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Action on Global Issues

The Soka Gakkai and the SGI (Soka Gakkai International) engage in activities to promote a culture of peace. The SGI has been accredited as a nongovernmental organization (NGO) in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) since 1983.

Working with the United Nations, NGOs and other stakeholders, the SGI undertakes efforts to address global issues through raising awareness among the public and bringing ideas and recommendations to the UN.

The SGI Office for UN Affairs in New York and Geneva is actively engaged at the United Nations.

Peace Proposals

Daisaku Ikeda’s annual peace proposals have played an important role in inspiring action toward these ideals both at local and global levels.

Peace and Disarmament

Hayley Ramsay-Jones of the SGI Office for UN Affairs introduces a statement by faith communities urging action toward a nuclear ban at the second session of the 2018 Preparatory Committee for the 2020 NPT Review Conference in Geneva, Switzerland
The SGI is working to expand grassroots support and global solidarity for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Examples include its People’s Decade for Nuclear Abolition campaign, now in its second decade, exhibitions communicating the inhumanity of nuclear weapons, recording the experiences of atomic bomb survivors and petition drives. The SGI also participates actively in UN policymaking processes on nuclear disarmament and advocates for a preemptive ban on lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS). The SGI and INPS (International Press Syndicate) have initiated a media project for nuclear abolition. View resources promoting peace and nuclear disarmament.
  • If we are to truly put an end to the era of nuclear weapons we must struggle against the real enemy, . . . the ways of thinking that permit the existence of such weapons—the readiness to annihilate others when they are perceived to be a threat or a hindrance to the realization of our objectives.
    (Daisaku Ikeda, 2019 Peace Proposal)
  • The struggle for peace, like the struggle for human rights and humanity, is not one in which, having reached the peak of the mountain, the final goal comes into view. Rather, it should be thought of as the work of generating an uninterrupted and unstoppable flow of commitment connecting and passed on from one generation to the next.
    (Daisaku Ikeda, 2012 Peace Proposal)
  • To set out from immediate and concrete realities, creating with every step new neighbors in an expanding network of human solidarity—this is the true path to peace. Without the steady accumulation of such efforts, the ideal of a perpetual peace will remain forever out of reach.
    (Daisaku Ikeda, 2009 Peace Proposal)

Education for Sustainable Development and Climate Action

Soka Gakkai members who took part in Clean Up Jakarta Day
The SGI’s efforts to promote education for sustainable development (ESD) and climate action seek to engage a broad spectrum of people and inspire hope in each person’s ability to initiate change. They include exhibitions, a film as well as the SDGs for All media project with INPS and are designed to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and promote the Earth Charter. As well as promoting sustainable development, local Soka Gakkai organizations also engage in cleanups, tree plantings and lectures. View resources that promote education for a sustainable future.
  • Created with Earth Charter International, the “Mapting” smartphone app aims to encourage youth participation in the SDGs.
  • The “Seeds of Change” exhibition and its successor, “Seeds of Hope,” have been viewed by over 7 million people in more than 40 countries.
  • The documentary film A Quiet Revolution was created in collaboration with the Earth Council, UNDP and UNEP.
  • How, then, are we to understand sustainability? In simplest terms, I think it could be described as follows: a way of life in which we refrain from seeking our own happiness at the expense of others; a determination not to pass on our local community and the planet as a whole to the next generation in a more dirty or damaged condition than it was when we entered it; a society in which the future is not sacrificed to the passing needs of the present.
    (Daisaku Ikeda, 2012 Peace Proposal)
  • The clear outlines of a sustainable global society will come into view as each of us takes an inventory of the things we feel to be of irreplaceable value and acts with wisdom to protect and pass them on to the future.
    (Daisaku Ikeda, 2016 Peace Proposal)
  • Rather than stand to one side and ponder how the future might develop, we must focus on what each of us can do at this critical moment, the role each of us can choose to play in changing the direction of history. We must strive to make a proactive, contributive way of life the prevailing spirit of the new era.
    (Daisaku Ikeda, 2010 Peace Proposal)

Human Rights Education

A Soka Gakkai member introduces the panels of the “Transforming Lives” exhibition in South Korea
In support of the World Programme for Human Rights Education (2005– ) and the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training (2011), the SGI has developed educational tools that illustrate the transformative impact of human rights education and promote a culture of human rights where dignity and equality are paramount. The SGI is chair of the NGO Working Group on Human Rights Education and Learning. View resources for the promotion of human rights education.
  • If we picture a global society of peace and creative coexistence as an edifice, the ideals of human rights and human security are key pillars that hold it up, while the foundation on which these rest is respect for the dignity of life. If this foundation remains no more than an abstract conceptualization, the entire structure will be unstable and could collapse in the event of a severe challenge or crisis.
    (Daisaku Ikeda, 2013 Peace Proposal)
  • The real significance of human rights education and training programs lies far beyond acquiring specific knowledge or a certain set of skills—it lies in reviving our desire to perceive the common humanity in those who are different from us and in weaving the bonds of a shared social life.
    (Daisaku Ikeda, 2018 Peace Proposal)
  • Human rights issues must not only be debated actively among governments; we must establish a shared global culture of human rights that is rooted in the realities of daily life and based on unfailing and uncompromising respect for human dignity.
    (Daisaku Ikeda, 2008 Peace Proposal)

Humanitarian Relief and Disaster Risk Reduction

Soka Gakkai members assist in the clean-up after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami (Miyagi, Japan)
The SGI coordinates responses to disasters by distributing supplies, offering shelter and care at its centers and liaising with government and relief agencies. In collaboration with other organizations and in international forums, the SGI is working to highlight the unique ways faith-based organizations (FBOs) can effectively assist in disaster risk reduction, relief and recovery. It also supports refugee relief efforts through the UNHCR. View resources for the promotion of humanitarian activities and disaster prevention and reduction.
  • The “Restoring Our Humanity” exhibition debuted at the first World Humanitarian Summit (2016).
  • Over 1,000 Soka Gakkai community centers around Japan are primed to be able to respond to major disasters.
  • Harnessing the capacities of those affected by disaster is central to the SGI’s relief and recovery efforts.
  • Responses to humanitarian crises must have a bedrock focus on the dignity of each individual. Recovery efforts should not be limited to physical reconstruction, but must include scrupulous attention to the more basic questions of how to make life better for individual members of the community.
    (Daisaku Ikeda, 2016 Peace Proposal)
  • The true value of any state or society lies in what it does for those who are most afflicted by suffering, not in its military or economic prowess.
    (Daisaku Ikeda, 2017 Peace Proposal)
  • It is our refusal to dismiss any form of suffering as unrelated to us that brings our humanity to its true luster.
    (Daisaku Ikeda, 2016 Peace Proposal)

Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

Members of the NGO CSW/NY after one of their monthly meetings
The SGI develops various activities to promote gender equality by supporting the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and gender dimensions of the SDGs. These include events supporting the activities of UN Women and the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). Read more about the SGI’s activities to foster women’s leadership.
  • The “Young Women’s Stories—Fostering Leadership” project explores how young women’s personal development can help them empower themselves and others.
  • CSW side events run by the SGI bring together young women from across the globe to discuss their role as leaders and initiators of change.
  • The SGI has been involved in the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, New York (NGO CSW/NY), for over 20 years.
  • It is important now to recall the conceptual breakthrough that initially led to the adoption of [UN] Resolution 1325: in other words, to reconfigure societies based on the recognition that women are not helpless victims but that their strengths and contributions are essential.
    (Daisaku Ikeda, 2017 Peace Proposal)
  • Gender equality and empowerment should not be regarded as just one of the seventeen SDGs, but rather should be recognized as key to accelerating progress toward the achievement of the entire spectrum of goals.
    (Daisaku Ikeda, 2018 Peace Proposal)
  • The goal of gender equality is to open the path for all people, irrespective of gender, to bring forth the light of their inner dignity and humanity in a way that is true to their own unique self.
    (Daisaku Ikeda, 2017 Peace Proposal)