TOKYO, Nov 24, 2023: On November 23, at 1:30 p.m., an official Soka Gakkai Memorial Service was held at the Toda Memorial Auditorium in Tokyo, for Daisaku Ikeda, Honorary President of the Soka Gakkai and President of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), who passed away on November 15, at the age of 95. The service was live streamed to over 1000 Soka Gakkai centers throughout Japan.Read more
On December 1, the Soka Gakkai donated around 10 million yen (US$65,800) to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) for emergency humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and elsewhere. On December 5, Soka Gakkai President Minoru Harada, Vice President Hirotsugu Terasaki and Women’s Peace Committee Chair Miyuki Hashiguchi held an online meeting with UNRWA Director of Health Dr. Akihiro Seita. During the meeting, Dr. Seita described the humanitarian crisis in Gaza as unprecedented, and expressed his wish to save as many lives as possible.
Since November 30, an SGI (Soka Gakkai International) delegation has been participating in the 28th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. On November 30, Alexandra Masako Goossens-Ishii of the SGI Office for UN Affairs participated as a panelist in the Interfaith Talanoa Dialogue that was organized by the Interfaith Liaison Committee to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). She called for the inclusion of a human rights perspective and for youth participation in UN climate processes. On December 1, the SGI co-organized a side event titled “Faith Matters in Achieving the Global Goal on Adaptation” with LM International, Kenya4Resilience, GreenFaith and SMC-Faith in Development. On December 2, the SGI co-organized an event “Faiths for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.” Nobuyuki Asai, director for Sustainable Development and Humanitarian Affairs of the SGI, spoke at both events.
From November 27 to December 1, an SGI (Soka Gakkai International) delegation led by Hirotsugu Terasaki, SGI director general for peace and global issues, participated in the Second Meeting of States Parties (2MSP) to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) in New York.
On November 28, the delegation met with ICAN Executive Director Melissa Parke and Acting Deputy Director Daniel Högsta to discuss future initiatives on toward nuclear disarmament.
Together with the Center for International Security and Policy (CISP), the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the UN and ICAN, the SGI also cohosted a side event. During the event, a documentary, “I Want To Live On: The Untold Stories of the Polygon,” featuring survivor testimonies from Kazakhstan’s Semipalatinsk nuclear test site premiered. The film was created by CISP with support from the SGI.
The Youth MSP 2023, organized by Youth for TPNW, was also held on November 28 and was attended by youth members of the SGI delegation.
On November 29, Anna Ikeda of the SGI Office for UN Affairs delivered a joint interfaith statement to the 2MSP on behalf of 115 organizations. A youth statement to the 2MSP, which SGI youth helped draft, was also introduced on the same day.
During the 2MSP, photographs from the “Portraits of the Hibakusha: 80 Years Remembered” exhibition, jointly created by the UK-based NGO 80,000 Voices and the SGI, were showcased for the first time on display at the UN Headquarters.
Since November 18, memorial services have been held for President Daisaku Ikeda in countries throughout the world, including Brazil, Cambodia, Malaysia, Paraguay and the UK. Leaders of Soka Gakkai constituent organizations expressed their condolences, their deep appreciation for President Ikeda and their determinations for the future.
On November 3, the 28th Session of the General Conference of the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL) was held in Guatemala City. At the conference, representatives from the Soka Gakkai of Mexico introduced second Soka Gakkai president Josei Toda’s “Declaration Calling for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons.” They also referred to President Ikeda’s call for No First Use of nuclear weapons made in statements he issued in January 2023 on the Ukraine conflict and in April 2023 to the G7 Hiroshima Summit.