Buddhist Leader Calls for Progress on Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, Building Global Human Rights Culture

By Soka Gakkai International, PRNE
Tuesday, January 25, 2011

TOKYO, January 26, 2011 - In a proposal released on Jan. 26, "Toward a World of Dignity for All:
The Triumph of the Creative Life," Soka Gakkai International (SGI) President
Daisaku Ikeda calls for global civil society to take the lead in resolving
two key challenges of our time: abolishing nuclear weapons and building a
global culture of human rights.

While these issues are daunting in scale and complexity, Ikeda expresses
his faith, as a Buddhist, in the human capacity to meet and overcome even
seemingly insurmountable challenges.

Regarding nuclear abolition, he explores actions that the world's people
can initiate to: 1) establish the structures within which states possessing
nuclear weapons will move rapidly toward disarmament; 2) forestall further
nuclear weapons development or modernization; and 3) comprehensively outlaw
these inhumane weapons through a Nuclear Weapons Convention (NWC).

To this end, he expresses support for United Nations Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon's call for the regular holding of UN Security Council summits on
nuclear disarmament. Ikeda proposes that states that have relinquished
nuclear weapons be regular participants, and that specialists and NGO
representatives also address the summits. He suggests that Hiroshima and
Nagasaki host the 2015 Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review
Conference, and that it should serve as a nuclear abolition summit.

To move the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) toward entry
into force, Ikeda calls for a series of bilateral, regional and multilateral
initiatives by which groups of states, such as Egypt, Israel and Iran, would
mutually commit to ratify the treaty. A similar arrangement based on the Six-
Party Talks could be used to bring about the denuclearization of the
Northeast Asia.

Ikeda reiterates his strong support for an NWC. He stresses that such a
convention could represent a qualitative transformation from traditional
international law–negotiated solely among governments–to a form of law that
derives its ultimate authority from the expressed will of the world's peoples.

Regarding human rights education, Ikeda notes that human rights are not
brought into existence by treaties or laws, but through the efforts of
ordinary people to correct the injustices they experience or see in the world
around them. This means making sensitivity to human rights–our own and
others'–a part of a "culture of human rights."

Ikeda expresses his support for efforts, centered on the UN, to promote
human rights education, and to this end proposes the establishment of new
consultative bodies within the UN system. He stresses the importance of the
UN Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training currently being
finalized and describes SGI's initiatives to support this process, such as
the development of DVDs and other tools for human rights education.

He also calls for the world's religions to engage in interfaith dialogue
on promoting human rights education.

Daisaku Ikeda is president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI)
Buddhist association which has 12 million members around the world committed
to the promotion of peace, culture and education. He has issued annual peace
proposals on January 26 every year since 1983, to commemorate the founding of
SGI, offering concrete suggestions for resolution of global issues, based on
his philosophy of Buddhist humanism.

    Joan Anderson
    Office of Public Information
    Soka Gakkai International
    Tel: +81-80-5957-4711
    Fax: +81-3-5360-9885
    E-mail: janderson[at]sgi.gr.jp

Joan Anderson, Office of Public Information, Soka Gakkai International, +81-80-5957-4711, +81-3-5360-9885, janderson[at]sgi.gr.jp

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