• Updated to include links to the English-language statement.
The socially engaged Japanese Nichiren Buddhist organization the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) announced that it has published the annual world peace proposal by SGI president Daisaku Ikeda. Titled “Transforming Human History: The Light of Peace and Dignity,” the peace statement was released on 26 January, which marks the anniversary of the SGI’s founding in 1975.
In his 2022 appeal for peace, Ikeda underscores the importance of addressing the gaping social inequality gaps that have been exposed over the past two years by the COVID-19 pandemic. He goes on to emphasize that gender equality and female empowerment are key elements to building a global society founded on and sustaining human dignity.
“I believe firmly that the key factor determining the direction of history will prove not to have been the virus, but we humans ourselves,” Ikeda states, calling for international solidarity built on an awareness of the interconnectedness of all beings.
Voicing particular concern about the impact of disruptions to education, Ikeda recommends that the UN Transforming Education Summit, planned for September this year, place a focus on education in emergencies, inclusive education, and learning for global citizenship.
“Mr. Ikeda has been issuing such proposals every year since 1983, making this his 40th such contribution,” an official from the Soka Gakkai told BDG. “The 2022 proposal is titled ‘Transforming Human History: The Light of Peace and Dignity.’”
The full text in English of Daisaku Ikeda’s 2022 peace proposal can be read here.
Ikeda’s proposal also addresses the climate crisis, urging greater international coordination in implementing the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the Convention to Combat Desertification. He notes: “Climate change, biodiversity, and desertification are deeply intertwined, and solutions are likewise interconnected.”
With reference to the first meeting of States Parties to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which is expected to take place in March, Ikeda stresses the urgent need for global societies to “detoxifying” themselves of nuclear-dependent security doctrines. He calls for Japan and other nuclear-dependent and nuclear-armed states to participate as observers, explaining: “As more countries that presently feel they cannot sign or ratify the TPNW begin to positively acknowledge its true value and significance, I am confident that this will catalyze the energy and political will needed to put an end to the era of nuclear weapons.”
“Mr. Ikeda has been a leading voice calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons for over 60 years,” the SGI told BDG. “He is a strong supporter of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) that came into force a year ago, seeing it as a crucial opportunity to move toward the end of the era of nuclear weapons.”
The SGI cited former UN under-secretary-general and high representative Anwarul K. Chowdhury, the founder of the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace, as saying: “I know of no one who has highlighted the role and responsibility of the United Nations so consistently, relentlessly, and substantively for such a long period of time as President Ikeda. For the last 40 years, his annual peace proposals have contained brilliant ideas and suggestions for the good of humanity. I am encouraged he has highlighted empowerment of people as a major element in building the Culture of Peace.”
Founded in 1930, the Soka Gakkai (the Value Creation Society) is a Japanese Buddhist movement based on the teachings of the 13th century Buddhist priest Nichiren (1222–82). Nichiren taught devotion to the Lotus Sutra, believed to contain the teachings of the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni, toward the end of his life, as the exclusive means to attain enlightenment. Soka Gakkai centers its teachings on the Lotus Sutra, with recitation of the mantra “Nam-myoho-renge-kyo” (“Glory to the Dharma of the Lotus Sutra”) as its main devotional practice.
The Soka Gakkai International, founded by the Sokka Gakkai’s president, Daisaku Ikeda, in 1975, is an NGO with consultative status to UN ECOSOC. As a global community-based Buddhist organization that promotes peace, culture, and education based on respect for the dignity of life, the Soka Gakkai is involved in peace activism, education, and politics, with members in 192 countries and territories around the world.
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