The Director-General of UNESCO

Message from
Ms. Irina Bokova
Director-General of UNESCO

on the occasion of the celebration of Vesak Day
Ayutthaya and Bangkok, 28-30 May 2015

On this United Nations Day of Vesak, I wish to highlight the importance of the teachings and wisdom of the Buddha for strengthening the defences of peace across the world, on the basis of respect and equal dignity.

The Buddha once said,
"The mind is everything. What you think you become."

This finds echo in he UNESCO Constitution, written 70 years ago, which opens with lines that have no aged a day:

"Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed."

This message is especially important in this landmark year, when Stated reach the deadline of the Millennium Development Goals and shape a new global sustainable development agenda. These are turbulent times, when all societies are transforming, conflicts remain aflame and the planet faces rising pressure.

In trckling these challenges, human rights and dignity must be our starting point, and dialogue must be our answer. taking the new development agenda forward will call on every women and man to cultivate the value of peace in themselves, to build new relations of harmony and compassion with others and the world. This is a path of awareness and transformation, to foster more inclusive and resilient societies, fr the benefit of all, on the basis of non-violence and peace.

This is UNESCO's message on this United Nation Day of Vesak.

Irina Bokova

© 2015 / United Nations Day of Vesak
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