Paul K. Chappell, Peace Leadership Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, gave a panel presentation on “Waging Peace Today” to 400 attendees at the Playas de Tijuana inaugural event for the international exhibit, “From a Culture of Violence to a Culture of Peace: Transforming the Human Spirit,” on Thursday, June 18th, at the Casa de Cultura Playas as part of the Municipal Art and Culture Institute of Tijuana, Mexico. Other speakers included Dr. Jorge Astiazaran, the mayor of Tijuana, and Robert Rios, General Director of Soka Gakkai of Mexico.

“Paul’s powerful message, the seeds he planted, resonated strongly in many hearts and minds,” said exhibit coordinator Susan Smith.

The exhibit highlights the synergy between goals of security for humanity and disarmament, particularly nuclear weapons abolition. Developed by Soka Gakkai International, and hosted by the Municipal Institute of Art and Culture of Tijuana (IMAC) in collaboration with Soka Gakkai of Mexico (SGMEX), the exhibit has been shown in 230 cities throughout four continents, including the parliament of New Zealand, the Oslo City Hall, the Senate of Mexico, numerous universities around the world, and at the headquarters of the United Nations in Vienna and Geneva. The exhibit was created to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the calling for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons by the second Soka Gakkai president, Josei Toda, on September 8, 1957.

Playas de Tijuana is the northernmost point of the Latin American and Caribbean nuclear free zone protected by the Treaty of Tlatelolco (Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean, signed in Mexico City on February 14, 1967).

According to the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI): “On 23 October 2002, the Tlatelolco Treaty came into full force throughout the region when Cuba, the only state which had not ratified the treaty, deposited its instrument of ratification. Currently, all 33 states in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean have signed and ratified the treaty. The Tlatelolco Treaty has served as a model for all future nuclear-weapon-free zone (NWFZ) agreements.”