A Human Rights Focus Is Key to the Resolution of Global Issues and the Nuclear Threat—SGI President

On January 26, 2018, Daisaku Ikeda, President of Soka Gakkai International (SGI), issued his 36th annual peace proposal titled “Toward an Era of Human Rights: Building a People’s Movement”. President 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. The main theme of this, President 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, saying, “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.” President Ikeda also 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, which begins in 2020. The full proposal will be available in English on February 16, 2018.