2012 Peace Proposal by Daisaku Ikeda - Human Security & Sustainability: Sharing Reverence for the Dignity of Life

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Human Security and Sustainability: Sharing Reverence
for the Dignity of Life

by Daisaku Ikeda
President, Soka Gakkai International
January 26, 2012


Motivated by the quest for a global society of peace and coexistence, I have, every year since 1983, issued a peace proposal commemorating January 26, the day that the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) was founded in 1975.

The present proposal will thus be the thirtieth such proposal.


The members of the SGI throughout the world are committed to the work of constructing--through a movement for peace, education and culture--a global society in which the dignity of each person shines and all people can live in security. The spiritual foundations for this effort are found in the philosophy of Buddhism which reverences the inherent value and dignity of life. Specifically, we are inspired by the fervent desire expressed by second Soka Gakkai president Josei Toda (1900-58):


"I wish to see the word 'misery' no longer used to describe the world, any country, any individual." [1]


Sadly, the planet continues to be wracked by violent conflict and civil unrest; people around the world face unacceptable threats to their lives and dignity in the form of poverty, hunger and environmental destruction, while the suffering caused by human rights violations and discrimination remains widespread. Further, there has been the wrenching spectacle of natural disasters that instantly rob people of their lives, disrupting and undermining the foundations of entire societies.


Recent years have seen a series of major natural disasters, from the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in 2004 to the massive earthquake in Haiti in 2010, exacting a horrific toll in human life. Japan was struck by a devastating earthquake and tsunami in March last year, while earthquakes also hit New Zealand and Turkey; Thailand and the Philippines experienced deadly flooding; and severe drought afflicted Somalia and much of East Africa.


I offer my heartfelt sympathies to all those affected by these disasters, my prayers for the repose of the deceased and moral support to those who are struggling to reconstruct their lives and communities. There is also the fact, noted by the Japanese physicist Torahiko Terada (1878-1935) who issued repeated calls for more effective measures against earthquakes and tsunami, that the more civilization advances, the more intense the impact of nature's violent forces becomes.


The partial meltdown at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant provoked by the March 11, 2011, Tohoku earthquake and tsunami is symbolic of this. The resulting release of radiation contaminated a broad area not limited to Japanese national territory, forcing large numbers of people from their homes. It is not known when people will be able to return, and there are concerns about the impact on children's health as well as on food and agricultural products.  The compound impact of this natural and human disaster has been without precedent. It calls into question contemporary society's reliance on nuclear energy and, more broadly, the scale and pace of scientific-technological development.



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