Peace and Disarmament
Douglas Roche Speaks at Toronto Culture Centre
The first of SGI-Canada's Distinguished Speakers Series" was held on April 2, 2009, at the SGI-Canada Toronto Culture Centre with over 100 attending. Guest speaker, Hon. Douglas Roche, O.C., is a Canadian parliamentarian and diplomat, whose 35-year public career has focused on peace and human security issues.
In his introductory remarks, SGI-Canada General Director Tony Meers mentioned the significance of April 2, the anniversary of second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda's passing, and Mr. Toda's passion for peace and nuclear disarmament. Mr. Roche's remarks were based on two of his recent books, The Human Right to Peace and Global Conscience. He spoke about the importance of shifting from a culture of war to a culture of peace and of "believing that we can make a difference."
Mr. Roche served as the Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament and as chair of the United Nations Disarmament Committee. From 1998 to 2008, he headed the Middle Powers Initiative, an international network of eight non-governmental organizations specializing in nuclear disarmament issues. He received the Gandhi, King, Ikeda Award in 2003 from Dr. Lawrence Carter, dean of the Martin Luther King Jr. Chapel at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
[Adapted from an article in the April 2009 Issue of SGI Canada Online News, SGI-Canada; photo courtesy of SGI-Canada]