Peace and Disarmament
SGI Representatives Attend Anniversary Events of Treaty of Tlatelolco in Mexico
The Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL) held celebratory events marking the 45th anniversary of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean, known as the Treaty of Tlatelolco, at the Tlatelolco University Cultural Center from February 14-15. SGI representatives attended the two-day event which was attended by representatives from antinuclear and disarmament institutes as well as Ministers of Foreign Affairs from over 40 countries.
The event, held at the original site of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where the treaty was signed on February 14, 1967, included panel discussions and presentations on the history of the treaty and on how to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones (NWFZs) in other regions.
The opening ceremony held on February 14 was attended by OPANAL Secretary General Ambassador Gioconda Ubeda; Tibor Tóth, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO); Yukiya Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); H.E. Dr. Enrique Castillo, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica; and keynote speaker Ambassador Sergio Duarte, High Representative of the United Nations for Disarmament Affairs.
Following the commemorative event, OPANAL, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico and SGI cosponsored a seminar titled "The Experience of the NWFZ in Latin America and the Caribbean and perspectives towards 2015 and beyond." Following opening words from OPANAL Secretary General Ubeda, Mr. Hirotsugu Terasaki, SGI Executive Director for Peace Affairs, shared a message sent by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda for the occasion. In his message, Mr. Ikeda commended the people of Latin America and the Caribbean for their strong sense of human rights in being among the first to take the initiative to rid the world of nuclear weapons. He also called for the adoption of a Nuclear Weapons Convention which would comprehensively prohibit the development, testing, manufacture, possession, transfer, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons.
On February 15, a panel discussion was held on the theme of how to support and strengthen existing NWFZs as well as how to create new zones, such as in the Middle East. Panelist Kimiaki Kawai, SGI Program Director for Peace Affairs, gave a talk entitled "Strategies to strengthen the momentum to achieve a nuclear-free world" and introduced SGI's various activities for peace grounded in the Buddhist philosophy of respecting the dignity of life.
During the two-day event, SGI's anti-nuclear weapons exhibition, "From a Culture of Violence to a Culture of Peace" was also on display.
[Adapted from a report from SGI-OPI and an article in the February 20, 2012, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of SGI-OPI]