Monday, May 3, 2010

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire: "Around the world there are billions of people who say, 'WE WANT PEACE!'"

This partial transcript of a  2008 talk by Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire (with the thousands of people outside the May 4-5, 2008 "Global Article 9 Conference for the Abolition of War" who were unable to join the 30,000 already inside of the conference hall)—reminds us of the vast support in Japan for its Peace Constitution.
"Everyone, I am very happy to be here with you all.

"The Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution — we have to all get together to protect this. It's important for the whole world today.

"Article 9 says very clearly, 'We want no war, no nuclear weapons.'

"Yes, we have hurt each other in the past. But we can reconcile and we can solve our problems by talking to the other.

"I am not surprised that today everyone couldn't get into the conference hall and that the place is overflowing with people, because around our world, there are billions of people who are saying, 'We want peace!"

"There are people who will try to make us afraid of each other. They will try to say we are different. We say, 'We are not afraid. We are the human family. Yes, we have differences, but we are all human beings. We want to act in a dignified, civilized way by refusing to kill each other...

"Forgiveness is so important. We have all hurt the Other. We have all been hurt. But we must forgive one another.

"Here in Japan, you have hurt through your wars of aggression many people, in Korea and China. Please remember to say you're sorry and ask their forgiveness. Only when you forgive can you find genuine happiness in yourself and can you find real peace."
"By upholding your Article 9, and reaching out your hand to your Korean, your Chinese, your Russian, your immediate neighbors and friends, you will serving peace in Japan, and setting an example to the world.

"You need to say to the American government, their occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, and their setting aside of the United Nations human rights and international law is not acceptable to the human family.

"You need to say to our friends in the Israeli government, lead the movement in the Middle East for a nuclear-free Middle East and end the occupation of Palestine where the people are suffering so much."

"We need our American friends – we need our Israeli friends – to adopt the Charter for a World Without Violence and Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution."

(Originally posted at the Kyoto Journal website on May 20, 2008)

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