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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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New York, 13 May 2014 - Secretary-General's message on Vesak Day

On Vesak Day, which marks the birth, enlightenment and passing of the Buddha,
the United Nations joins millions of people -- Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike --
in reflecting on his life and teachings.
The Buddha’s message of peace, compassion and love for all living beings tells us to open our hearts and embrace all members of our human family, especially those in need. These timeless teachings can help guide governments and the international community. They can inspire our efforts to address many of the broader challenges confronting our world -- in peace and security, in development and in the protection of our environment. In each of these areas, we have to rise above narrow self-interest, and think and act as members of one global community.
On this Day of Vesak, let us pledge to work together for the common good, and for the betterment of all humankind. In that spirit, I offer my best wishes for a memorable and joyous Vesak Day.