Soka Gakkai International

New Structures for Early Resolution of Conflict Stressed in Peace Proposal

    TOKYO (ots-PRNewswire) - Soka Gakkai International (SGI) President Daisaku Ikeda today released his annual peace proposal, "Peace Through Dialogue: A Time to Talk," calling for the immediate establishment of an international conflict resolution committee within the UN system to help assure the application of international human rights and humanitarian law in conflict-plagued regions. Released today to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the founding of the SGI, the proposal offers many concrete proposals for action.

    Since the end of the Cold War, regional and internal conflicts have claimed more than four million lives; 90 percent of these people were unarmed civilians, women and children. The international community, says Ikeda, must act early to bring all parties into the negotiating process before a given conflict escalates into large-scale, protracted violence.

    The proposed committee would enhance the monitoring and early warning functions of the United Nations by holding public hearings that would seek to bring the parties to a conflict face-to-face in an open and neutral setting.

    The proposal explores, from a Buddhist perspective, the need to overcome the tendencies toward attachment and discrimination in the depths of individuals' lives. Many conflicts stem from the assumption that transient and superficial differences are permanent and definitive. The author asserts that humans are capable of challenging such assumptions and that such inner change can help create a truly robust global culture of peace.

    Other highlights include:

    A concerted effort to eliminate poverty worldwide -- a global Marshall Plan equivalent to that used to rebuild Europe's shattered economies after World War II. As poverty is both a result and a cause of conflict, such programs should be funded through reductions in global military expenditures, currently estimated at US$700 billion per annum.

    The placement of "UN Embassies" in countries as a means of bringing the functions of various UN agencies together in a single venue, with a consolidated point of liaison with governments. This would focus and enhance the work of the United Nations in human development.

    The creation of a "Northeast Asia Peace University" to promote exchange, interaction and confidence building in the region. Mongolia is proposed as a possible site, as the Mongolian government has official relations with all of the countries of Northeast Asia.

    Soka Gakkai International is a lay Buddhist movement with over 12 million members in 148 countries. Its founding meeting was held on the island of Guam on January 26, 1975 with participants from 51 countries. SGI members' activities to promote peace, culture and education are based on the longstanding traditions of Buddhist humanism.

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Contact: Rie Tsumura of Soka Gakkai International, +3-5360-9830, or fax, +3-5360-9885

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