Country for PR: Japan
Contributor: Kyodo News JBN
Friday, January 26 2018 - 16:00
AsiaNet
Buddhist Leader Ikeda Urges Human Rights Focus as Key to Resolution of Global Issues and Nuclear Weapons Abolition
TOKYO, Jan. 26, 2018 /Kyodo JBN-AsiaNet/ --

On January 26, 2018, Buddhist philosopher Daisaku Ikeda, President of the Soka 
Gakkai International (SGI), issued his annual peace proposal, titled "Toward an 
Era of Human Rights: Building a People's Movement." 

Ikeda welcomes the July 2017 adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of 
Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) as a turning point in the global history of efforts to 
achieve peace and disarmament, emphatic that while nuclear weapons exist, a 
world of peace and human rights will remain elusive. He outlines strategies for 
gaining support for the Treaty from the nuclear-weapon states and 
nuclear-dependent states. 

In particular, Ikeda calls on Japan to declare its readiness to consider 
becoming party to the TPNW: "Having experienced the reality of nuclear weapons, 
Japan cannot turn away from its moral responsibility." He asks us to never 
forget the spirit of the hibakusha - atomic bomb victims - who played a crucial 
role together with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) 
in the drafting and adoption of the Treaty, recognized by the award of the 2017 
Nobel Peace Prize. 

The main theme of this, Ikeda's 36th proposal, is that a human rights focused 
approach is key to resolving global issues, including the nuclear threat. In 
this year that marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human 
Rights, he stresses the need to make the life and dignity of each individual 
our focal point - the fact that every human being is inherently precious and 
irreplaceable. 

He cites the hibakusha and their determination that no one else should suffer 
what they have endured as exemplifying a foundational spirit for human rights. 
"The ideal of international human rights law is the quest to protect the life 
and dignity of each individual, a quest in which the continued pursuit of 
nuclear arms has no place."

Ikeda highlights the power of human rights education in overcoming social 
divides, stating that its real significance lies in reviving our desire to 
perceive the common humanity of those different from us. He proposes that youth 
be the focus for the fourth phase of the UN's World Programme for Human Rights 
Education, beginning in 2020. 

Running through the proposal is concern for the lives and human rights of 
refugees and migrants in the face of discrimination. Ikeda calls for focused 
efforts to ensure access to education for refugee and migrant children, 
especially those separated from their families. 

Urging greater progress toward achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development 
Goals (SDGs), he proposes deepened cooperation between China and Japan in the 
form of a local government network for climate action.

Ikeda also identifies gender equality as essential to the SDGs, stating: 
"Gender equality and empowerment should not be regarded as just one element of 
the SDGs, but rather should be recognized as key to accelerating progress 
toward the achievement of the entire spectrum of goals."

Finally, he calls for a UN international decade for the empowerment of women 
from 2020 to 2030, the target date for achievement of the SDGs.

The Soka Gakkai International (SGI) is a community-based network promoting 
Buddhist humanism and peace with 12 million members around the world. SGI 
President Daisaku Ikeda (1928 -  ) has issued peace proposals offering a 
Buddhist perspective and solutions to global problems on January 26 every year 
since 1983, to commemorate the founding of the SGI. See: www.sgi.org


Source: Soka Gakkai International

Contact:
Joan Anderson
Office of Public Information
Soka Gakkai International
Tel: +81-80-5957-4711
E-mail: anderson[at]soka.jp