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UN Day of Vesak Celebration goes beyond cultural, religious festival

VGP – The United Nations Day of Vesak Celebration has gone beyond a normal cultural and religious festival as this is an opportunity to send the long-lasting message of the Lord Buddha on peace, harmony, tolerance and kindness to all people.

May 12, 2019 4:00 PM GMT+7

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc joins the ritual "Bathing the Buddha" while attending the opening ceremony of the 16th United Nations Day of Vesak Celebration in Tam Chuc Pagoda in Ha Nam Province on May 12, 2019. Photo: VGP

   >>> United Nations Day of Vesak opens

   >>> Infographics: Program of UN Day of Vesak Celebration 2019 

Speaking before more than 1,650 international delegates from 112 countries and territories across the world at the opening ceremony on Sunday, the Vietnamese Government chief said the Buddhist philosophy laid a solid foundation for establishing peace, friendship, cooperation among nations, peoples, religions, while serving as materials to build civilization, ensure peace, prosperity and sustainable development.

Phuc said we are all here to honor the Lord Buddha and uphold Buddhist philosophy to reduce conflicts, sufferings and sorrows, establish peace, friendship, cooperation, and development among nations for the peace and prosperity of all people around the world.

Highly valuing the theme of the UN Day of Vesak 2019, PM Phuc said the agenda of the celebration reflects the goals of the UN’s Agenda 2030 for sustainability, prosperity, ensuring that no one will be left behind, which the Vietnamese Government has committed to realize..

Phuc highlighted Viet Nam’s religious diversity, saying Vietnamese Buddhism has a long history, with Buddhist dignitaries, monks and nuns having been standing by the nation through ups and downs. The Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha has continuously grown and proven its role in the national development.

“Hosting the 16th UN Day of Vesak 2019 once again confirmed Viet Nam’s focus and respect for cultural, ethics values of religions, including Buddhism, while showing its policy on international cooperation and integration,” he reiterated.

This is the third time Viet Nam has hosted the UN Vesak celebrations, helping to improve Vietnamese Buddhism’s role in international integration and affirm the country’s position and responsibility for UN activities in all fields.

The UN Day of Vesak Celebration is the international day on religion and culture which constitutes exchanges, learns precious cultural value from countries, it simultaneously appeals maintaining consciousness and promoting value of world cultural heritages which includes international and national Buddhist cultural heritages.

​On 15th December 1999, at the 54th conference of the United Nations General Assembly, after discussing item agenda 174 of the program, the General Assembly was officially recognized and acknowledged the celebration or the Day of Vesak (commemorate three days, the birth of the Buddha, his attainment of enlightenment and his passing away, equivalent time is the Full Moon day in the month of May).

This day is called the UN Day of Vesak Celebration and considered as the UN Day of religious cultural festival. The celebration will be held at the United Nations Headquarters (New York city, USA), and its Regional Offices over the world from the year 2000 onwards.

​In 2000, first time the UN Day of Vesak Celebration was solemnly held at the United Nations Headquarters, New York, with representatives of Buddhist traditions from 34 countries./.

By Quang Minh