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Buddhism in Action for Peace
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The 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW58) took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from March 10-21. The priority theme was "Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for women and girls."
Since 2011 SGI has participated in the NGO CSW Planning Committee. This year, as one of the cochairs of the committee's Communications for Change Task Force for Beijing+20, SGI helped organize a video project during NGO CSW's Consultation Day on March 9. This video will be used to raise awareness of Beijing+20, the 20-year review of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA) that was issued by the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995. The review meeting will take place in March 2015.
On March 10, SGI cofacilitated NGO CSW's Conversation Circle on women, peace and security, together with the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders, the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, and the PeaceWomen program of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. Discussion focused on women's participation in peacebuilding and women in leadership roles.
On March 13, SGI also organized a CSW58 parallel event at the Salvation Army Auditorium titled "Moving Ahead from the MDGs: Highlighting Women's Leadership," cosponsored by the Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund. The event explored ideas as to what constitutes effective and transformative leadership, in an effort to contribute to UN Women's proposed goal on gender equality, women's rights and women's empowerment for the post-2015 development framework.
The fact that women's leadership does not mean women filling the current roles of leadership as defined by men, but women leading as women in all their capacities was highlighted by many participants. Several women reflected on how important it was for them to have a female role model or mentor in their life who gave them confidence.
Despite an early morning start time and below freezing weather, nearly 50 people attended. Former UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, who initiated the groundbreaking UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women and peacebuilding, gave a closing speech. He stated that "Women are born leaders in the sense that through the ages they have been contributing in a way so that societies stay together, society moves ahead, society becomes more positively oriented, and society averts violence and conflict. What is absent is that the world has failed to recognize, to value, and to take advantage of the existence of that leadership." related article SGI Supports Events Promoting Human Rights Education at UN Human Rights Council Parallel to the 27th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, which took place from September 8 to 26 at the UN Office at Geneva, SGI's representatives to the UN in Geneva, together with other NGOs, participated in and supported two public side events promoting human rights education: the launch of a new web resource on September 10 and a workshop for media professionals and journalists on September 16.
[Adapted from a report from the SGI UN Liaison Office in NewYork]
One Europe: The SGI's European Youth Committee
by Lisa Cowan, chair of the SGI's European Youth Committee
by Daniele Santi, Italy
The Three Faiths Project--SGI-UK
by Gemma Novis, UK
A Palace of Artistic and Cultural Exchanges--Soka Gakkai Malaysia
by Dinesh Chandren, Malaysia
Learn, Reflect, Empower: SGI and Education for Sustainable Development
by Nobuyuki Asai, Japan
Education: A Transformative Potential
by Maria Guajardo, Soka University, Japan