of the United Nations Day of Vesak
In Theravada countries, the day that celebrates the Buddhas birthday is more affectionately known as the Vesak day. However, the celebrations extend not only to his birth but also his enlightenment and commemorates of his passing away. Vesak is actually the name of the fourth month in the lunar calendar and the day that celebrates Buddhas thrice sacred events occurs on the fifteenieth day of the same lunar month.

This day, millions of Buddhists from around the world will celebrate the ocassion with pomp or in quiet introspection, either way, it is an ocassion to give honor to the Buddha for his teachings to the world and to be reminded of the great compassion that he had to seek and attained enlightenment. As the Buddha, the Prince of the Sakyan kingdom spent his entire life after as the enlightened one teaching and guiding many people towards enlightenment and as a social reformer, he gave the society strong reasons to exercise charity and compassion towards all sentient beings for the well-being of all.
For Buddhists everywhere it is indeed a felicitous opportunity, while commemorating the birth, enlightenment and passing away of Guatama Buddha, to celebrate his message of compassion and devotion to the service of humanity.

This message is today perhaps more relevant than ever before. Peace, understanding and a vision of humanity that supersedes national and other international differences are essential if we are to cope with the complexities of the nuclear age.

This philosophy lies at the heart of the Charter of the United Nations and should be prominent in all our thinking, especially during this International Year of Peace.

This struck a chord with many Buddhist leaders that during an International Buddhist Conference held in The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on November 1998, a resolution to submit to the United Nations to recognize this day held scared by all Buddhists.
An International Buddhist Conference held in The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka in November 1998 expressed the hope that the United Nations would accord the Day of Vesak international recognition.

The International Buddhist Conference also hoped that the Day of Vesak would be accorded the status of a holiday of the United Nations. However, we are informed and appreciate that a number of difficulties of an administrative, budgetary and other nature would arise if the General Assembly were to seek to create an additional annual United Nations holiday.

We would, in the circumstances, request, as an alternative, that the General Assembly consider the adoption of a resolution that would;

(a) Recognize that the Day of Vesak, the Day of the Full Moon in the month of May each year, is the day most sacred to Buddhists, who commemorate on that day, the birth of Buddha, his attainment of enlightenment and his passing away;

(b) Permit appropriate arrangements, without cost to the United Nations, to be made (in consultation with the relevant Offices of the Secretariat and the Permanent Missions that also wish to be consulted) for international observance of the Day of Vesak at United Nations Headquarters and other United Nations Offices.
"For Buddhists everywhere it is indeed a felicitous opportunity, while commemorating the birth, enlightenment and passing away of Guatama Buddha, to celebrate his message of compassion and devotion to the service of humanity."
The former Secretary-General, Javier Perez de Cuellar to the Buddhists on the Day of Vesak in May 1986

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