International Vesak Day

As delivered

Remarks by H.E. Mr. Peter Thomson, President of the UN General Assembly,  delivered by H.E. Mr. Durga Prasad Bhattarai, Vice-President of the General Assembly and Permanent Representative of Nepal, on behalf of  at International Vesak Day

10 May 2017



I have the honour to deliver the following statement on behalf of the President of the United Nations General Assembly, Peter Thomson, who unfortunately cannot be here today due to commitments overseas.



Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


It is pleasure to celebrate International Vesak Day today, and I thank the Permanent Missions of Sri Lanka and Thailand for organizing this event honouring the birth, enlightenment and passing of Buddha.

Buddha’s teachings of peace, compassion, humility, and wisdom remain as relevant today as they were over 2,500 years ago.

And they are virtues that can serve as an inspiration to us all – particularly here at the United Nations where we strive each day to build a world of peace, respect, and mutual understanding.

At a time when the world faces deep and confronting challenges resulting from intractable conflict, and generations of inequality, injustice, and unsustainable practices, this sacred Day of Vesak offers us an opportunity to reflect on how the timeless and universal teachings of Buddha can help to guide each of us to make the shifts in our day to day lives that – together – can help to put humanity back on the path towards a sustainable future for all.

Indeed, in many ways, the Buddha’s teachings on the destructive impacts of greed, wanton craving, and harmful thoughts and actions, and of the need to instead embrace loving kindness, mindfulness, non-violence, and respect for all living creatures is reflected in the more peaceful and sustainable way of life that the world is seeking to achieve through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

On this Day of Vesak, let us therefore renew our commitment to working together in a spirit of compassion and common understanding and towards a future that is peaceful, just and secure for all.  I thank you.

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