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Buddhist Leader Calls for 2015 Nuclear Abolition Summit

Buddhist Leader Calls for 2015 Nuclear Abolition Summit in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and End to Japan’s Reliance on Nuclear Power

TOKYO, Jan. 26 /Kyodo JBN/ --

In his 30th annual peace proposal, released on January 26, Daisaku Ikeda, president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Buddhist association, calls for a nuclear abolition summit to be held in 2015 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki to ensure that the growing momentum toward abolition of nuclear weapons becomes irreversible.

Holding this summit on the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of these cities, and in the year of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, would bring home to world leaders the terrible destructive capacity of nuclear weapons and help ensure the necessary action toward their abolition, thereby marking the effective end of the nuclear weapons era.

In this year’s proposal, titled “Human Security and Sustainability: Sharing Reverence for the Dignity of Life,” Ikeda points to the possibility of a more hopeful phase in the struggle to realize a nuclear-free world, seeing signs of a tipping point where a “cascade” of governments will support adoption of a Nuclear Weapons Convention (NWC) to comprehensively ban nuclear weapons.

Ikeda, who has been engaged in the antinuclear movement since the late 1950s, strongly reaffirms his endorsement of the idea of an NWC, stating that we must take “the determination ... that humanity and nuclear weapons cannot coexist, and give it concrete form as a binding legal agreement expressing the shared conscience of humankind.”

He calls for formation of an action group for an NWC, comprising supportive governments and NGOs, and urges that if arguments from the perspectives of human rights and sustainability are mustered alongside those from international humanitarian law, this will expand the groundswell of grassroots efforts pushing for nuclear weapons abolition.

Reflecting on the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011, Ikeda urges Japan to make a rapid transition to energy policies not reliant on nuclear power generation, and to intensify its involvement in renewable energy technology and research, both domestically and to support efforts in developing countries. He calls for a strengthening of the global role of the IAEA in dealing with the impacts of nuclear power plant accidents and the decommissioning of obsolescent reactors.

Considering the suffering caused by an increasing prevalence of natural disasters around the world, Ikeda calls for responses to be centered on a human rights approach and proposes that UNHCR’s mandate be officially expanded to include provision of relief for people displaced by such disasters. He also stresses the importance of empowering women to play a greater role in disaster prevention, mitigation and recovery efforts.

Toward the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development being held this year in Rio de Janeiro, Ikeda calls for a broader debate on the concept of Sustainable Development Goals to follow the Millennium Development Goals from 2015. He urges a comprehensive approach that will address the full range of sustainability and human security concerns in both developing and developed countries.

Read a synopsis of the proposal at: http://www.sgi.org/sgipresident/proposals/peace/2012.html

Daisaku Ikeda, 84, has issued proposals analyzing the key issues facing humankind on January 26 every year since 1983, commemorating SGI’s founding on that date in 1975. He offers insight from a Buddhist perspective and makes concrete suggestions in a spirit of contribution to the global dialogue centered around the United Nations. Many of his proposals have borne fruit.

Soka Gakkai International is a socially engaged Buddhist association with over 12 million members around the world.

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ENDS

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