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Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

13 May 2022


Most Venerable Professor Dr. Phra Brahmapundit, President of the International Council for Day of Vesak (ICDV) and the International Association of Buddhist Universities,

Excellencies and distinguished participants,

I have the honour to convey a message from The United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. António Guterres, on the 17th United Nations Day of Vesak commemoration as follows and I quote:

***** <Quotes> *****

I send my warmest wishes to all celebrating the Day of Vesak.

For millions of Buddhists around the world, May’s full moon represents a sacred occasion honouring the birth, enlightenment and passing of Lord Buddha.

This year, Vesak arrives at a moment of multiplying crises – from an unequal recovery from COVID-19, to the punishing effects of climate change, to conflicts, divisions and violence.

Each crisis reminds us of how far we have fallen away from Lord Buddha’s timeless teachings.

This Vesak, let us seize this moment of spiritual renewal, and honour Buddha’s wisdom by coming together as one, in solidarity, and shaping a better, more peaceful world for all people.

***** <End of quote> *****


Excellencies and distinguished participants,

As the Secretary-General conveyed in his message above, we need to renew our efforts, drawing greater inspiration from the wisdom and teachings of the Buddha.

Lord Buddha taught us the fundamental equality of all people in the world. He also taught us the true values of love, sympathy, giving, generosity, tolerance, resilience and mutual respect. They are the cornerstones of the future we want, of shared and sustainable prosperity.

These core values of Buddha can be enshrined in our efforts to realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, to educate, to empower, to protect, to share and to cooperate.

We need to enforce these values every day. We need to take a more enlightened approach by strengthening cooperation and solidarity, pursuing greater inclusion and sustainability as pillars of the future development pathway. 

Specifically, the virtues of compassion, loving-kindness and mutual respect, among others, can be reinforced in our policymaking in the post-pandemic era, ensuring greater and fairer support to those who are in vulnerable situations, those who are less privileged in societies and those who are in desperate need.

On this special Day of Vesak, as inspired in the United Nations Secretary-General’s message, let us celebrate with a new commitment to show more compassion and work together in unity to pursue shared prosperity, peace and dignity for all.  

Thank you very much.

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