Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for the Day of Vesak, observed on 7 May:
I send warm wishes to all celebrating the Day of Vesak, a sacred occasion to millions of Buddhists around the world.
As we honour the birth, enlightenment and passing of Lord Buddha, we can all be inspired by his teachings.
And as the human family suffers the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are reminded of the sutra: “Because all living beings are subject to illness, I am ill as well.”
This timeless message of unity and service to others is more important than ever. It is only together that we will stop the spread of the coronavirus and recover.
On the Day of Vesak, let us celebrate Lord Buddha’s wisdom by taking action for others with compassion and solidarity, and by renewing our commitment to build a peaceful world.