Peace and Disarmament
Hiroshima Peace Day Event Held in UK
On September 3, a Hiroshima Peace Day meeting titled "Building Global Solidarity for Nuclear Abolition--Towards a Nuclear Weapons Convention in 2015" was held at SGI-UK's Taplow Court Grand Culture Centre in Berkshire. More than 300 people attended.
The meeting was spearheaded by the SGI-UK Youth Peace Committee (YPC), which was formed in 2010, in response to SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's 2009 proposal on nuclear abolition. Toward the next Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference due to take place in 2015, the meeting focused on promoting awareness of the threats posed by nuclear weapons and emphasized the need for a Nuclear Weapons Convention, which would comprehensively ban the development, testing, manufacture, possession, transfer, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons.
The event opening included a reading of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's poem dedicated to Soka Gakkai members in Hiroshima, in which he expresses his determination to work for the abolition of nuclear weapons in response to second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda's 1957 Declaration Calling for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons.
Following a video testimony from a survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Dr. Michele Lamb, a human rights lecturer and SGI member, highlighted Mr. Ikeda's call for ordinary people to speak up for human rights and the outlawing of nuclear weapons.
Members of the YPC reported on their past and future activities and two SGI-UK members shared how they were able to gain strength and wisdom from their Buddhist practice to take action for the sake of nucelar abolition.
On July 12, the SGI antinuclear exhibition "From a Culture of Violence to a Culture of Peace: Transforming the Human Spirit" was shown at St. Bernard's Catholic Grammar School in Slough, Berkshire, as part of their annual Humanities Day. Youth participants led various workshops, such as in drama, dance, photography, film and rap, around the theme of peace.
The day began with an assembly in which the students and chaplain shared their views on peace, how the exhibition had touched their lives and what action they wanted to take in their daily life toward making peace a reality. The event concluded with dance, song and theatrical performances by the youth.
[Adapted from a report from the SGI-UK Online News Bulletin; photos courtesy of SGI-UK Online News Bulletin]