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Section ten of ten of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda’s 2016 peace proposal, “Universal Respect for Human Dignity: The Great Path to Peace.”
At the 2015 NPT Review Conference, together with representatives of the Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other faith traditions, the SGI submitted a Joint Statement entitled “Faith Communities Concerned about the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons.” It reads in part:
“Nuclear weapons are incompatible with the values upheld by our respective faith traditions—the right of people to live in security and dignity; the commands of conscience and justice; the duty to protect the vulnerable and to exercise the stewardship that will safeguard the planet for future generations. . .
“[We] call for the early commencement of negotiations by states on a new legal instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons in a forum open to all states and blockable by none.”
related article Universal Respect for Human Dignity: The Great Path to Peace All people have the right to live in happiness. The prime objective of our movement is to forge an expanding solidarity of ordinary citizens committed to protecting that right and, in this way, to rid the world of needless suffering. Our activities in support of the UN are a natural and necessary expression of this. Earlier I referenced founding Soka Gakkai president Makiguchi’s analysis of the evolution of competition. Surely the time has come to acknowledge the bankruptcy of the logic underlying nuclear—and, in fact, all—arms competition, both from a purely military standpoint and in terms of the severe burdens it continues to impose on our world.
I strongly hope that the OEWG, when it convenes this year in Geneva, will engage in constructive debate to draw up a road map identifying effective measures necessary for “the achievement and maintenance of a world without nuclear weapons” as the joint undertaking of all UN member states. I hope that the work of the OEWG will be conducted with the UN high-level conference on nuclear disarmament—to be held no later than 2018—clearly in sight, and that it will lead to the start of negotiations on a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons.
Next year will mark the sixtieth anniversary of second Soka Gakkai president Toda’s declaration calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. It is from this declaration that the SGI draws inspiration in our ongoing efforts to build broad public support for a world without nuclear weapons. It is our determination to achieve the prohibition and abolition of these weapons as an initiative of the world’s peoples—what might be called an international people’s law—that would be established by many state and civil society actors working together.
The International Youth Summit for Nuclear Abolition, held in Hiroshima in August last year, issued a pledge that declared:
“Nuclear weapons are a symbol of a bygone age; a symbol that poses eminent threat to our present reality and has no place in the future we are creating.”
related article Soka Gakkai in America: Focused on Servant Leadership and Dialogic Teaching by William Aiken, director of public affairs, SGI-USA Reflecting upon the SGI-USA community, William Aiken provides a Buddhist perspective on the future trends for religion in the US. Jointly organized by six groups including the SGI, the Summit was attended by young people from twenty-three countries as well as the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi. The participants pledged to convey to the world and the future the experiences of the hibakusha, raise awareness among their peers and take other forms of action to protect the shared future of humankind.
Then in October in New York, the work and outcome of the Youth Summit were presented at a side event of the General Assembly First Committee, which deals with disarmament and international security. The event focused on the actions the younger generation can take, both at the UN and in their respective communities, to help clear the path toward a world free from nuclear weapons.
Working with like-minded individuals and groups, we wish to support the continued holding of such summits for nuclear abolition going forward. To quote the Youth Pledge again:
“Abolishing nuclear weapons is our responsibility; it is our right and we will no longer sit by while the opportunity of nuclear abolition is squandered. We, youth in all our diversity and in deep solidarity pledge to realize this goal. We are the Generation of Change.”
If this pledge, given voice in Hiroshima by youth from throughout the world, can take root in the hearts of people globally, there is no barrier that cannot be surmounted, no goal that cannot be achieved.
More than anything, it is the depth and intensity of the commitment and pledge that lives in the hearts of the younger generation that will transform the world from one where nuclear weapons threaten the lives and dignity of people to one in which all people can live in peace and fully manifest their inherent dignity.
It is the firm pledge of the SGI to offer our unflinching support for the abolition of nuclear weapons and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals based on the solidarity of youth, the generation of change. In this way we will continue to work for a world, a global society, in which no one is left behind.