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January 26, 2009

Daisaku Ikeda's 2009 Peace Proposal Highlights Nuclear Disarmament and "Humanitarian Competition"

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On January 26, 2009, Daisaku Ikeda, president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), issued his annual peace proposal entitled "Toward Humanitarian Competition: A New Current in History."

Analyzing the global economic crisis, Mr. Ikeda questions humanity's abstract love of money, calling for a focus on the real needs of real people and stressing the need to strengthen social safety nets. To resolve the crisis of capitalism, he advocates a paradigm shift to "humanitarian competition," a concept first proposed by Soka Gakkai founder Tsunesaburo Makiguchi in 1903, in which nations and individuals compete to contribute the most to global society.

To make the current crisis a catalyst for change, he calls for shared action to tackle global environmental problems, shared responsibility and international cooperation over global public goods, and shared efforts for peace through dialogue.

To seize the chance for progress toward nuclear abolition, Mr. Ikeda calls for a U.S.-Russia summit at the earliest opportunity and for a series of five-state summits of all the NPT nuclear-weapon-states to draw up a roadmap toward fulfilling their disarmament obligations under Article VI of the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). He supports calls for a Nuclear Weapons Convention prohibiting the use, manufacture, possession, deployment and transfer of nuclear weapons. To build widespread public support for such initiatives, SGI has launched a "People's Decade for Nuclear Abolition," which utilizes various public education tools and links with other groups such as the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

Other specific proposals include: creating a UN agency responsible for sustainable energy; establishing a World Food Bank to supply emergency relief or help stabilize markets in a food crisis; increasing use of international solidarity levies to fund efforts toward the Millennium Development Goals; and strengthening the UN's ability to cooperate with civil society actors and to function as a think tank "capable of offering future-oriented vision and action strategies based on what the world will look like 50 or 100 years from now." Throughout, Mr. Ikeda makes a particular plea for women's perspectives and the voices of youth and children to be taken into account.

This is the 27th annual proposal authored by Daisaku Ikeda on January 26 to commemorate the founding of the SGI.

[Adapted from a January 26, 2009, SGI Office of Public Information press release]

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