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President-Designate Visits Mongolia as Co-Moderator of Religions for Peace

July 2017

President-designate Kosho Niwano visited Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia July 24-28 as a co-moderator of Religions for Peace, and conferred with members of the country's parliament, religious leaders, scholars, and representatives of civic society groups. She was accompanied by Rev. Nobuhiro M. Nemoto, secretary-general of the Asian Conference of Religions for Peace; Rev. Kyoichi Sugino, deputy secretary-general of Religions for Peace; and Ms. Megumi Wada, director of the General Coordination Department of Religions for Peace Japan.

Mongolia has been challenged by land degradation and desertification. Both climate change and human activities, including overgrazing of pasture, mining, and deforestation, are causes of this deterioration, which affect the livelihoods of the country's nomadic herders as well as their way of life, which is an essential part of the Mongolian cultural identity. Religions for Peace Mongolia has started working on a climate project to encourage interreligious collaboration and promote the awareness of the importance of protecting the environment, especially among young people from different traditions. This is the first such project being conducted in Mongolia.

Given the importance of this initiative for the future of Mongolia, Ven. Bulgan of the Gandan Monastery, who serves as secretary-general of Religions for Peace Mongolia, requested support from Religions for Peace. The purpose of Rev. Niwano's visit to Ulaanbaator was to help promote the project in Mongolia.

On July 25, Rev. Niwano visited the Government Palace and had a talk with Mr. Luvsan Enkhbold and Ms. Gompildoo Munkhtsetseg, both members of the Mongolian Parliament from the Mongolian People's Party. They discussed how to develop a partnership with Religions for Peace Mongolia's climate protection project. Ms. Munkhtsetseg emphasized the need for promoting awareness of protecting the country's environment, while also working out a policy to restore it. She showed her willingness to apply religious perspectives to environmental protection policymaking and also to serve as a bridge connecting political leaders to Religions for Peace Mongolia. On that same day, Rev. Niwano also met Bishop Wenceslao Padilla, the Apostolic prefect of the Apostolic Prefecture of Ulanbaatar, a diocese of the Roman Catholic Church, at the diocese office.

On July 26, after touring the Gandan Monastery in Ulaanbaatar, where the head office of Religions for Peace Mongolia is located, Rev. Niwano participated in a gathering of Buddhist leaders and representatives of civic society groups at the monastery. She heard reports on afforestation projects and support activities for nomadic herders promoted by Buddhist monks. Rev. Niwano also joined a meeting with people of religion and scholars at a hotel in the city. They discussed how people of religion should support the administrative promotion of environmental protection. Topics discussed included the importance of educating and empowering youth from different faiths for climate protection and interfaith action in Mongolia.

On July 27, Rev. Niwano met with a former Mongolian Ambassador to the United Nations Jargalsaikhany Enkhsaikan at his office. He is currently chairperson of Blue Banner, a local NGO working with other NGOs and government authorities to exercise public oversight over the 2000 Law of Mongolia on Its Nuclear-Weapon-Free Status. Blue Banner is a partner organization of Religions for Peace in promoting the abolition of nuclear weapons and disarmament.


Rissho Kosei-kai International held a two-week Leaders Training Seminar July 6-18 in Tokyo and the Founder's birthplace, in Suganuma, Niigata Prefecture.
Rissho Kosei-kai International held a two-week Leaders Training Seminar July 6-18 in Tokyo and the Founder's birthplace, in Suganuma, Niigata Prefecture.
Rissho Kosei-kai International held a two-week Leaders Training Seminar July 6-18 in Tokyo and the Founder's birthplace, in Suganuma, Niigata Prefecture.

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