Peace and Disarmament
SGI Representatives Attend "Overcoming Nuclear Dangers" Conference in Rome, Italy
On April 16-17, 2009, a two-day conference on nuclear disarmament, "Overcoming Nuclear Dangers," was held at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome, Italy, bringing together about 80 former and current international leaders from some 20 countries. The conference was sponsored by the Italian Foreign Ministry, the Nuclear Security Project (which is managed by the Nuclear Threat Initiative in cooperation with Stanford University's Hoover Institution) and the World Political Forum (WPF) established by former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev. SGI Vice President Hiromasa Ikeda was one of the participants in the conference.
The Nuclear Security Project was formed at the initiative of George P. Shultz, Sam Nunn, Henry A. Kissinger and William J. Perry. In 2007, an editorial co-authored by Shultz, Perry, Kissinger and Nunn was published in The Wall Street Journal, endorsing the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons and the steps that can move us in that direction. Soon after, Gorbachev expressed his approval of the editorial in the same paper. This new current toward the abolition of nuclear weapons has been reinforced by the recent talks between U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
The Rome conference discussed disarmament, non-proliferation and management of nuclear materials, and opinions were exchanged on the significance of the participation of civil society representatives such as NGOs. In the closing panel, the delegates agreed that a strengthening of the voices of civil society can lead to a powerful energy which can move policymakers in order to accomplish an era without nuclear weapons. In this regard, the role of NGOs such as the SGI in stimulating public education and creating a global civil society network in support of nuclear abolition is of central importance.
For more information, please visit:
To read Foreign Minister Franco Frattini's concluding remarks, please visit:
[Adapted from an article in the April 24, 2009 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photo courtesy of SGI Office of Public Information]