Press Release

International Day of Vesak celebrated at the United Nations

The United Nations in New York commemorated the International Day of Vesak in accordance with General Assembly Resolution 54/115 at a well-attended ceremony held in the renovated ECOSOC Chamber in the Conference Building.

Sri Lanka chaired the commemoration which was addressed by the Representatives of the Secretary-General and the President of the General Assembly, both of whom sent messages from Addis Ababa, and the Permanent Representatives and Deputy Permanent Representatives of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia,Japan, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan,Philippines, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.  A special message from His Holiness the Pope was also distributed.Videos depicting Vesak celebrations and religious observances from these countries were also screened in the ECOSOC Chamber.

Ambassador Dr. Kohona said that “Buddhism which is more a philosophy and a way of life, advocated the middle path and was extremely appropriate to the strife torn world of today.  The Buddha’s message of peace, tolerance and understanding was a soothing balm to a humanity striving to end violence and conflict.

Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, in his message said, “Now more than ever, we need the spirit of non-violence to help inspire peace and quell conflict.”

The evening’s activities were concluded with an international food festival (Dansala) held in the General Assembly lobby.  18 participating countries contributed food which was enjoyed by over 350 guests.

Left to Right ; Ms. Susana Malcorra (Chef de Cabinet and Representative of the Secretary General); H.E. Dr. Palitha Kohona (Chair); H.E. Mr. Abdul Momen ( Permanent Representative of Bangladesh and Representative of the President of the General Assembly)

Monks chanting pirith

From Left to right;  Representatives of Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Japan , Lao PDR and Malaysia

H.E.Major General Shavendra Silva with Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan

Permanent Representative H.E.Dr. Palitha Kohona and Deputy Permanent Representative H.E.Major General Shavendra Silva with Chef de Cabinet, Ms. Susana Malcorra.

Left to Right; H.E. Dr. Palitha Kohona with the Permanent Representatives of Croatia and Pakistan






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