Happy New Year from Peace Boat!
We would like to express our deep thanks to our friends and partners around the world, with whom we are honoured to work together in our joint efforts for a more peaceful, sustainable and nuclear-free world.
2019 has been an important year for Peace Boat, and for the world as we face multiple crises and the need for even more innovative cooperation by global citizens around the world.
Global Education for Sustainability
To this end, we have continued our global education programmes throughout this year. Highlights have included welcoming youth scholars in February to learn about peace education and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in South America, onboard seminar with the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups Leadership Institute in April, and Global University for “Building Peaceful and Inclusive Societies Together in Asia” in August.
We were greatly honoured by the impact of these education projects being recognized in our receiving the Educators’ Challenge Awards by the Global Challenges Foundation in May, and the Best University Billion Acts Hero Award at the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in September.
Global University students leading SDGs Actions onboard the Global Voyage
Raising Awareness of the SDGs
These programmes are part of our broader work to raise awareness and inspire action for the SDGs. These are carried out both in activities onboard the ship and in joint campaigns with partners in ports of call around the world – from mangrove planting with local youth leaders in Fiji, using music and sports to promote the SDGs in Mexico, and inter-generational peace dialogue at sea.
We also partnered with Philippines-based NGO Liter of Light engaging participants to make solar lights onboard and deliver the lights to communities in need in Mauritius, Madagascar, South Africa, Brazil, Chile, Rapa Nui (Easter Island) and Samoa. Such learning and practice was also brought to the United Nations, where we regularly join with partners from Japan and around the world to participate in key advocacy events such as the UN Climate Action Summit and SDG Summit.
Participants young and old together built solar lamps with Liter of Light
Oceans and Climate
Travelling by sea, actions to protect our oceans and tackle the climate crisis are at the heart of our work. We continued this commitment through inviting young leaders from small island states on the frontline to join the third edition of our Ocean and Climate Youth Ambassadors Programme (OCYAP). These inspiring youth shared their testimonies and calls for urgent action with political leaders, fellow youth and the public in ports of call throughout their journey, which culminated in arrival to New York City to coincide with the UN World Ocean Day. We were honoured to host the official reception for the day onboard our ship, as well as a festival the following afternoon for civil society partners.
Peace Boat and United Nations and civil society partners celebrate
UN World Oceans Day on board the ship in New York City
The impact of the climate crisis: Disaster Relief
Our work for climate action continued throughout the year, including joining former US Vice President Al Gore’s first ever Climate Reality Leadership training in Japan as an official partner.
The climate crisis has had a serious impact in Japan this year, with local residents in communities affected by devastating floods and typhoons still struggling to rebuild their livelihoods and homes. Peace Boat Disaster Relief (PBV) continues active relief projects with volunteers, especially over this holiday season.
Please take a look at our homepage for more information, including how to support or get involved.
Peace Boat Disaster Relief team surveys the typhoon impacted areas
A Nuclear Free World
2019 has also been a significant year in the journey towards a nuclear-free world. It is now two years since the adoption at the UN of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), of which Peace Boat is a key partner.There are now 80 signatories and 34 states parties to this treaty – more than 2/3 of those required for the treaty to enter into force.
In 2019 we continued to share the testimony of Hibakusha, survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to raise awareness of the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. As our ship visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the anniversaries of the bombings, an atomic bombed piano and violin were brought onto the ship for peace concerts at sea and in ports in Japan, Korea and Russia.
We also collaborated with the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs in their “Youth4Disarmament” Initiative, co-hosting 75 youth champions for a one-day programme at the UN Headquarters and onboard Peace Boat during the UN General Assembly’s First Committee on Disarmament and International Security in October.
Peace Boat Founder Yoshioka Tatsuya, Hiroshima survivor Sakashita Noriko
and ICAN France's Jean-Marie Collin meet with Prince Albert II of Monaco
Our 103rd Voyage for Peace departed from the port of Yokohama on December 21, setting sail toward Oceania. Voyages throughout this year have seen record numbers of participants from countries other than Japan joining Peace Boat, and we are honoured to welcome them as part of our floating international community.
In addition, we are excited to announce that from April 2020 we will also be organizing global voyages onboard a new passenger ship, the Zenith!
We are happy to also inform you that work continues on the development of Ecoship. We are also delighted to welcome to our cohort of supporters oceanographic explorer Fabien Cousteau, joining Dr Sylvia Earle and Christina Figueres among other figures in our group of experts supporting Peace Boat Ecoship. For the full list of supporters and latest news, please visit our website.
As we enter this new stage and decade, we look forward to continuing to share this journey with you all, and working together in partnership for a peaceful, sustainable and nuclear-free world!