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Peace and Disarmament

Back to listOct 26, 2010

School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Hosts SGI Peace Exhibition

101026x_uk_SOAS(2).jpgAt the exhibition

The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, hosted SGI's anti-nuclear weapons exhibition "From a Culture of Violence to a Culture of Peace: Transforming the Human Spirit" on October 25 and 26. The exhibition coincided with the 5th London Conference on a Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone held on October 25. The SOAS Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD) and the British Pugwash Group co-organized the conference. Some 600 viewed the exhibition during the two days.

Following the close of the conference on October 25, SGI-UK hosted a reception during which conference delegates and other leading figures working for nuclear abolition in the fields of politics, education and culture viewed and discussed the exhibition.

101026x_uk_SOAS.jpgStaff

Paolo Cotta-Ramusino, Secretary-General of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, said that, since 1957, the Pugwash Conferences have employed conflict resolution and dialogue and that, "the use of weapons needs to be addressed, to emphasize dialogue and search for solution of the problem as opposed to stimulation of the conflict itself."

Dan Plesch of CISD pointed out that the academic discipline of international relations was founded with the express purpose of preventing wars. "If we can't deal with the most intractable issues, such as the one we discussed today, then why are we in the business?" he asked.

101026uk-youth-forum.jpgA youth forum

The SGI-UK Youth Peace Committee collaborated with UK Student Pugwash to organize a youth forum with some 150 participants on the evening of October 25 to discuss and debate nuclear disarmament and abolition. Dr. Jason Hart, lecturer in International Development at the University of Bath and research associate at Oxford University, gave a talk on SGI President Ikeda's 2009 antinuclear proposal "Building Global Solidarity Toward Nuclear Abolition."

Dr. Hart emphasized the crucial role that ordinary people across the world, especially youth, will play in this endeavor, based on dialogue and the concept of human revolution as taught in the SGI.

At the youth forum, Poul Eric Christiansen, UK Student Pugwash leader, outlined the organization and current activities of the UK group. Manuel Fernandez, SGI-UK youth leader, introduced Soka Gakkai's activities for peace, which began with second president of the Soka Gakkai Josei Toda's declaration against nuclear weapons in 1957, the same year in which the Pugwash Conferences were founded.

Small discussion groups were followed by a Q&A session with panel members Dr. Hart, Carol Naughton from the Weapons of Mass Destruction Awareness Programme and Acronym Institute, Tim Street from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, UK, and Mr. Fernandez.

More information and the full content of the exhibition is available to download from http://www.peoplesdecade.org/

 

[Adapted from a report from SGI-UK; photos courtesy of SGI-UK]