Pinoys among youths in 6 countries vs. nuclear arms –survey
YOUNG people from the Philippines share the sentiments of their fellow members in Buddhist association Soka Gakkai International (SGI): no to nuclear weapons.
The survey conducted January to March 2010 revealed that majority (68.8% or 439) of the 638 youth from the Philippines says nuclear weapons don’t contribute to the peace and stability of the international community.
This reflects the majority view (59.6% or 2,598) of those polled in six countries: 4,362 people from their teens through 30s in Japan, Korea, the Philippines, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom.
In a statement released Thursday, SGI said their members took the survey in advance of the 2010 Review Conference in May of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
According to a UN document, the NPT “is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.”
“The NPT represents the only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States.”
The President-elect of the Review Conference is current Ambassador of the Philippines to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Libran N. Cabactulan.
The SGI poll revealed 67.3% said the use of nuclear weapons was not acceptable under any circumstances, with only 17.5% seeing it as acceptable as a last resort if a country's survival was threatened.
Some 369 (57.8%) youth polled from the Philippines said they don’t accept their use under any circumstances with 117 or 18.3% saying they accept the use of nuclear weapons as a last resort if a country's survival was threatened.
Interestingly, a hundred or 2.3 percent of those polled said they accept the use of nuclear weapons as a normal method of combat just like any other weapon. Thirty-five of these (5.5% of the total) came from the Philippines.
Some 264 youth (6.1%) said the use is acceptable to prevent international terrorism or genocide.
A total of 59.1% said they would feel safer if nuclear weapons were abolished.
A total of 395 youth polled from the Philippines (61.9%) said the same while 91 (14.3%) said they would feel otherwise. On the other hand, 131 (20.5%) said they’d neither feel safer or less safe while 21 had no answer.
Asked which countries possess nuclear weapons, 66.9% of the total number of respondents identified the US, 48.7% said Russia, 30% China, 19.8% the UK and 19.8% France.
Fewer respondents were aware of the nuclear weapons possessed by India, Pakistan and Israel, while 40.7% thought North Korea had them.
Within the nuclear states, just 59.2% of US respondents were aware that their country possessed nuclear weapons, and only 43.2% of UK respondents were aware of their country's possession.
A statement quoted SGI student group leader Takahisa Miyao as saying he is encouraged by the results.
"Building on the widespread rejection of nuclear weapons by youth is key to efforts toward their abolition."
Between January and March 2010, Soka Gakkai youth members in Japan collected 2,276,167 signatures on a petition calling for the adoption of a Nuclear Weapons Convention which would prohibit the development, testing, production, stockpiling, transfer, use and threat of nuclear weapons.
SGI said the 50-year-old group has 12 million members in 192 countries and territories.