May 5, 2009: Soka Gakkai International (SGI) and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) jointly called on government delegations, meeting at the United Nations this week, to turn the growing international momentum to abolish nuclear weapons into reality.

related article Education for Human Rights, Disarmament, Sustainability Are Key—SGI President Issues Annual Peace Proposal In his annual peace proposal issued today, Daisaku Ikeda, president of the SGI, urges renewed efforts to promote education for human rights, disarmament and sustainable development. In Ikeda's view, education that focuses on such global issues as peace and elimination of poverty "forms the basis for cooperative efforts to build a sustainable human society, one that we can pass on to future generations." SGI Vice President Hiromasa Ikeda said, “When we make a nuclear weapons-free world the goal for our children’s future, we are all energized and empowered. Human beings are best able to advance when guided by hopeful objectives, rather than driven by fear.” Both organizations said the national Japanese holiday, Children’s Day, is a powerful reminder of the need for adults to work for a safer world.

This year, Children’s Day coincides with an important UN meeting in which government delegations lay crucial groundwork for the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference. The NPT came into force in 1970 and is currently the only multilateral treaty on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

ICAN Board member Dimity Hawkins said, “Above all we want to ensure our children are healthy and happy: the existence of nuclear weapons and the threat of nuclear war is the opposite of healthy and happy.” “As adults—the ones our children trust and look to—it is our responsibility to meet this challenge and rid the world of nuclear weapons. We have perhaps the best opportunity of our generation to do this. We must seize this important moment and act now,” said Hawkins.

Ikeda said: “On Children’s Day, we urge the representatives of all the governments gathered at the UN to take decisive action to ensure all children can live in a world free from the threat of nuclear annihilation.”

Source: Inter Press Service

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