UN General Assembly marks day honoring Buddha, his teachings

15:15, May 17, 2011      

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The 65th session of the UN General Assembly on Monday observed the birth, enlightenment and passing of the Buddha, with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon paying tribute to the spiritual leader's teaching on the need for compassion and solidarity with those less fortunate.

The special General Assembly meeting was organized by the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka, in cooperation with the Permanent Missions of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, the Lao Democratic People's Republic, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Thailand and Vietnam, UN officials said.

At the special meeting to mark the Day of Vesak, Ban said that it was important to remember Buddha's message of tolerance.

"Let us respect all religions," he said. "And let us work for the well-being of all people."

Buddha's teachings "can guide our efforts to resolve the severe problems facing today's world," Ban also said in a message marking the Day of Vesak, which is being celebrated on Monday by millions of people worldwide.

"His injunction against the three poisons of greed, anger and ignorance is especially relevant to multilateral efforts to overcome the hunger that needlessly affects nearly 1 billion people in a world of plenty, the brutal violence that takes millions of lives each year, and the senseless environmental damage that human cause to our only home, the planet Earth," the secretary-general said.

Ban said that while this year's theme to the Day of Vesak, socio-economic development, may sound modern, "its core is the very problem of human suffering" that "Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) sought to address more than 2,500 years ago when he left his palace, relinquished his worldly possessions and went out in the world."

The secretary-general voiced gratitude for the support of many Buddhist organizations towards United Nations efforts to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of eight anti- poverty targets to be reached by 2015, saying that is "our blueprint for enabling all people to enjoy lives of dignity and opportunity."

Source: Xinhua
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