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International Day of Non-Violence
2 October

Secretary-General's Message for 2016

Every year on the International Day of Non-Violence, we re-commit ourselves to the cause of peace, as exemplified by the life of Mahatma Gandhi who was born on this day 147 years ago.

We know that a culture of non-violence begins with respect for others, but it does not end there.  To nurture peace, we must respect nature.  I am pleased this year’s International Day of Non-Violence puts the focus on sustainability and the environment.

In all he did, Gandhi honoured our obligation to all living things.  He reminded us that “Earth provides enough to satisfy everyone’s needs, but not everyone’s greed.”   Gandhi also challenged us to “be the change we wish to see in the world”. 

Today that commitment is reflected in a momentous way.  India is depositing its instrument of ratification to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. What better way to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi and his legacy for people and planet.

I warmly congratulate India for its climate leadership, and for building on the strong momentum we see from all corners of the globe for the agreement to enter into force as quickly as possible this year.  India's ratification of the agreement moves the world an important step closer toward achieving that goal.

I urge all countries to complete their domestic processes for ratification and also strive in all activities to achieve progress through non-violence.  This is essential to building a safer, healthier and more peaceful world.

Ban Ki-moon

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