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Building a Resilient and Sustainable Global Society

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Zi Liang Wee

on 25 July 2014

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Transcript of Building a Resilient and Sustainable Global Society

Both articles note the increasing incidence of natural disasters and extreme weather events in recent years (Ikeda 1; WB 9, 146)
One example: Typhoon Haiyan
"Natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunami are characterized by the fact that, while it may be possible to lessen their impact, it is impossible to prevent their occurrence. This is in sharp contrast to the threat posed by nuclear weapons, whose use would wreak devastation on an even greater scale than that of natural disasters but which can be prevented and even eliminated through the clear exercise of political will by the world's governments."
- Daisaku Ikeda, Peace Proposal 2014, 16
For a World Free of Nuclear Weapons
Extreme weather natural disasters
Ikeda puts into practice the fourth institutional reform in the WDR, as he embraces
“incremental approaches”
in his specific proposals that can increase traction toward nuclear abolition (WB 283-85):

1. A nuclear weapons non-use agreement.
It would advance the implementation of Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) under which the nuclear-weapon states have committed to pursuing nuclear disarmament in good faith (Ikeda 19)

2. Utilize the process that is developing around the Joint Statements on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons to broadly enlist international public opinion and catalyze negotiations for the complete prohibition of nuclear weapons (Ikeda 20)

Ikeda reminds us of the largest, most powerful typhoon in recorded history – Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda)

Landfall in the Philippines: November 8, 2013

Casualties: > 6,000; Displaced: > 4 million (NDRRMC)

Affected areas: Philippines (hardest hit), Micronesia and Palau, Southern China, Vietnam
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Vol XXXII, No. 37
A Special and Timely Report
Building a Resilient and Sustainable Global Society
How can we become more resilient to global risks?
Every year, SGI (Soka Gakkai International) President Daisaku Ikeda publishes a peace proposal which explores the interrelation between core Buddhist concepts and the diverse challenges global society faces in the effort to realize peace and human security. This year (2014), the title for the proposal is "Value Creation for Global Change: Building Resilient and Sustainable Societies."

This special report is a synthesis of his Peace Proposal 2014 and the World Bank’s World Development Report 2014. Both share a common theme:

The citations most commonly used in this issue have been abbreviated as follows:

WB refers to the World Bank
WDR refers to World Development Report 2014: Risk and Opportunity - Managing Risk for Development, by the World Bank (WB)

A brief introduction of the SGI and Ikeda is available at the appendix sections of this issue.
Ikeda offers specific proposals focusing on three key areas critical to the effort to create a resilient and sustainable global society:

Education for global citizenship
Regional cooperation for resilience
Prohibition and abolition of nuclear weapons

The Resilient Globe
What is resilience?
In Physics: “the elasticity or ability of a material to return to its original form after having been subjected to an external stress” (Ikeda 1)

Applied to risk management: “ability of people, society, and countries to recover from negative shocks, while retaining or improving their ability to function (WB 12; cf. Ikeda 1)

Education for global citizenship
3 key elements of education for global citizenship:

"Deepen understanding of the challenges facing humankind, enable people to explore their causes and instill the shared hope and confidence that such problems, being of human origin, are amenable to human solutions;
"Identify the early signs of impending global problems in local phenomena, develop sensitivity to such signs and empower people to take concerted action; and
"Foster empathetic imagination and a keen awareness that actions that profit one's own country might have a negative impact on or be perceived as a threat by other countries, elevating this to a shared pledge not to seek one's happiness and prosperity at the expense of others" (Ikeda 12). [Second principle of public action for better risk management in the WDR 2014: "Provide the right incentives for people and institutions to do their own planning and preparation, while taking care not to impose risks or losses on others" (WB 40)]

The MOOC “Risk and Opportunity: Managing Risk for Development” by the World Bank is one such model of lifelong learning that fits this description.

1. ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)
Fills knowledge gap (WB 256-57)
3 disaster relief exercises to date
Ikeda proposes an “Asia recovery resilience agreement” (15)

2. Japan-China-South Korea Trilateral Local Government Exchange Conference
Sister-city agreements
Ikeda urges that a Japan-China-South Korea summit be held at the earliest opportunity (16)
Establishment of regional cooperative mechanisms to strengthen resilience
Colored countries are current participants of the ARF. They are: Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, North Korea, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, the United States and Vietnam.
Fourth Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons
Appendix 1: What is the SGI?
Soka Gakkai International (SGI) is a lay Buddhist movement linking more than 12 million people around the world. SGI members integrate their Buddhist practice into their daily lives, following the Lotus Sutra based teachings of Nichiren, a 13th-century Japanese Buddhist priest.

Just as the lotus blooms in a muddy pond, all people can manifest the Buddha nature--inner resources of courage, wisdom and compassion that can equip them to overcome life's challenges and lead happy and fulfilling lives. As "engaged Buddhists," SGI members aim to create value in any circumstances and contribute to the well-being of others. Their practice sparks a process of ongoing inner transformation and empowerment known as "human revolution." The promotion of peace, culture and education is central to SGI's activities.

Appendix 2: Daisaku Ikeda
Daisaku Ikeda is a Buddhist leader, peacebuilder, a prolific writer, poet, educator and founder of a number of cultural, educational and peace research institutions around the world.

As third president of the Soka Gakkai (value-creating society) and founder of the Soka Gakkai International, Daisaku Ikeda has developed and inspired what may be the largest, most diverse international lay Buddhist association in the world today. Based on the 700-year-old tradition of Nichiren Buddhism, the movement is characterized by its emphasis on individual empowerment and social engagement to advance peace, culture and education.

Works Cited
"Daisaku Ikeda Website." Daisaku Ikeda Website. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 July 2014. <http://www.daisakuikeda.org/>.

Ikeda, Daisaku. "Value Creation for Global Change: Building Resilient and Sustainable Societies." (2014). <http://www.sgi.org/assets/pdf/peaceproposal2014.pdf>.

NDRRMC (National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council) (Republic of the Philippines). 2014. "NDRRMC Update: SitRep No. 92 Effects of Typhoon 'Yolanda' (Haiyan)." January 14. http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/NDRRMC%20Update%20re%20Sit%20Rep%2092%20Effects%20of%20%20TY%20%20YOLANDA.pdf

UN General Assembly. "Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons." 21 Oct. 2013. Web. 11 July 2014. <http://www.un.org/disarmament/special/meetings/firstcommittee/68/pdfs/TD_21-Oct_CL-1_New_Zealand-(Joint_St)>.

"What Is SGI?" Soka Gakkai International (SGI). Soka Gakkai International (SGI), n.d. Web. 11 July 2014. <http://www.sgi.org/about-us/what-is-sgi.html>.

World Bank. World Development Report 2014: Risk and Opportunity - Managing Risk for Development. World Bank, 2014.
Above: The satellite images were first taken on Feb 23, 2012 and again on Nov. 10, 2013, after Haiyan wiped out Tacloban, a city in the direct path of the ferocious tropical storm (NBC News.com); Left: Need: A typhoon victim holds a placard in Tanauan, the Philippines (Daily Mirror)
Photo: Kyodo News
Image: Wikipedia
Image: The World Bank
Image: The World Bank
Image: Google Images
Image: The World Bank
Image: Pax Christi USA
Photo: Singapore Soka Association
Photo: Daisaku Ikeda Website
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