Sustainable Development

Back to listSep 5, 2011

SGI Joins Preparations for Rio Plus 20 at UN DPI/NGO Conference on Sustainability

At the Maritim Hotel in Bonn, GermanyAt the Maritim Hotel in Bonn, Germany

From September 3-5, SGI participated in the 64th Annual United Nations Department of Public Information Non-Governmental Organizations (UNDP/NGO) Conference, held at the Maritim Hotel in Bonn, Germany. The event marked an important step toward the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012. It also commemorated the 10th anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers. This year's conference theme was "Sustainable Societies; Responsive Citizens" and it drew more than 1,300 NGO representatives from 85 countries.

'Seeds of Hope' exhibition"Seeds of Hope: Visions of Sustainability, Steps toward Change" exhibition

Mr. Hiro Sakurai, SGI's representative to the UN in New York, was invited to share Buddhist perspectives on peace and sustainability at the daily interfaith session on September 5. In his talk, Mr. Sakurai introduced the Buddhist concept of the "three poisons" which teaches that all human beings possess the potential for greed, anger and foolishness, and that these "poisons" are often the root causes for environmental destruction. Mr. Sakurai also pointed out that, on the other hand, people also possess an inherent nature to care for others, as seen in the aftermath of the devastating March 11 earthquake in Japan where people came together to help one another. In conclusion, Mr. Sakurai encouraged participants to help draw forth and activate the best in one another through steady efforts and dialogue. 

AQR filmA discussion session on the film A Quiet Revolution

As an official program of the UN DIP/NGO conference, the SGI and Earth Charter joint exhibition "Seeds of Hope: Visions of Sustainability, Steps toward Change" was on display at the Maritim Hotel throughout the conference. The exhibition demonstrates how a single individual's inner transformation can help change society for the better.

SGI's environmental education film A Quiet Revolution, introducing how individuals have contributed to solving local environmental problems, was also shown. Alide Roerink, cochair of the Earth Charter International Council, and Richard Clugston of the Earth Charter Task Force on Religion, Spirituality, and Ethics, participated in a discussion session on the film and education for sustainable development.

[Adapted from a report from SGI-PR Office and an article in the September 9, 2011, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of SGI-PR Office]