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Tokyo, Japan: In a proposal released on Jan. 26, "Toward a New Era of Value Creation," Soka Gakkai International (SGI) President Daisaku Ikeda calls for accelerated moves toward the realization of a world without nuclear weapons. He also urges concrete steps toward generating meaningful employment opportunities in the current economic downturn, and making investment in education for girls a priority development objective.
Noting that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference to be held in May provides a vital opportunity for progress, Ikeda outlines three imperatives:
1) To establish nuclear weapon non-use zones, particularly in Northeast Asia, South Asia and the Middle East, as a step toward complete denuclearization.
2) To amend the statute of the International Criminal Court to classify the use of nuclear weapons as a war crime.
3) To create a multilateral system by which the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council work together toward the complete elimination of nuclear weapons, as provided for by Article 26 of the UN Charter which gives the Security Council responsibility to formulate plans for the regulation of armaments.
Ikeda urges intensive efforts over the next five years to achieve these goals, culminating in a nuclear abolition summit to be held in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 2015, which would symbolically mark the end of the era of nuclear weapons within the lifetimes of survivors of the nuclear bombings of those cities.
He notes that in the case of chemical and biological weapons, prohibitions against their use preceded treaties comprehensively banning their production and stockpiling. He urges that the same strategy be used to strengthen and expand constraints against the use of nuclear weapons as a concrete step toward their abolition.
By creating "expanding circles of physical and psychological security," such efforts could draw in countries whose nuclear intentions are unclear or which stand outside of existing nonproliferation regimes.
related article Survey of Youth Attitudes to Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power The Soka Gakkai Chugoku Student Peace Committee released on August 4 the results of its 16th annual survey on young people's attitudes to peace and nuclear weapons in the Hiroshima region, in advance of the August 6 anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city. Ikeda cites nihilism as an underlying factor in the crises facing the world today. He notes that both nuclear weapons and the current economic crisis are the products of technological competence propelled by the deepest, most primitive forms of human desire decoupled from a sense of constructive purpose. Religion has traditionally provided the frameworks moderating human desire and has a particular responsibility to generate positive values which can contribute to counteracting these trends.
In response to the deepening inequalities of the global economic system, the SGI President calls for a renewed focus on ensuring opportunities for what the International Labour Organization has called "decent work" - work that enables people to meet their needs with dignity. He proposes the creation of a G20 taskforce dedicated to this goal.
Noting that 2010 is the tenth anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which focuses on women as active agents in creating peace, Ikeda urges a renewal of efforts to ensure gender equality in education and calls for women's concerns and perspectives to be put at the center of human development initiatives. He also calls for schools to function as centers for fostering among young people a vibrant culture of peace.
Source: Soka Gakkai International
Contact: Joan Anderson
Office of Public Information
Soka Gakkai International
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by Mitch Bogen, Ikeda Center for Peace, Learning, and Dialogue
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by Ivy Gabbert, SGI Office for UN Affairs, New York
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