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February 13, 2017

Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Treaty of Tlatelolco

50th Anniversary of the Treaty of Tlatelolco

On February 13, 2017, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda contributed a message to an international seminar promoting the elimination of nuclear weapons held during the XXV Session of the General Conference of OPANAL in Mexico City, Mexico, which commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco). Titled "A world free of nuclear weapons: Is it desirable, is it possible? How could it be achieved?" and organized by the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL), the seminar brought together nuclear disarmament experts and activists from governments and civil society, including SGI representatives, for in-depth discussion on nuclear disarmament from the viewpoint of the legitimacy, nonproliferation and elimination of nuclear arsenals.

Mr. Ikeda affirmed in his message to the event: "The creation of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (NWFZ) in Latin America and the Caribbean fifty years ago is a towering achievement for peace in the history of humankind. It is one of the most important and positive legacies that the twentieth century bequeathed to our world." Pointing to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis that was caused by a miscommunication between the U.S. and Soviet leaders and brought the world to the brink of a nuclear war, he stated, "Even if it is possible to continue to maintain these lines of communications, however, there will always be the undeniable risk of an accidental or unintended detonation, not to mention the threat of nuclear terror."

To avoid such catastrophe, he underscored the urgency of realizing a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. In closing, he reiterated his conviction that "it is indispensable that all learn from the conviction and wisdom that made the Treaty of Tlatelolco possible, and that we bring these qualities to the upcoming negotiations at UN Headquarters to ensure their success." [Read full text]

[Adapted from the March 2017 (Vol. 16) SGI Peace News and the February 23, 2017, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]

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