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January 26, 2011

Daisaku Ikeda Calls for Progress on Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, Building Global Human Rights Culture

In a proposal released on January 26, 2011, "Toward a World of Dignity for All: The Triumph of the Creative Life," SGI President Daisaku Ikeda calls for global civil society to take the lead in resolving two key challenges of our time: abolishing nuclear weapons and building a global culture of human rights.

While these issues are daunting in scale and complexity, Mr. Ikeda expresses his faith, as a Buddhist, in the human capacity to meet and overcome even seemingly insurmountable challenges.

Regarding nuclear abolition, he explores actions that the world's people can initiate to: 1) establish the structures within which states possessing nuclear weapons will move rapidly toward disarmament; 2) forestall further nuclear weapons development or modernization; and 3) comprehensively outlaw these inhumane weapons through a Nuclear Weapons Convention (NWC).

To this end, he expresses support for United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's call for the regular holding of UN Security Council summits on nuclear disarmament. Mr. Ikeda proposes that states that have relinquished nuclear weapons be regular participants, and that specialists and NGO representatives also address the summits. He suggests that Hiroshima and Nagasaki host the 2015 Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, and that it should serve as a nuclear abolition summit.

To move the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) toward entry into force, Mr. Ikeda calls for a series of bilateral, regional and multilateral initiatives by which groups of states, such as Egypt, Israel and Iran, would mutually commit to ratify the treaty. A similar arrangement based on the Six-Party Talks could be used to bring about the denuclearization of the Northeast Asia.

Mr. Ikeda reiterates his strong support for an NWC. He stresses that such a convention could represent a qualitative transformation from traditional international law--negotiated solely among governments--to a form of law that derives its ultimate authority from the expressed will of the world's peoples.

Regarding human rights education, Mr. Ikeda notes that human rights are not brought into existence by treaties or laws, but through the efforts of ordinary people to correct the injustices they experience or see in the world around them. This means making sensitivity to human rights--our own and others'--a part of a "culture of human rights."

Mr. Ikeda expresses his support for efforts, centered on the UN, to promote human rights education, and to this end proposes the establishment of new consultative bodies within the UN system. He stresses the importance of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training currently being finalized and describes SGI's initiatives to support this process, such as the development of DVDs and other tools for human rights education.

He also calls for the world's religions to engage in interfaith dialogue on promoting human rights education.

The English translation of the full proposal will be available in early March. An excerpted version dealing with specific policy proposals in the fields of nuclear abolition and human rights education is now available online: 2011 Peace Proposal (excerpted translation)

[Adapted from a Soka Gakkai International Office of Public Information press release dated January 26, 2011]

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