Soka Gakkai International
Buddhism in Action for Peace
History & Philosophy
Stories and reflections on the Buddhist approach to life
Updates and reports from around the world
New York, May 12, 2010: On May 11, a petition of 2,276,167 signatures from youth calling for the adoption of a Nuclear Weapons Convention which would comprehensively ban nuclear weapons was presented to Ambassador Leslie B. Gatan, adviser to the president of the ongoing Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, and UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Sergio Duarte at the New York Culture Center of the SGI-USA Buddhist association.
The signatures, collected between January and March 2010 by youth members of Soka Gakkai in Japan, were presented by Youth Peace Committee leader Kenji Shiratsuchi who stated: "Each of these signatures embodies the heartfelt commitment and effort of a young person. We urge you to start debate on a Nuclear Weapons Convention at the earliest opportunity."
In a message, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda commented that the signatures represent valuable dialogues for peace and symbolize the immense power that lies hidden in the depths of seemingly ordinary people.
Ambassador Duarte expressed his appreciation for SGI's strong support for the first element in UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's five-point proposal for nuclear abolition - negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention - adding: "Widespread support from civil society is the strongest possible foundation for future disarmament initiatives."
Results of a survey on youth attitudes toward nuclear weapons carried out by SGI youth in six countries, which showed that 67% of respondents see the use of nuclear weapons as inadmissible under any circumstances, were also submitted to the UN.
related article Soka Gakkai International Expresses Condolences on Passing of Pope John Paul II SGI has today issued the following statement regarding the death of Pope John Paul II. The May 11 meeting, titled "Awaken to the Power of One Individual: New York Learns from Atomic Bomb Survivors," was attended by 400 people. It featured the testimonies of five hibakusha involved in the "Hibakusha Stories" project that brings survivors to speak in schools in New York City.
Mr. Michi Hirata, survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, stressed: "Thanks to opportunities like this, people in civil society, Western society, can learn about the dreadful, inhumane nature of nuclear weapons and tell this to their neighbors, families and friends."
SGI will host a roundtable discussion entitled "Youth Say No to Nukes!" on youth action toward the adoption of a Nuclear Weapons Convention at the Church Center opposite the UN Headquarters from 1.15 to 2.45 pm on Wednesday May 12.
Soka Gakkai International is a Buddhist association with 12 million members in 192 countries and territories. 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. See http://www.peoplesdecade.org
Source: Soka Gakkai International
Contact: Joan Anderson
Office of Public Information
Soka Gakkai International
The Human Revolution Orchestra: A Collaboration for Humanity
by Sean Corby, founder, Human Revolution Orchestra, SGI-UK
Restoring Our Humanity
Soka Gakkai in America: Focused on Servant Leadership and Dialogic Teaching
by William Aiken, director of public affairs, SGI-USA
Toward a World Free from Misery
by Olivier Urbain, director, Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research
Seeds of Hope: The Power of One
by Barbara Jenkins, SGI-USA
Strengthening the Voice of Women at the UN
by Ivy Gabbert, SGI Office for UN Affairs, New York