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Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University to Host Largest Conference of the United Nations Day of Vesak on May 2011

Thailand is hosting the 8th Conference of the United Nations Day of Vesak 2011 on 12-14 May 2011. The actual event will take place at Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University (MCU) Wang Noi Campus in Ayutthaya, Thailand.

The sacred day of Vesak, celebrating Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and passing away, was recognized by the United Nations in its General Assembly resolution of 1999. Since 2004, the main celebrations were in Bangkok, Thailand, with an exception of the 2008 event in Hanoi, Vietnam. This year’s conference is expected to bring together 5000 participants comprising monks and laypersons from 84 countries, making it the largest United Nations Day of Vesak Conference in seven years.

Inspired by the theme Buddhist virtues for Social and Economic Development with four academic sessions in the conference this year: Buddhist Leadership and Socio-Economic Development, Building a Harmonious Society , Environmental Preservation and Restoration, Wisdom for Awakening Society. These panel discussions showcase academic papers written by Buddhist scholars from around the world. Workshops on the International Association of Buddhist Universities (IABU) and Common Buddhist Texts shall also be conducted.

Most Venerable Professor Dr. Phra Dharmakosajarn, Rector of MCU and President of IABU/ICUNDV, stressed that valuable objectives of the conference include “enhancing cooperation and solidarity among all schools of Buddhism” and “promoting Buddhist principles through socially engaged actions by urging Buddhist leaders to take a leading role on moral and ethical issues such as social justice, providing equal opportunities to all, good governance, and transparency.”

The event kicks off with an Opening Ceremony on 12nd May 2011 at the 49 Years Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn Conference Hall in MCU Wang Noi Campus, Ayutthaya, where the panel discussions will also be held. No less than the prestigious United Nations Office in Bangkok is the venue for the last day of the conference. Participants will then proceed to Buddhamonton for a candle-lit procession.

For further inquiries, please contact Venerable Assist. Prof. Dr. Phramaha Hansa Dhammahaso (

Some noticeable things for the media (only for panelist)

-   For this year international seminar, we have panelists both venerable and layperson from all over the world, 6 continents: Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America.
-   Our panelists are representatives from 21 countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Myanmar, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Uganda, UK, USA, and Welsh.
-   Most panelists are from Sri Lanka, India, and USA, respectively.
-   The conference breaks into 1 workshop on Common Buddhist Texts, and 4 academic sessions: Buddhist Leadership and Social-Economic Development, Building a Harmonious Society, Environmental Preservation and Restoration; and Wisdom for Awakening Society. There are 3 sessions in each room.
Panel 1: Buddhist Leadership and Socio-Economic Development,
at Theater B on Friday, 13 May 2011 at Classrooms Building, MCU Main Campus
-   This panel focuses on how different nations and political leaders have used Buddhist principles to improve our modern societies. There are 15 interesting papers in this panel.
Panel 2: Building a Harmonious Society,
at Theater C on Friday, 13 May 2011 at Classrooms Building, MCU Main Campus
   The papers in this session address a multitude of doctrinal items useful for comprehension and tolerance of others. Buddhists are interested in creating or maintaining harmonious societies, as it is a natural function of their social-guidance system, rooted in utterances from discourses and aspects of discipline. For this panel, there are about 20 papers.
Panel 3: Environmental Preservation and Restoration, at Theater D on Friday, 13 May 2011 at Classrooms Building, MCU Main Campus
-   The papers for this panel cover the concepts of deep ecology and conceptions similar to Buddhist teachings. There are 16 articles in the panel.
Panel 4: Wisdom for Awakening Society,
at Meeting Room 1 on Friday, 13 May 2011 at Classrooms Building, MCU Main Campus
-   The 16 papers in this panel aim to enable our elder generations to change their ways, and for our younger audience and present generation to implement these ideas contained inside the papers, to better serve humanity.

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