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International Day of Non-Violence
2 October

"There are many causes that I am prepared to die for but no causes that I am prepared to kill for."

Mahatma Gandhi
The Story of My Experiments with Truth, 1927

photo of a sculpture of a gun with the barrel twisted into a knot

"Non-Violence", a sculpture by Karl Fredrik Reutersward, permanently exhibited outside UN Headquarters in New York. (Paulo Filgueiras/UN Photo)

The International Day of Non-Violence is marked on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence.

According to General Assembly resolution A/RES/61/271 of 15 June 2007, which established the commemoration, the International Day is an occasion to "disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness". The resolution reaffirms "the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence" and the desire "to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence".

Introducing the resolution in the General Assembly on behalf of 140 co-sponsors, India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, Mr. Anand Sharma, said that the wide and diverse sponsorship of the resolution was a reflection of the universal respect for Mahatma Gandhi and of the enduring relevance of his philosophy. Quoting the late leader’s own words, he said: "Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man".

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