Press Release: SGI President Urges Global Support for Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty

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Tokyo, Sep 21, 2017: Daisaku Ikeda, president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Buddhist association, has called for the early entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on the occasion of the opening for signature of the treaty on September 20 at UN Headquarters in New York.

The UN headquarters in New YorkThe UN Headquarters in New York [Photo by versello/CC BY-NC-ND]

“Nuclear weapons can no longer be debated and determined only on the basis of any one country’s security needs. The peace of humankind as a whole and the collective right to life of all the world’s people must be the starting point—the foundation from which we work to eliminate nuclear weapons and develop a new security paradigm for the 21st century.” Ikeda continues, “The essence of the issue is not the confrontation between states that possess nuclear weapons and those that do not; it is the confrontation between the threat of nuclear weapons and humanity’s right to life.”

He strongly urges Japan, the only country to have experienced the use of nuclear weapons in wartime, to join the treaty, calling for deliberations on how to achieve this to be undertaken promptly and in earnest. In addition, he highlights the contributions of the survivors of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, who “have struggled to the utmost in the hope of seeing the realization of a world without nuclear weapons in their lifetimes.” His article has been published by InDepthNews.

SGI representatives attended the opening ceremony for the signing of this historic document as part of one of the civil society delegations invited by the UN. The treaty will enter into force 90 days after 50 states have deposited their instrument of consent to be bound (ratification, acceptance, approval or accession).

Activist and survivor of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima Setsuko Thurlow at adoption of 
Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on July 7, 2017Activist and survivor of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima Setsuko Thurlow at the treaty’s adoption on July 7, 2017 [Photo © ICAN]

Ikeda has consistently called for the abolition of nuclear weapons in the peace proposals he has written annually since 1983, as well as promoting signature-gathering campaigns and educational activities to this end.

The Soka Gakkai Youth Division in Japan has just published Hiroshima and Nagasaki: That We Never Forget, a collection of 52 experiences of victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in English. Hirotsugu Terasaki, SGI Director General of Peace and Global Issues, comments, “I ask you to read these painful accounts. This is the reality of nuclear weapons from which we must not turn our heads. How can we discuss the nuclear weapons issue without understanding this reality?”

The Soka Gakkai International (SGI) is a community-based Buddhist association with 12 million members working to promote peace, culture and education around the world. The organization has been engaged in efforts toward the abolition of nuclear weapons for 60 years, since Josei Toda, second president of the Soka Gakkai, issued his Declaration Calling for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons in September 1957.

Contact:
Joan Anderson
Office of Public Information
Soka Gakkai International
Tel: +81-80-5957-4711
Fax: +81-3-5360-9885
E-mail: anderson[at]soka.jp

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