Peace and Disarmament
SGI-USA Cosponsors Lecture by Former UN Under-Secretary-General Chowdhury at Lehigh University
On November 16, former United Nations Under-Secretary-General Anwarul K. Chowdhury spoke as part of Lehigh University's Distinguished Lecture Series in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The event was cosponsored by SGI-USA along with several other peace organizations.
In conjunction with the lecture, the SGI antinuclear exhibition "From a Culture of Violence to a Culture of Peace: Transforming the Human Spirit" was displayed at the university library from November 15-19.
The 36-panel exhibition presents the core issues of human security and nuclear disarmament to the general public, highlighting the role citizens around the world can play.
During his lecture, Ambassador Chowdhury stressed that as the world becomes increasingly interdependent and interconnected, the need for people to work together grows in importance. He stated, "Global efforts toward peace can only work with global trust based on dialogue and collaboration . . . We must build a grand alliance among all, particularly with the proactive involvement and participation of young people."
Ambassador Chowdhury also emphasized the significant role that women play in building a culture of peace, saying, "Women have proven to be instrumental in building bridges rather than walls." Toward that end, he listed prerequisites: the promotion of equality between women and men, and the equal participation of women in decision-making processes.
He further stated that nonviolence can flourish in the world when women and men realize their highest potential and live secure and fulfilling lives.
Citing a passage from the UNESCO Charter, Ambassador Chowdhury said we should never forget that "since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed."
[Adapted from an article in the December 24, 2010, issue of World Tribune, SGI-USA; photos courtesy of Jonathan Wilson]