Peace and Disarmament
World Federation of the United Nations Associations (WFUNA) Secretary General Visits Soka Gakkai Headquarters, Tokyo
On December 19, 2006, Pera Wells, secretary-general of the World Federation of the United Nations Associations (WFUNA) met with Soka Gakkai President Minoru Harada at the Soka Gakkai headquarters in Shinanomachi, Tokyo. She was accompanied by Park Soo Gil, honorary chair of the United Nations Association (UNA) of the Republic of Korea; Sirpa Pietikainen, president of UNA-Finland; and Emanuel Nana Amuasekyi-Amuah, secretary-general of UNA-Ghana.
Created in 1946, WFUNA is an NGO that promotes the United Nations Charter. Serving as a bridge between the UN and the world's people, WFUNA is involved in wide-ranging activities such as the promotion of peace, disarmament, human rights, equitable development, environmental protection and international justice through United Nations Associations in over 100 UN member states. Ms. Wells was elected secretary-general of the federation at WFUNA's 38th Plenary Assembly in November 2006 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and is the first woman to hold the position.
Mr. Harada congratulated Ms. Wells on her inauguration as WFUNA secretary-general and also conveyed SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's congratulations and welcome. Secretary-General Wells acknowledged Mr. Ikeda's August 2006 proposal to the UN, titled, "Fulfilling the Mission: Empowering the UN to Live Up to the World's Expectations," which she had requested be distributed to the participants at WFUNA's November plenary session. She also hoped to further strengthen cooperation between WFUNA and SGI saying that she was impressed with the SGI's emphasis on youth. She believes attracting young people, and then developing and making full use of their creativity and fresh vantage point is crucial for grassroots organizations. Mr. Harada shared Soka Gakkai's plans to promote multifaceted activities based on the ideas contained in Mr. Ikeda's UN proposal to be spearheaded by youth in 2007, which marks the 50th anniversary of second Soka Gakkai president Josei Toda's historic declaration for the abolition of nuclear weapons. In his UN proposal, Mr. Ikeda encourages world citizens to be proactively involved with the UN and calls on the UN to establish frameworks that engage young people in UN deliberations. [In 1997, WFUNA commended Mr. Ikeda for his long-standing support of the UN. SGI was officially admitted as a member of WFUNA in December 1997. In 1999, WFUNA appointed Mr. Ikeda an honorary advisor.]
[Adapted from an article in the December 20, 2006 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]