In his latest call to action, Ikeda emphasized the need for youth participation in climate-related decision-making at the UN Youth Climate Summits held every year toward 2030. He also called for endeavors to ensure that the landmark Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)—adopted by the UN General Assembly in July 2017—obtains 50 ratifications and accordingly enters into force this year, which will mark the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.
Ikeda, 92, the founding president of SGI, is a Japanese Buddhist philosopher, educator, author, and nuclear disarmament advocate. At age 19, he began practicing Nichiren Buddhism, a branch of Mahayana Buddhism based on the teachings of the Japanese monk Nichiren (1222–82). Ikeda founded SGI in 1975, which led him to initiate SGI’s global peace movement and to found a number of institutions dedicated to promoting peace and education.
Climate change is “a fundamental challenge, on which the fate of humankind hinges,” Ikeda said in his message, stressing that it threatens to render meaningless global efforts toward achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He praised the energy of youth climate change activities: “When young people’s will to transform reality merges with an indomitable optimism, the possibilities are limitless.” (Soka Gakkai International)