The Japanese Nichiren Buddhist organization Soka Gakkai International (SGI) has announced the annual peace proposal by SGI president Daisaku Ikeda, titled “Value Creation in a Time of Crisis” and released on 26 January, marking the anniversary of the SGI’s founding.
“In his 39th annual proposal, Daisaku Ikeda draws on key teachings of Shakyamuni in his analysis of the problems facing the world, and stresses the need for international cooperation to address the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, and nuclear disarmament,” a Soka Gakkai representative told Buddhistdoor Global.
In his annual statement to the international community, the SGI president notes that these issues are not constrained by national borders and cannot be solved by any single government or organization: “Our shared efforts to respond to the pandemic can serve as a foundation for generating global awareness of the essential role of human solidarity in transforming crises.” (Soka Gakkai)
The peace proposal’s release date coincides with the inauguration of Soka Gakkai International (SGI) at the First World Peace Conference, held on Guam on 26 January 1975.
“If a deterrent force is needed in the world today, it is certainly not that of nuclear weapons,” Ikeda states in the peace proposal. “Rather, it is the power of joint action and solidarity transcending national borders, brought to bear against the intertwined crises of climate change and COVID-19 and related economic impacts.”
Daisaku Ikeda, 93, is a Buddhist philosopher, educator, author, and anti-nuclear activist. He was the third president of the Soka Gakkai Buddhist movement, from 1960–79, and is the founding president of SGI.
“Continuing his decades of activism toward the abolition of nuclear weapons, Daisaku Ikeda welcomes the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) on 22 January, calling on Japan in particular to participate in the first meeting of the States Parties to the Treaty, to begin to create the conditions in which future ratification can become possible,” Soka Gakkai said. “He also proposes the holding of a high-level meeting at the UN to address COVID-19 and the convening of an online ‘beyond COVID-19’ youth summit to discuss the kind of world young people want to see in the aftermath of the crisis.”
The full English-language translation of the Peace Proposal in English will be available in mid-February 2021.
SGI has also endorsed the “Joint Interfaith Statement on the Entry into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons,” together with 170 other faith groups, including Buddhist organizations, and coordinated by the Faith Communities Concerned About Nuclear Weapons.
Underscoring the significance of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), the interfaith statement observes: “We rejoice at the possibilities of a new world that this Treaty ushers in. At a time when the world desperately needs fresh hope, the TPNW inspires us to continue to work to fully eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons, and to create conditions for peace, justice, and well-being.”
The statement invites everyone—especially those in faith communities—to join the movement for peace, justice, and respect for life, while calling on all states “to join the growing community of states which have rejected nuclear weapons and to sign and ratify the TPNW, or work toward that end by joining the First Meeting of the States Parties planned to take place this year.” (Soka Gakkai International Office for UN Affairs)
Soka Gakkai is a Japanese Buddhist movement founded in 1930 and based on the teachings of the 13th century Buddhist priest Nichiren (1222–82), who 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 bases its teachings on the Lotus Sutra, with the mantra “Nam-myoho-renge-kyo” (“Glory to the Dharma of the Lotus Sutra”) as its central devotional practice.
Soka Gakkai International, founded by Daisaku Ikeda in 1975, is an international association of Soka Gakkai and an NGO in consultative status with UN ECOSOC. As a global community-based Buddhist organization that promotes peace, culture, and education based on respect for the dignity of life, Soka Gakkai is involved in peace activism, education, and politics, with 12 million members in 192 countries and territories around the world.
* Buddhist Leaders Welcome 50th Ratification of Nuclear Ban Treaty (Buddhistdoor Global)
SGI President Releases 2021 Peace Proposal (Soka Gakkai)
Joint Interfaith Statement on the Entry into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) (Soka Gakkai International Office for UN Affairs)
DAISAKU IKEDA: buddhist philosopher, peacebuilder and educator