Key Passages from the 2022 Peace Proposal

For the July 2022 global citizens seminar, event participants were asked to choose a passage or passages from Daisaku Ikeda's 2022 peace proposal proposal that might bring "new meaning" or "resonance" to their respective lines of inquiry. Here are the passages that the scholars brought to the day's dialogue. Page numbers refer to this PDF of the proposal.

Passages selected by Anna Lane, DePaul University:

"Reflecting on the lessons of his wartime experience, Mr. Toda earnestly wished to bring about a transformation in the trajectory not only of a single nation but of the world as a whole. This vision was propounded seventy years ago, in February 1952. At that time, he distilled his conviction into the phrase chikyu minzokushugi, which can be directly translated as “global nationalism” and corresponds to what we would call “global citizenship” today. In a period when escalating global tensions had erupted in the Korean War and other conflicts, Mr. Toda put forth this vision as a means of enabling humankind to free itself from the tragic cycles of history. He sought to convey the determination that the people of no nation should be forced to suffer, the determination that all the world’s people must be able to experience joy and prosperity together." (p. 8)

"Additionally, the following statement was issued by the SGI at a press conference held during the conference: 'Listening to the voices of young people is not optional; it is the only logical path forward if we are genuinely concerned about the future of our world.' Human beings inherently possess the strength to overcome any challenge. When youth stand up in solidarity, confident that they can determine the future, this fresh awareness and momentum will surely become the driving force toward a brighter future." (pg. 18)

Passage selected by Fiona Edwards, University of San Francisco:

" ... unless we can ease the sense of fear and uncertainty felt by so many young people and spark the light of hope in their hearts, not only the economic outlook but all hopes for healthy social development will remain dim." (p. 11)

Passage selected by Olivia Fitzpatrick, Harvard University:

"Children’s interests rarely get the attention they deserve, and COVID-19 has caused major losses of educational opportunities even as many children have been deprived of support as a result of the unemployment, illness or death of parents, guardians or family members." (p. 3)

Passages selcted by Toko Itaya, DePaul University:

"Against the backdrop of this harsh reality, we must always remind ourselves that the aspirations of forcibly displaced youth to pursue their education and achieve their goals are at least as strong as those of their peers living in less challenging environments." (p. 20)

[Here Ikeda is quotingNujeen Mustafa, a Syrian refugee, was born with cerebral palsy and is now active as a youth advocate and champion for children with disabilities for UNHCR.] "Where I grew up, disability meant that you were expected to just live on the sidelines and not grow at all as a person—be it academically or personally.... So, I think the biggest misconception that society has of these people is that it expects us not to have any ambitions or dreams. That the mere fact of us having a disability should eradicate any glimmer of hope inside of us that these dreams might come true." (p. 22)

Passages selected by Divya Chandramouli, Harvard University:

"We must avoid, at one extreme, the kind of 'close focus' that leaves us so taken up with immediate realities that we ignore all else; and at the other, the kind of 'distant focus' that is characterized by empty slogans unaccompanied by action to transform reality." (p. 1)

"There is a risk that, in addition to a new, almost visceral awareness of our contacts and interactions that has arisen through our efforts to prevent the spread of infection, the need to protect ourselves has created a kind of 'awareness lockdown.' This in turn has made it more difficult for us to engage with things beyond our immediate surroundings." (pp. 2-3)

Passages selected by Masami Tabata-Kelly, Brandeis University:

"No matter how critical the times or adverse their circumstances, human beings are inherently capable of working together to bring forth positive value and generate waves of change that can transform the era." (pp. 13-14)

[Here Ikeda is citing and responding to a quote from Banerjee and Duflo.] "'While they may have problems, they are not the problem. They are entitled to be seen for who they are and to not be defined by the difficulties besieging them. Time and again, we have seen in our travels in developing countries that hope is the fuel that makes people go.' I couldn’t agree more. When people gain access to the kind of work or place of belonging that enables them to give full play to their unique potential, the way is opened for our communities and societies to be illuminated with the light of dignity." (pg. 12)

"When I asked [John Kenneth Galbraith] how we should shape the world of the twenty-first century, he replied that we should aim to create 'a century in which people can say, "I enjoy living in this world."'" (pg. 5)

Passage selected by Jonathan Jacob, Brandeis University:

"While it is urgent that social life be reconstituted as quickly as possible, if interest is focused solely on statistical data such as the number of people infected or economic indices, this can give rise to ethical blind spots that result in large numbers of people being left behind. The concern is that such blind spots can compound disparities in impacts with disparities in the pace and completeness of recovery." (pg. 2)

Passage selected by Jason Goulah, DePaul University:

"Confused and at a loss as previously unimaginable conditions continue to arise, it is only natural that people tend to focus on the negative. But it is crucial that we find sources of hope in the positive actions being taken to resolve the crisis, and that we strive to support and expand these. (pg. 1)

Passages selected by Catia Confortini, Wellesley College:

I say this because I firmly believe that the key factor determining the direction of history will prove to be we humans ourselves, and not a virus." (pg. 1)

"In order to break out of the current impasse, marked by the heightened risk that nuclear weapons will be used, I believe that it is most urgent to find a way of 'detoxifying' ourselves from current nuclear- dependent security doctrines. The stated goal of nuclear deterrence policy is to keep the opposing country from initiating use of nuclear weapons. This policy carries the contradiction, however, that a deterrent stance, even for the purpose of preventing nuclear weapons use, requires continuously demonstrating readiness to use them. In order to overcome this contradiction and remove nuclear weapons from security policy, renewed consideration must be given to the kinds of steps that are now required, including those that will create more conducive conditions in international society." (pg. 25)

 

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