Overview

Soka Gakkai International (SGI) is a lay Buddhist association with more than 12 million members in 192 countries and territories worldwide. For SGI members, Buddhism is a practical philosophy of individual empowerment and inner transformation that enables people to develop their full potential, live happy lives and contribute to their communities. Central is the idea of human revolution, whereby an inner-motivated change within a single individual's life can affect the destiny of a nation and ultimately that of the entire world.


"Children and a Culture of Peace"
Exhibition, 2008

SGI United Nations liaison offices located in New York, Geneva and Vienna actively support UN processes. They promote activities to raise public awareness of global concerns and the search for better solutions, working together with other NGOs.

In 1981, Soka Gakkai was admitted as an NGO associated with the UN Department of Public Information (DPI) and also listed as an NGO in cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). SGI was granted consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the UN in 1983 and has been listed with UNHCR since 1997.

In his 2009 proposal titled "Building Global Solidarity Toward Nuclear Abolition," SGI President Ikeda outlined concrete steps toward the abolition of nuclear weapons. A vocal opponent of these inhumane weapons for more than 50 years, he stresses that we now have a unique opportunity to build grassroots solidarity, propel political processes and break out of the stagnation which has dogged nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation efforts.

He states that ultimately, the struggle against nuclear weapons is a moral one, commenting: "…to put the era of nuclear terror behind us, we must struggle against the real ‘enemy.’ That enemy is not nuclear weapons per se, nor the states that possess or develop them. The real enemy that we must confront is the ways of thinking that justify nuclear weapons; the readiness to annihilate others when they are seen as a threat or a hindrance to the realization of our objectives."

SGI is engaged in public education and outreach, with a focus on peace, cultural exchange, human rights and sustainable development. The organization has initiated programs in support of the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World and played an active role in the realization of both the World Programme for Human Rights Education and the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.

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