IPS President Emeritus and Chairman of the IPS Board of Trustees, Roberto Savio, has been awarded the prestigious Hiroshima Peace Award, established by Soka Gakkai, a lay Buddhist organisation based in Tokyo.
Bestowing the award on September 29, 2012 on behalf of the citizens of Hiroshima, Soka Gakkai’s vice president Koji Shinohara lauded Savio’s contribution towards the construction of a century of peace by “giving voice to the voiceless” through Inter Press Service for nearly five decades.
Savio said he was pleased to accept the honour on behalf of hundreds of journalists and other supporters who had helped him during his tenure over the years as Director-General, as evidenced in contributions to the recently published book titled The Journalists Who Turned the World Upside Down – Voices of another Information.
Savio is the 25th recipient of the award since its inception in 1999, and thus ranks among eminent persons who have been contributing to the development of the culture of peace and education with the aim to shaping the 21st century into a “century of peace”.
Previous Hiroshima Peace laureates include: John D. Montgomery, professor emeritus of Harvard University; David Krieger, president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation; Frederik Willem de Klerk, former president of South Africa; Dr. Jayantha Dhanapala, President of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs; Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, peace activist in Northern Ireland; and Sergio Duarte, until recently United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs.
Hiroshima, on which the first ever atomic bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945, is not only a perpetual reminder of the brutality of nuclear weapons of mass destruction as documented in the city’s Peace Museum but also symbolises unrelenting efforts to abolish nuclear weapons.
In order to raise awareness of the need to ban nuclear weapons, SG and IPS launched a joint media project which is now running into the fourth year. Since its foundation in 1930, Soka Gakkai has undertaken various activities aimed at promoting culture of peace.
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