Petition Drive

Youth Petition Calls for NWC

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On May 11, a petition of 2,276,167 signatures from youth calling for the adoption of a Nuclear Weapons Convention was presented to Ambassador Leslie Gatan, adviser to the president of the NPT Review Conference, and UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Sergio Duarte at the SGI-USA Culture Center in New York City.

The signatures were collected between January and March 2010 by youth members of Soka Gakkai in Japan. Kenji Shiratsuchi, chair of the Soka Gakkai’s Youth Peace Committee, commented: "Each of these signatures embodies the heartfelt commitment and effort of a young person. We urge you to start debate on a Nuclear Weapons Convention at the earliest opportunity."

In a message, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda stressed that the signatures represent valuable dialogues for peace and symbolize the immense power that lies hidden in the depths of seemingly ordinary people.

Ambassador Duarte expressed his appreciation for SGI’s strong support for the first element in UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s five-point proposal for nuclear abolition—negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention—adding: "Widespread support from civil society is the strongest possible foundation for future disarmament initiatives."

Comments from NPT Review Conference President Libran Cabactulan were introduced by Ambassador Gatan. "The petitions, publications and surveys of Soka Gakkai International," he stated, "are enormously helpful in registering the degree of public understanding of nuclear disarmament efforts, in promoting greater support where support is weak, and in signaling to national leaders that this is a real priority for action."

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