SGI Joins Faith Groups at UN Nuclear Weapons Negotiations
“Nuclear weapons are a denial and rejection of our very humanity.”
The following was adapted from a press release published by Religion News Service on March 29 at religionnews.com.
NEW YORK—On March 28, religious groups urged governments to make decisive progress toward establishing a framework for complete elimination of nuclear weapons in a statement read on the second day of a historic U.N. conference to begin negotiations on a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons.
The joint statement titled “Faith Communities Concerned about Nuclear Weapons” was read before representatives of some 120 governments taking part in the negotiations at the U.N. Headquarters until March 31. Signatories include more than 20 individuals representing diverse faith groups, including the SGI.
The groups stress that nuclear weapons manifest a total disregard for the shared ethical values of religious faiths. They condemn the theory of deterrence and the catastrophic humanitarian impact of any nuclear weapon use, stating: “We reject the immorality of holding whole populations hostage, threatened with a cruel and miserable death. We applaud the world’s political leaders that have demonstrated the courage to begin these negotiations.”
The statement also urges those states not participating in this round of the negotiations to reexamine their positions and commit to joining the June-July session in good faith.
Kazuo Ishiwatari, SGI Executive Director of Peace and Global Issues, said: “To be successful, a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons must heed, reflect and embody the voices of the entire human family . . . SGI will call for an even greater enlistment of the power of individual and collective conscience in order to support, strengthen and enrich the negotiation process.”
SGI also submitted its own working paper to the conference, which quotes SGI President Ikeda: “The inhumanity of nuclear weapons is found not only in their overwhelming destructive power. It lies in their potential to instantaneously obliterate and render meaningless the painstaking efforts of generations of human beings . . . They are a denial and rejection of our very humanity.”