Soka Gakkai International
Buddhism in Action for Peace
History & Philosophy
Stories and reflections on the Buddhist approach to life
The SGI’s activities for peace are based on the following key elements derived from the life-affirming philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism:
All people inherently possess a life-state of ultimate dignity and in this sense are fundamentally equal and have limitless potential.
An awareness of the interrelatedness and inseparability of one’s own life and those of others can help put an end to discriminatory attitudes and destructive behavior toward others and the environment.
Inner reflection enables us to feel the suffering of others as our own. Through dialogue, we strengthen mutual understanding and aim to join with others in a stand against violence and the taking of life.
related article Peace Emanates from SGI Youth Events Across the US and Argentina During March, in 25 locations throughout the country, a total of some 12,000 SGI-USA youth members gathered to hold Youth Peace Expos marking March 16, SGI Kosen-rufu Day, and express in various ways their commitment to the dignity of life. As a nongovernmental organization (NGO) working with the United Nations, the SGI advocates public education with a focus on peace and disarmament, human rights and sustainable development, provides humanitarian assistance and promotes interfaith dialogue and cooperation. Such initiatives are developed according to local needs and priorities, and each independent SGI organization undertakes activities and projects appropriate to its own culture and context.
The SGI’s nuclear abolition efforts trace their roots back to 1957 when second Soka Gakkai president Josei Toda made a public declaration calling for the elimination and prohibition of nuclear weapons. Since then, the SGI has been working toward realizing a world free of nuclear weapons and the creation of a culture of peace through a number of initiatives and events, including the exhibition “Everything You Treasure—For a World Free From Nuclear Weapons.”
The SGI promotes sustainable living through various educational events and exhibitions, including “Seeds of Hope: Visions of Sustainability, Steps toward Change,” a joint initiative between the SGI and Earth Charter International in support of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.
SGI members are actively engaged in various humanitarian relief activities both in the immediate aftermath of disasters and in long-term reconstruction efforts. Also, the SGI works with other NGOs to promote disaster risk reduction.
The quest to build a culture of human rights can be perceived as “a challenge of otherness” in which individuals develop the courage to acknowledge, respect and appreciate the differences among people. In support of the World Programme for Human Rights Education, the SGI organizes various activities such as forums and seminars to advance human rights education.
related article The Practice of Dignity by Mitch Bogen, Ikeda Center for Peace, Learning, and Dialogue, USA Mitch Bogen describes the ethos and activities of the Ikeda Center and explains how the 2015 Ikeda Forum for Intercultural Dialogue offers a window into the center’s history. Together with other like-minded groups, the SGI organizes various events to support efforts to promote gender equality by supporting the activities of UN Women and the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
As the world increasingly faces global challenges that call for global solutions, the SGI feels it is imperative that efforts are made to promote education for global citizenship that fosters a sense of belonging to and responsibility toward a global human community.