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Peace and Disarmament

Back to listApr 23, 2013

New Antinuclear Exhibition and Results of Survey Presented in Geneva

NPT ConferenceA session at the Second Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference

The antinuclear exhibition "Everything You Treasure–For a World Free From Nuclear Weapons," a joint initiative by Soka Gakkai International (SGI) and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), opened on April 23 at the United Nations Office at Geneva during the Second Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, held from April 22 to May 3.

The exhibition consists of 40 panels covering nuclear weapons issues from 12 perspectives: humanitarian, environmental, medical, economic, human rights, energy, scientific, political, spiritual, gender, generational and security.

Speakers at the opening ceremony were Ambassador of Romania Cornel Feruta, Chair of the 2013 Preparatory Committee; Theresa Hitchens, Director of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR); and Dr. Rebecca Johnson, Co-chair of ICAN. The exhibition was shown through May 9.

Ambassador FerutaAmbassador Feruta speaking at the exhibition launch

During the opening, the results of an international survey on attitudes towards nuclear weapons carried out by youth members of SGI were presented to Ambassador Feruta. 

The survey, which covered understanding of the humanitarian consequences of the detonation of a nuclear weapon as well as basic knowledge and attitudes, was conducted between December 2012 and February 2013 by SGI youth in nine countries (Japan, U.S., U.K., Italy, Australia, South Korea, Brazil, Malaysia and Mexico). Respondents were aged between 15 and 45.

According to the results, 91.2% of respondents feel nuclear weapons are inhumane and 80.6% agree that there should be a comprehensive treaty banning these weapons.

However, when asked to list the names of the nuclear-weapons-states, only 72.0% identified the U.S., 55.5% Russia, 42.3% North Korea, and 42.1% China; while not more than 20% listed U.K., France, India, Pakistan or Israel. Younger people generally showed less awareness than their older counterparts. (Click here for a summary of the results and here for full details of the survey responses.)

The survey comes at a time when the international community is starting to focus on the inhumane nature of nuclear weapons as a key factor in efforts to ban them. Ambassador Feruta welcomed the data and stated his expectation that the youth of SGI will continue to promote awareness on this issue.

[Adapted from reports from the Soka Gakkai International Office of Public Information [SGI-OPI]; photos courtesy SGI-OPI]