TOKYO, Jan. 26, 2011 — In a proposal released on Jan. 26, “Toward a World of Dignity for All: The Triumph of the Creative Life,” Soka Gakkai International (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, 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. 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, 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.

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, 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.”


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To read Tricycle‘s interview with Daisaku Ikeda, click here.