For information only - not an official document
27 May 2011
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
"The Lord Buddha Bequeathed to Humanity Profound Teachings that Can Guide our Efforts to Resolve the Severe Problems Facing Today's World"
Message on the Day of Vesak
VIENNA, 28 May (UN Information Service) - The Lord Buddha, whose birth, enlightenment and passing we mark each year on Vesak Day, bequeathed to humanity profound teachings that can guide our efforts to resolve the severe problems facing today's world.
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 a billion people in a world of plenty, the brutal violence that takes millions of lives each year, and the senseless environmental damage that humans cause to our only home, the planet earth.
This year's theme of socio-economic development may sound modern, but its core is the very problem of human suffering that Siddhartha Gautama sought to address more than 2,500 years ago when he left his palace, relinquished his worldly possessions and went out into the world.
Numerous Buddhist organizations are putting these teachings into practice. I am deeply grateful for their support for United Nations activities to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, our blueprint for enabling all people to enjoy lives of dignity and opportunity.
On this Day of Vesak, let us draw on the universal values of Buddhism to act in solidarity with those who are suffering, thereby contributing to a more compassionate and enlightened world for all.
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