Peace and Disarmament
Youth Campaign "Our New Clear Future" Sets Vision Toward Nuclear Abolition by 2030
"Our New Clear Future" is a student-led dialogue campaign for nuclear abolition launched by SGI-USA in September 2011. The campaign was inspired by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's 2009 nuclear abolition proposal "Building Global Solidarity Toward Nuclear Abolition" and has two main aims. The first is to create a groundswell of public consensus toward nuclear abolition by 2015, when the next Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference is due be held, and the second is to achieve the complete abolition of nuclear weapons by 2030.
Coinciding with this campaign, retired Army Colonel Paul Hughes, senior program officer at the United States Institute of Peace's Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention, gave a talk on September 11 at the SGI-USA Washington DC Center. The talk focused on the issue of nuclear testing and its detrimental effects on people and the environment. He also shared perspectives on his 30-year military career. After retiring he advised the US government on nuclear disarmament.
In reference to the New Clear campaign, Col. Hughes expressed the importance of having a vision of achieving nuclear abolition and encouraged the youth present not to be discouraged by the daunting task ahead of them.
In closing, Bill Aiken, SGI-USA director of public affairs, called on the youth to continue campaigning for the abolition of nuclear weapons "until even the idea of a nuclear arsenal becomes unthinkable."
"Our New Clear Future" was also introduced at a separate event held by SGI members in Southern Ohio on September 11. The event, a one-day family festival held at Voice of America Metro Park, opened with a moment of silence in remembrance of those who died during the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the US. In commemoration, a young woman read part of the September 11 message from Mr. Ikeda, which states, "Though our grief is profound, we should never allow the flames of hatred to divide or destroy our world. Humankind must aim with resolute fortitude to build a bright future of peace and coexistence."
Currently, SGI-USA youth members are taking the lead in introducing the "Our New Clear Future" campaign at their local SGI meetings and in engaging in dialogue with as many people as possible on this topic. They will also be giving presentations around the country at various SGI-USA events, such as "Rock the Era"--a youth initiative to promote world peace.
[Adapted from articles in the August 19 and October 7, 2011, issues of the World Tribune, SGI-USA; photos courtesy of World Tribune]