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GENEVA: On April 23, the results of an international survey on attitudes towards nuclear weapons carried out by youth members of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Buddhist group were released at the UN Office at Geneva (UNOG) during the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference.
At a time when the international community is starting to focus on the inhumane nature of nuclear weapons as a key factor in efforts to ban them, the survey covered understanding of the humanitarian consequences of the detonation of a nuclear weapon as well as basic knowledge and attitudes.
The survey results were presented to Ambassador Cornel Feruta, Chair of the Second Session, who welcomed the data and stated his expectation that the youth of SGI will continue to promote awareness on this issue.
A total of 2,840 responses were collected between December 2012 and February 2013 by youth members of SGI in nine countries (Japan, U.S., U.K., Italy, Australia, South Korea, Brazil, Malaysia and Mexico). Respondents were aged between 15 and 45.
The survey results show that 91.2% of respondents feel nuclear weapons are inhumane and that 80.6% agree that there should be a comprehensive treaty banning these weapons.
However, when asked to list the names of the nuclear-weapons-states, only 72.0% identified the U.S., 55.5% Russia, 42.3% North Korea, and 42.1% China; while not more than 20% listed U.K., France, India, Pakistan or Israel. Younger people generally showed less awareness than their older counterparts.
Nobuyuki Asai, Soka Gakkai Youth Peace Conference Chair and coordinator of the survey, comments, "It is encouraging that so many youth recognize the inhumane nature of nuclear weapons. We will continue raising awareness among youth concerning nuclear weapons and the gravity of the threat they pose."
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. Soka Gakkai International is a socially engaged Buddhist association with over 12 million members around the world. It has a 50-year record of efforts toward the abolition of nuclear weapons. In 2007, SGI launched the People's Decade for Nuclear Abolition campaign in order to galvanize public opinion in favor of nuclear weapons abolition.
Source: Soka Gakkai International (SGI)
SGI Contact: Joan Anderson
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