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TOKYO, Oct 5: An antinuclear exhibition created by Buddhist association Soka Gakkai
International (SGI), "From a Culture of Violence to a Culture of Peace: Transforming the Human Spirit," opened on October 4 at the Rotunda of the Vienna International Centre, the UN headquarters in the city, in cooperation with the NGO Committee on Peace, Vienna. It will be on display through October 15.
The exhibition's opening reception was attended by some 200 people including UN officials, diplomats and NGO activists.
Following a performance by a choir of junior high school students from the Musikgymnasium Wien, Maher Nasser, director of the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna, shared welcoming remarks expressing the significance of holding this exhibition in Vienna--where the headquarters of IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and the CTBTO (Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization) Preparatory Commission are situated.
Hiromasa Ikeda, Vice President of SGI, then introduced a message from SGI President Daisaku Ikeda in which he noted that achieving a world free of nuclear weapons is a task of unimaginably vast proportions which must be undertaken as a global enterprise and stressed that SGI has focused its efforts on "challenging those aspects of our collective mentality that, consciously or unconsciously, accept the continued existence of nuclear weapons."
Ana Maria Cetto, Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Technical Cooperation of IAEA, welcomed the exhibition's focus on tackling apathy and on building human security, saying, "In the IAEA, we are convinced that ensuring human security is key to ensuring global peace."
Also present at the reception were Helmut Boeck, Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations in Vienna, Genxin Li, Director of the Division for External Relations and Legal Affairs of the Preparatory Commission for CTBTO, and Klaus Renoldner, Chairperson of the NGO Committee on Peace, Vienna, and Representative of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW).
The exhibition consists of 36 panels highlighting the precarious logic of arms-based security and examining the need to abolish nuclear weapons from the perspective of human security.
related article Soka Gakkai Japan and Singapore Soka Association Contribute to Myanmar Cyclone Relief Soka Gakkai General Director Masaaki Masaki visited the Tokyo office of the UNHCR to make a donation of 3 million yen (US$28,800) in support of relief efforts following the cyclone in Myanmar. SGI has recently intensified its awareness-raising efforts as part of its People's Decade for Nuclear Abolition campaign (http://www.peoplesdecade.org/), with a special focus on youth. Earlier in 2010, Soka Gakkai youth in Japan gathered over 2 million signatures on a petition calling for a Nuclear Weapons Convention which would comprehensively ban nuclear weapons.
SGI is an international Buddhist association with 12 million members that promotes peace, culture and education. SGI has a 50-year track record of efforts for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
Source: Soka Gakkai International
Contact: Joan Anderson
Office of Public Information
Soka Gakkai International
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