SMU Holds Second Annual Ikeda Peace and Harmony Lecture

SMU Holds Second Annual Ikeda Peace and Harmony Lecture

The Second Annual Ikeda Peace and Harmony Lecture was held on November 4, 2016 at the Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium of the Singapore Management University (SMU). The lecture, titled “RE-THINKING ASEAN: The Problems and Prospects for Regional Peace” was delivered by Dr Leticia Ramos Shahani.

Dr Shahani is a former Philippine Senator (1986-1998) who was previously Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs. From 1981-85, she was the former Assistant Secretary General for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs at the United Nations in Vienna, Austria. In 1985, she became Secretary General of the Third United Nations Conference on the Decade for Women, which was held in Nairobi, Kenya. She is also the younger sister of former Philippine President Fidel Valdez Ramos, who conferred upon Dr Daisaku Ikeda the first Rizal International Peace Award on February 9, 1998.

Some 250 participants, including distinguished guests, such as His Excellency Antonio A Morales, Philippine Ambassador to Singapore and Professor Leo Tan Wee Hin of the National University of Singapore, as well as friends of SSA from the interfaith organisations and educational institutions, attended the lecture. Professor Arnould De Meyer, SMU President, moderated the lecture and SMU Wee Kim Wee Centre Director Professor Kirpal Singh gave the opening remarks.

In her lecture, Dr Shahani spoke about the formation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), its roles and functions in the region, and the challenges and prospects that it faces. In the Question and Answer session that ensued, the 87-year-old speaker also covered topics such as surmounting power politics through non-violence and the ASEAN Charter.

The Annual Ikeda Peace and Harmony Lecture is organised by SMU Wee Kim Wee Centre and supported by SSA. Named in honour of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda, this five-year annual lecture series was inaugurated in 2015 and seeks to put in action President Ikeda’s untiring conviction that dialogue is the surest path to peace.