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Toward a New Era of Peace and Disarmament: A People-Centered Approach—SGI President Issues 2019 Peac

On January 26, 2019, the 37th annual peace proposal by Daisaku Ikeda, president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Buddhist movement, was released, titled “Toward a New Era of Peace and Disarmament: A People-Centered Approach.”

The proposal’s main theme is the need for concerted effort in disarmament, particularly hastening progress toward abolition of nuclear weapons around the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). President Ikeda also stresses the dangers of emerging lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) and proposes the prompt convening of a conference to negotiate a treaty banning these weapons.

Applauding the May 2018 Disarmament Agenda of UN Secretary-General António Guterres, President Ikeda advocates a shift from seeing security solely in terms of state or military security toward a human focus, a people-centered multilateralism based on the effort to build a world in which all people can experience meaningful security.

He notes how the complexity and scale of global challenges can make youth feel that positive change is impossible. He calls on them to resist feelings of resignation and “meet the severe challenges of our age as agents of proactive and contagious change.”

President Ikeda urges youth engagement with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as crucial to their achievement. He calls for expansion of the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) network of universities committed to supporting the SDGs and proposes a world conference of such universities in 2020.

President Ikeda also welcomes the designation of youth as the focus of the fourth phase of the World Programme for Human Rights Education.

Regarding nuclear abolition, he focuses on expanding ratifications of the TPNW to achieve its entry into force and urges the creation of a group of like-minded states to deepen the debate and promote ratification—Friends of the TPNW, modeled after Friends of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). He advocates that Japan take the lead in this initiative.

He also highlights ICAN’s new Cities Appeal and related #ICANSave social media initiative.

Looking ahead toward the 2020 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), President Ikeda calls for steps such as the removal of nuclear warheads from high-alert status. He further proposes that a fourth special session of the UN General Assembly devoted to disarmament (SSOD-IV) be held in 2021.

Another focus is SDGs concerning water resource management. President Ikeda hopes that Japan, China and South Korea will work together to support countries in the Middle East and Africa where demand for water reuse and desalination is growing.

The full proposal in English will be available in February 15, 2019.

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