• Now is the time for Global Solidarity ―On the occasion of the G7 Hiroshima Summit―


Now is the time for Global Solidarity ―On the occasion of the G7 Hiroshima Summit―

    Soka University Peace Research Institute
    Director Hideki Tamai
     The UNDP's 2022 special report, “The Anthropocene Threat and Human Security,” points out that despite increasing affluence, there is a growing sense of insecurity among people. Russia's invasion of Ukraine was perceived as the realization of such "unrest" and further highlighted the world’s divisions and conflicts. A resolution to the war has not yet been found, and the threat of nuclear weapon use is rising again, further deepening our "sense of insecurity."
     In order to overcome today's critical situation, Daisaku Ikeda, the founder of Soka University, has been presenting a series of urgent proposals since last year. On the occasion of the G7 Hiroshima Summit, he issued the proposal "Prescription for Hope to Overcome the Crisis" and reiterated his appeal for an early ceasefire to the war in Ukraine and the declaration of no use of nuclear weapons.
     As a research institute based on the founding principle of “Be a fortress for the peace of humankind,” we have been engaged in various activities aimed at realizing a world free of nuclear weapons, promoting human security, and achieving the SDGs. In March of this year, we held an international conference on "Promoting Security and Sustainability" in collaboration with the G7 research group and others, the outcomes of which were submitted as policy recommendations to the Hiroshima Summit Secretariat. Among the policy recommendations compiled after deliberations by experts in various fields, the following items are particularly highlighted as priority recommendations.

    Recommendations for the 2023 G7 Hiroshima Summit
    April 5th, 2023

    Strengthening the G7 Structure
    ① Meet more frequently to respond to impending crises and promote G7 priorities.
    ② Hold more ministerial meetings for new portfolios such as the environment, climate change, health, and defense.
    ③ With respect to key UN agendas, including the Sustainable Development Goals, the G7 will create synergies in cooperation with the G20 and the United Nations.
    Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament
    ④ Strengthen the G20 Bali Declaration that "the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons will not be tolerated."
    ⑤ Pledge the principle of no use of nuclear weapons and encourage other countries to do the same.
    ⑥ Reaffirm our goals for achieving a world free of nuclear weapons, initiate negotiations on a commitment to a deadline (e.g. by 2045) for the gradual reduction and eventual elimination of nuclear weapons, and actively working towards their elimination.
    ⑦ Recognizing the complementary nature of the Nuclear Weapons Convention and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, establish a forum for discussion between the two parties, and cooperate in supporting nuclear-related victims, environmental restoration, and the establishment of effective verification systems.
    Climate Change and Clean Energy
    ⑧ In line with the recommendations by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we will accelerate the target year for achieving net zero as close to 2040 as possible.
    ⑨ Nurture nature to absorb greenhouse gases by nurturing forests, expanding forest management, conserving peatlands and grasslands, expanding wetlands around the world, protecting and restoring natural ecosystems, and green cities. Prioritize conservation. Link biodiversity protection more strongly to climate change.
    ⑩ Reduce the burden on low- and middle-income societies to cope with climate and economic transitions, and compensate them for their financial costs.
    ⑪ Provide new and additional funding for the Global South and marginalized groups to compensate for the devastating impact of climate change, particularly at the grassroots level, including through the Loss and Damage Fund.
    ⑫ Expand resilient health systems and universal health coverage to ensure timely and equitable access to health care measures to respond flexibly to public health emergencies.

     In the proposals he has published so far, the founder has consistently called for an immediate halt to the instrumentalization of human beings and the unreasonable undermining of life. This is the first step toward the restoration and creation of peace based on humanism, which is the heart of the university’s founding spirit. Of particular importance is the urgent proposal "Mobilizing Historical Creativity for the Restoration of Peace" announced in January, which states that "the current crisis should be brought to an end as soon as possible based on the importance of protecting and safeguarding life and dignity" that permeates international humanitarian law and international human rights law. The proposal calls for “protecting and safeguarding life and dignity” as a universal norm as emphasized in international humanitarian law and international human rights law.
     As indicated in the proposal, the destruction and killing must be stopped to "protect and safeguard life and dignity" as our top priority. Regardless of which side of the war is justified, the highest priority should be to ensure that no one’s life is disregarded.
     The United Nations is a site of power politics where national interests are intertwined, but at the same time it is a ‘place’ where global solidarity is generated as a "parliament of humanity." Herein lies the significance of the founder’s appointment of the UN as a mediator for the ceasefire. As indicated in the proposal, it is also very important to add as observers to the ceasefire talks “representatives of civil society, such as doctors and educators working in hospitals and schools who protect and foster people's lives and futures." The hope is that the solidarity of citizens acting in defense of "protecting and safeguarding life and dignity" will overcome the hatred and confrontation between nations and ethnic groups who tend to be obsessed with their own ‘justice’.
     Overcoming the hatred and distrust created through violent conflicts that take the lives of citizens is difficult, but not impossible. It requires the courage not only to blame the other side but also to change yourself. The findings of conflict resolution research and peace studies have shown that it is possible for people in conflict relationships to change themselves and each other, and to derive solutions in the form of creating new values together.
     War is the greatest humanitarian crisis, but in addition, we are facing an existential crisis for humanity. This is reflected in the fact that many of the issues that the G7 has been considering for the forthcoming Hiroshima Summit are such humanistic and global issues. It can be said that there is no room for human beings to be at loggerheads now, and the only way forward is for us to create a world where all life can be in harmony.
     UNDP's special report concludes that in addition to ‘protection’ and ‘empowerment’, ‘solidarity’ is required to protect and promote ‘human security’, which is being challenged by new threats. We will contribute to the creation of global solidarity through a sincere commitment to activities that contribute to the resolution of global crises such as war, nuclear weapons dependence, social inequality, and environmental destruction, which exacerbate the division and conflict of humanity.