Soka Gakkai International
Buddhism in Action for Peace
History & Philosophy
Stories and reflections on the Buddhist approach to life
Updates and reports from around the world
Tokyo, Aug 30, 2006: SGI President Daisaku Ikeda met today with UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, Anwarul K. Chowdhury. Following discussions on development and peace issues, Mr. Ikeda presented Under-Secretary-General Chowdhury with a proposal entitled “Fulfilling the Mission: Empowering the UN to live up to the world’s expectations.”
The proposal stresses that the UN’s fundamental purpose as a forum for dialogue to avert war is as vital now as it was when the body was founded in 1945. Ikeda urges that the UN recall and renew its commitment to its original mission.
Emphasizing the core challenge of building a culture of peace, a concept that Under-Secretary-General Chowdhury has long championed within the UN system, he urges that the organization continue to develop and enhance its “soft power” capacities of dialogue and diplomacy and avoid being drawn into reactive approaches which attempt to solve problems through military force or “hard power.”
Ikeda stresses three themes: a shared sense of purpose, a shared sense of responsibility and shared fields of action.
related article SGI President Calls for Regional Cooperation in Response to Natural Disasters, Youth Summit on Nuclear Weapons Abolition TOKYO: In his annual peace proposal, “Value Creation for Global Change: Building Resilient and Sustainable Societies,” released on January 26, Daisaku Ikeda, president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Buddhist association, calls for increased regional cooperation in response to extreme weather events and natural disasters. As a shared sense of purpose, he proposes the building of a culture of peace based on the awareness that peace is much more than the mere absence of conflict. He places special stress on poverty reduction and nuclear disarmament as keys to transforming the current “culture of war.” He proposes a decade of action by the people of the world towards the abolition of nuclear weapons.
To foster a shared sense of responsibility, he urges the establishment of frameworks that engage young people in UN deliberations, such as holding a gathering of youth representatives prior to the UN General Assembly each year, enhancing opportunities for volunteering and internship within the UN system and establishing an office for youth within the UN.
In terms of shared fields of action, he proposes establishing regional UN offices to strengthen cooperation between member states and the UN, and further development of partnerships between the UN and civil society.
The proposal urges the world’s citizens to be proactively involved with the UN: “[I]t is essential to build momentum for reform from the bottom up... We cannot afford to wait passively for top-down reform to emerge from intergovernmental deliberations.”
The full proposal can be viewed here.
SGI President Daisaku Ikeda has issued peace proposals yearly since 1983. SGI is a lay Buddhist organization dedicated to the promotion of peace, culture and education with 12 million members around the world.
Cambodia: Light of Learning
by Socheth Sok, SGI-Cambodia
Run for Peace in Malaysia: Peace Starts with Me!
The Guiding Light of Buddhist Philosophy
by Yoichi Kawada, advisor, The Institute of Oriental Philosophy
Transforming Lives: The Power of Human Rights Education
SGI’s Activities for Nuclear Abolition
by Kazuo Ishiwatari and Kimiaki Kawai
Singapore Soka Association—Promoting Harmonious Coexistence in the Lion City
by Dennis Lee, director of Program and Community Relations, SSA