Peace and Disarmament
SGI-Denmark and Pugwash Conference Cosponsor Antinuclear Symposium
On November 17, 2008, a symposium titled "Strengthening the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)" was held at Christiansborg Palace, which houses the Danish Parliament, in Copenhagen. SGI-Denmark and the Danish Committee of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs (Pugwash Denmark) cosponsored the event together with several peace organizations. Some 150 peace scholars, activists and ambassadors to Denmark attended the event, including former IAEA Director General Hans Blix and former Danish Socialist People’s Party Leader Holger K. Nielsen.
SGI President Daisaku Ikeda sent a message, in which he emphasized the necessity of returning to the fundamental spirit of the NPT which appeals for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. Calling for constructive discussions for eliminating nuclear weapons, Mr. Ikeda expressed his hopes for the symposium to transmit the voice of conscience and create international opinion for building peace in the world.
Following a welcome address by John Avery, chair of Pugwash Denmark and member of the Danish Peace Academy, six speakers delivered keynote lectures. Question and answer sessions were also held. Mr. Blix lectured on "Disarmament after the US Election," in which he referred to President-elect Barack Obama’s positive stance towards nuclear abolition and disarmament and expressed his hopes for future US foreign policy. Mr. Nielsen pointed out that abolishing nuclear weapons has been given secondary focus compared to other global issues such as poverty and global warming. He urged politicians worldwide to cooperate on antinuclear issues, stating that we are all responsible for building a world without nuclear weapons.
[Adapted from an article in the December 20, 2008 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of Pugwash Denmark]