Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for the Day of Vesak, observed on 16 May:
I send my warmest wishes to all celebrating the Day of Vesak. For millions of Buddhists around the world, May’s full moon represents a sacred occasion honouring the birth, enlightenment and passing of Lord Buddha.
This year, Vesak arrives at a moment of multiplying crises — from an unequal recovery from COVID-19 to the punishing effects of climate change, to conflicts, divisions and violence. Each crisis reminds us of how far we have fallen away from Lord Buddha’s timeless teachings.
This Vesak, let us seize this moment of spiritual renewal, and honour Buddha’s wisdom by coming together as one, in solidarity, and shaping a better, more peaceful world for all people.