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September 5, 2011

Chowdhury-Ikeda Dialogue Published in Japan

Mr. Ikeda's meeting with Ambassador Chowdhury

Ambassador Chowdhury and Mr. Ikeda at the Tokyo Makiguchi Memorial Hall, August 2006

TOKYO, Japan: Ushio Publishing Co. has released a Japanese edition of Atarashiki chikyu shakai no sozo e--Heiwa no bunka to kokuren o kataru (tentative translation: Creating a New Global Society--A Discourse on the United Nations and a Culture of Peace), a dialogue between former UN Under-Secretary-General Anwarul K. Chowdhury and Daisaku Ikeda. In the work, the authors discuss the humanism of the great Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore, the UN as a framework with which to establish a truly global community, and the transformative influence of women and young people in creating a culture of peace.

The dialogue was compiled from discussions serialized in Ushio, a Japanese literary magazine, from 2008 to 2009. Ambassador Chowdhury and Mr. Ikeda first met in March 2003, when the former spoke at a combined commencement ceremony for Soka University and Soka Women's College in Hachioji, Tokyo. At their second meeting, in August 2006, Mr. Ikeda presented Ambassador Chowdhury, then under-Secretary-General of the UN, with a proposal titled "Fulfilling the Mission: Empowering the UN to Live Up to the World's Expectations." In the proposal Mr. Ikeda calls for the UN to return to its foundational purpose as a forum for dialogue to avert war.

Born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 1943, Ambassador Chowdhury served as Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN, and also presided over the Security Council and the UNICEF Executive Board. Among his most notable achievements are his work on development in the poorest nations, promoting a culture of peace and championing the rights of women and children.

[Adapted from an article in the September 5, 2011, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]