read a May 2010 briefing note signed by Natynczyk, initiating the international base plan. Dubbed Operational Support Hub, the goal is to set up permanent bases in up to seven countries.

In recent months Canada has signed agreements to house soldiers and equipment in Kuwait, Jamaica and Germany and is negotiating to set up bases in Singapore, South Korea, Tanzania, Senegal and Kenya. According to a military briefing note obtained by Postmedia, the bases are designed to improve the Canadian Forces’ “ability to project combat power/security assistance and Canadian influence rapidly and flexibly anywhere in the world.” Publicly, defence minister Peter MacKay called the base initiative part of expanding “our capability for expeditionary participation in international missions… We are big players in NATO.”

By setting up overseas bases and increasing the military’s size, the Conservatives are preparing for future wars. They’ve also built the cultural and ideological foundation for constant war. In one of innumerable examples, the updated 2011 citizenship handbook Discover Canada: the Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship praised this country’s military history with more than a dozen photos depicting war or armed forces personnel. Similarly, over the past few years soldiers have regularly appeared at major sporting events rappelling down from the rafters or in somber moments of silence for the fallen. Incredibly, reports Embassy, the Canadian Forces admit to having spent $353.6 million and directed 661 staff members to promoting their work in 2010-11.

The Conservative’s militarism is unrelenting. After waging war in Libya they organized an $850,000 nationally televised celebration for Canada’s “military heroes”, which included flyovers from a dozen military aircraft. Harper told the 300 military personnel brought in from four bases: “We are celebrating a great military success . Soldier for soldier, sailor for sailor, airman for airman, the Canadian Armed Forces are the best in the world.”

As part of his push to define Canada as a so-called “warrior nation”, at the June 2011 Conservative convention Harper mentioned “courageous warrior” as a founding Canadian principle. When Maclean’s editor Kenneth White asked the Prime Minister Asked to explain this position, he cited Canada’s roles in fighting fascism and the Cold War. “The real defining moments for the country and for the world are those big conflicts where everything is at stake and where you take a side and show you can contribute to the right side.” Asked whether we are in a great conflict or heading towards one Harper responded “I think we always are.”

Taking his cue from the Prime Minister, the head of the military wants to get to work. The question is, will anyone say no?

Yves Engler is the author of the forthcoming The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy. To help organize a talk as part of a book tour in May or June, please e-mail



Dear friends,

We are pleased to inform you that Hiroshi TAKA, representative director of Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo) has attended the 16th Summit of Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) as a guest, which is convened in Teheran, Iran on August 26 to 31, 2012.

On this occasion, we published the following message to the Summit and will petition the governments of NAM for their leadership for a total ban on nuclear weapons.

Below is the message to the Summit. I want to ask you to circulate it through your websites and networks. Thanks. (Yayoi)

______________________________________________________ ____________________________________________

Message to the 16th Summit of Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Movement

August 27, 2012
Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs (Gensuikyo)

On the occasion of the 16th Summit of Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), we extend the warmest greetings of solidarity to you, and through you to the people each of you represent, from the movement against atomic and hydrogen bombs working in Japan, the only A-bombed country in the world.

During the period of the Cold War, which followed the end of the World War II, NAM played the key role in establishing a peaceful and just world order based on the UN Charter, by opposing the division of the world by military blocs and nuclear arms race and firmly promoting the non-alignment, national independence and sovereignty, the resolution of international conflicts by peaceful means and the establishing of a new international economic order.  Further, NAM kept warning of the danger of another Hiroshima or Nagasaki, and took the lead in the international politics to totally ban  nuclear weapons.  With the passing some 20 years since the end of the Cold War, we firmly believe that the role of NAM is now more important than ever before in achieving these objectives.

Our movement developed in 1954, in protest against the massive damage and contamination caused by the hydrogen bomb test conducted by the USA at the Bikini Atoll, the Pacific on March 1 that year.  Since then, we have developed grassroots actions and international solidarity to achieve three basic objectives of 1) the prevention of nuclear war, 2) a total ban and the elimination of nuclear weapons, and 3) relief and solidarity with the Hibakusha, the A-bomb sufferers, including the World Conference against A and H Bombs held in Hiroshima and Nagasaki every summer, nationwide signature campaign in support of the start of negotiations for Nuclear Weapons Convention, annual peace marches walking through all Japanese municipalities to raise public awareness for the abolition of nuclear weapons.  Since the very start of our movement, we have always supported the principles and policies set out by the forerunners of the Non-Aligned Movement.

The 16th NAM Summit is meeting at the extremely important juncture. The 8th NPT Review Conference in May 2010 agreed that it would “achieve the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons” as principle and objective, and confirmed that the “unequivocal undertaking” of the Nuclear Five agreed on in May 2000 to “accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals”.  It further affirmed that “all States need to make special efforts to establish the necessary framework to achieve and maintain a world without nuclear weapons”, and specifically noted “the Five-Point Proposal” of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, which includes inter alia the “negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention”.

The final document also made it obligation to convene an international conference for a Middle East Zone free of nuclear weapons as well as other weapons of mass destruction.

These agreements are not something that can be done when Nuclear Five like to.  As Ambassador Libran Cabactulan, the chair of the 8th NPT Review Conference pointed out in his speech at the Preparatory Committee to the 2015 NPT Review Conference in May this year, that the world fortunately avoided a nuclear holocaust for some 60 years, and hopefully for many more years to come.  But “Let us not continue to tempt the fates, … The only way to ensure the prevention of a nuclear holocaust is to take away the nuclear option from the hands of men who are so fallible.”

We refuse all kinds of arguments intended to try to justify the continued possession of nuclear weapons, or modernization and new development of such weapons, or nuclear proliferation, such as “nuclear deterrence” doctrine or “nuclear umbrella” argument.  The goals agreed upon at the 2010 NPT Review Conference have to be honestly and in good faith translated into action towards the next, 2015 NPT Review Conference, and above all the negotiations on the nuclear weapons convention must start without any further delay, to build a legally binding framework needed to create and maintain a nuclear weapon-free world.

On August 2-9 this year, the 2012 World Conference against A and H Bombs was held in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  We listened to the enlightening and foreseeing views from Ms. Angela Kane, the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, government representatives of Egypt, Malaysia, Cuba, Mexico, Norway, and others that are committed to the abolishing of nuclear weapons without delay.  Nine thousand participants, including overseas delegates from 20 countries, as well as Japanese grassroots activists, renewed their determination to redouble their effort to strengthen the public support for nuclear disarmament.  The document adopted by the Conference placed focus on the need for the implementation of the agreements of the 2010 NPT Review Conference, and further paid a special attention to the Statement of the 16 Governments, including NAM members, NAC members, countries on neutrality, set forward at the last NPT PrepCom.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki teach humanity that the use of nuclear weapon is a crime against humanity.  The action to eliminate nuclear weapons concerns everyone, governments and civil society alike, for which all citizens around the world are to be invited.  We, as the movement working in a country where people suffered the “hell on earth”, will do our best to make known to the people around the reality of the two cities and their citizens on those days and thereafter, thus organizing people in all different forms, including the petition campaign.  These campaigns will be firmly in solidarity with your action, carried out together with peace movements around the world, as well as the Hibakusha.

The nuclear crisis caused by the severe accident of the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant continues.  Still more than 160,000 people are in refuge.  As the movement with the slogan, “No More Hibakusha”, we are also working hard for the relief of those suffering, end to the dependency on nuclear power plants, and development and switch to the sustainable energies.  In overcoming these problems facing humanity, achieving a total ban on nuclear weapons will open a new page.  This is no doubt.

Before concluding, we wish you every success in the work of the 16th Summit of NAM. (end)

Japan Council against A & H Bombs (GENSUIKYO)
2-4-4 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8464 JAPAN
phone: +81-3-5842-6034
fax: +81-3-5842-6033