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Message on the Occasion of the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony in Honor of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)

December 6, 2017
Hirotsugu Terasaki
SGI Director General of Peace and Global Issues

On behalf of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), I would like to express our heartfelt congratulations to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) on being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017. ICAN have stated that this recognition is a tribute to the tireless efforts of all relevant parties who have continually sought the abolition of nuclear weapons, most importantly the hibakusha and the members of civil society who have worked closely alongside them. This shared joy inspires even greater support for their endeavor.

Since 2007, the SGI has been proud to work as an international partner of ICAN toward our common goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons. To our great honor, we have been invited in this capacity to participate in this historic award ceremony. We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation and reiterate our pledge to redouble our efforts for the realization of a world free from nuclear weapons.

There are those who suggest that the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) has deepened division between the nuclear-weapon states and non-nuclear-weapon states. We believe, rather, that it provides an opportunity to identify perspectives that will enable multiple public constituencies to engage in the debate on nuclear weapons abolition. We can see the early signs of such an effort.

The desire to protect the people and things we love is a core human sentiment. Based on this universal human desire to protect what we treasure, we need to find new paths to coexistence. To do this, we must set out a new vision of security—one that brings together viewpoints in apparent opposition and is easily understood, robust and appealing.

To this end, we must initiate constructive dialogue and debate. We need to awaken people from the nightmare of nuclear deterrence theory with the bright lights of a new vision of security. The TPNW has given clear definition to the ultimate goal of humankind—the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons. We are convinced that, to achieve this goal, there is no option but to continue to move forward with undeterred persistence while strengthening effective linkages with the NPT regime—the cornerstone of international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation efforts.

What we face, ultimately, is not a confrontation between the states that possess nuclear weapons and those that do not. Rather, it is the confrontation between the threat posed by nuclear weapons and humanity's right to life. Nuclear weapons are dangerous from a security perspective. From an ethical and moral perspective, they are wrong. This renders them unacceptable in any hands. Today, with the geopolitical risks of nuclear conflict at almost unprecedented levels, it is vital that this awareness be shared widely by all people.

The members of the SGI the world over are determined to see the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) serve as a vital instrument of humankind's triumph over its self-destructive impulses. We are committed to continuing our efforts to this end alongside our friends in ICAN and as part of global civil society.

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