Peace and Disarmament
SGI-Panama Sponsors Culture of Peace Exhibition
On June 19, 2007, "Building a Culture of Peace for the Children of the World," an exhibition created by SGI-USA calling for nonviolence, lasting peace and the protection of children's rights, previewed at the SGI-Panama Culture Center with the attendance of invited guests. Included in the exhibition are more than 30 panels paying tribute to the achievements of peace activists, NGOs and human rights leaders from throughout the world, through images, messages and narratives. The exhibition, which opened to the public on June 20, also introduces Eight Actions for Building a Culture of Peace, materials promoting individual empowerment, community programs contributing to nonviolence and peace and an interactive children's corner showcasing artwork and peace essays. The exhibition will travel to several Panamian universities during its Panama tour.
UNICEF-Panama Director of Information Marti Ostrander stated, "The future of Panama lies in initiatives like this." He concurred with an SGI-Panama representative who said that the culture of peace is not something that can be forced on children, but, rather, must be taught.
Architect Ricardo Bermudez said he has developed a growing respect for SGI-Panama due to its peace efforts that promote harmonious coexistence and environmental awareness. He also commended the exhibition for being geared toward educating children and youth, who shoulder humanity's hope for the future.
Roxana Méndez De Arosemena, director of Casa Esperanza, an organization aimed at improving the lives of working and underprivileged children, lauded the exhibition for helping to heighten awareness of the grievous consequences of a society lacking a culture of peace. She also said events such as those organized by SGI-Panama help young people develop critical thinking skills as well as grapple with the harsh realities they confront on a daily basis.
Exhibition sponsors include: the National Institute of Culture (INAC), the Ministry of Social Development, the Metropolitan Natural Park, the University of Panama, Exedra Books, Latin American University of Science and Technology (Panama), the United Nations Population Fund, Channel 11, Casa Esperanza and UNICEF.
The exhibition, created and launched in 2003 by SGI-USA in support of the UN's Culture of Peace initiative, is a collaborative effort of the United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS), UNESCO and other UN agencies, together with SGI-USA and the International Committee of Artists for Peace (ICAP). Since its 2003 opening, the exhibition has been shown in Canada, Spain, Jordan and Switzerland, as well as in the USA.
[Adapted from a report from SGI-Panama and an article in the July 5, 2007 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun]