Peace and Disarmament
Scholars Attend SGI-UK's Peace Proposal Symposium
On February 4, academics from institutions across the country were invited to SGI-UK's second Peace Proposal Symposium held in conjunction with Goldsmiths College, London, UK.
The one-day symposium, which took place at SGI-UK's Taplow Court center was based on SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's 2010 peace proposal titled "Toward an Era of Value Creation." Dr. Michele Lamb, lecturer in Human Rights at Roehampton University, led the proceedings and gave opening remarks.
Dr. Nici Nelson, visiting research fellow from the Department of Anthropology, Goldsmiths College, London University, presented a paper titled "Are Women the Protectors of Sustainable Development and Keepers of the Peace?" Dr. Jason Hart, lecturer in International Development, University of Bath, spoke about "Nuclear Abolition and the Encounter with Otherness."
A total of 18 scholars and experts took part, and members of SGI-UK's Youth Peace Committee, student and youth volunteer groups also joined the event.
In his 2010 peace proposal Mr. Ikeda draws upon noticeable fallacies of our era. In particular, he discusses the preoccupation with judging others based on their economic capacity, demonstrating an effective absence of values. He also cites the advance of technology and science divorced from the question of value, which if left unchecked, poses a deadly threat to society, most dangerously embodied in nuclear weapons, which fundamentally represent the deepest negative impulses of the human heart.
In conclusion, Mr. Ikeda states that what is most strongly required of each individual is the imagination that can appreciate the present crises as opportunities to fundamentally transform the direction of history. The symposium addressed these and other ideas in Mr. Ikeda's peace proposal as stimuli for dialogue about their application in teaching, research and practice.
Mr. Ikeda has issued peace proposals on January 26 every year since 1983, to commemorate the founding of SGI. In his 2011 proposal, "Toward a World of Dignity for All: The Triumph of the Creative Life," he calls for global civil society to take the lead in resolving two key challenges of our time: abolishing nuclear weapons and building a global culture of human rights.
[Adapted from a report from the February 16, 2011, issue of the SGI-UK Online News Bulletin; photos courtesy of Yoichi Masumoto]