Peace and Disarmament
SGI-Panama Holds Youth Forum
On October 1, SGI-Panama youth members hosted a forum titled "A Valiant Spirit for a Life with Hope" at the SGI-Panama Culture Center where they discussed current social issues in Panama and how to create a peaceful and just society. The forum also celebrated the anniversary of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's first trip abroad on October 2, 1960, which has come to symbolize a key milestone in the international development of Nichiren Buddhism and is referred to now as SGI World Peace Day.
The forum was sponsored by several academic institutions: the University of Panama, the Technological University of Panama, the Latin University of Panama, the Specialized University of the Americas and Católica Santa María La Antigua University.
Representatives from each university spoke on the power of civil society and the role of youth in reference to Mr. Ikeda's 2011 peace proposal and emphasized that changing the world for the better depends upon each individual undergoing an inner transformation and that each person possesses the power to do so. Furthermore, they pointed out that peace can only be actualized when people begin to respect human rights.
Ms. Charissa Vargas of SGI-Panama spoke about the threat of nuclear weapons- and introduced second Soka Gakkai president Josei Toda's 1957 Declaration Calling for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons which has become the foundation of SGI's movement toward abolishing nuclear weapons. Ms. Vargas called on the forum participants to unite together toward the creation of a nuclear-weapon-free world.
[Adapted from a report from SGI-Panama and an article in the November 8, 2011, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of SGI-Panama]