Peace and Disarmament
SGI-New Zealand Celebrates UN International Day of Peace
During September 2007, in New Zealand, United Nations International Day of Peace (September 21) events took place throughout the country, commemorating the 20th anniversary of the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament and Arms Control Act (1987). In collaboration with local municipalities, SGI-New Zealand (SGI-NZ) hosted several exhibitions on peace to celebrate the day.
On September 23, 2007, a celebration of the declaration of the Auckland Peace City took place in Auckland, co-organized by the United Nations Association of New Zealand (UNANZ), the Auckland Inter-Faith Council and SGI-NZ. The declaration outlines the importance of engaging individuals and families to promote a safer Auckland and affirms the city council's role in promoting peace nationally and internationally. Some 250 citizens attended, including Auckland Mayor Dick Hubbard and several parliament members. At the same venue, SGI's antinuclear exhibition "Creating a Culture of Peace: The Right to Human Security" opened. Public viewing of the exhibition took place from September 24 to October 7 at the Auckland Institute of Technology.
On September 21, Waitakere, a city west of Auckland, celebrated becoming of a "City for Peace" at the city council chambers. Some 100 people involved in peace work attended, including Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey, UNANZ President Anthony Vallyon, government officials and local parliament members. SGI-NZ General Director Jimi Wallace delivered a congratulatory address and introduced the SGI exhibition "Building a Culture of Peace: For the Children of the World," which together with the UN Culture of Peace initiative promotes a comprehensive and inclusive framework that fosters thinking, commitment and action for peace. The exhibition was on display at the YMCA Massey Leisure Centre and Library until October 22.
[Adapted from an article in the October 31, 2007 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]