Vietnam affirms value of Buddhism on International Day of Vesak    
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Vietnam affirms value of Buddhism on International Day of Vesak Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, Head of Vietnam’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations.
May 04 2018

Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, Head of Vietnam’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, praised the values of Buddhism during an event to celebrate the International Day of Vesak, held in New York on May 2.

“Traversing time and space, and crossing national borders, the values of Buddhism have strengthened the bonds among nations, building a firm foundation for a more peaceful and compassionate world,” the Ambassador said in her speech.

She stressed that, in today's world where conflicts, inequality and poverty still persist, Lord Buddha’s teachings guide us on the pathway to overcome challenges through kindness and mutual understanding. People are inspired by his teachings to maintain the aspiration and strong determination to achieve equality, sustainable peace and development for all.

Discussing the religion’s role in Vietnam, Nga said that, in over 2000 years since Buddhism was introduced to Vietnam, Buddhism has always represented a strong force for peace and harmony in the country’s society, making great contributions to the cause of national defence, construction and development.

The ambassador took the occasion to reiterate that Vietnam pursues a consistent policy of respecting and creating favourable conditions for the people to exercise their right to freedom of belief and religion, while promoting mutual respect, unity and harmony among religions, as well as the cultural and moral values of each and every religion.

“All religions, however diverse, converge in the common aspiration for the development of the whole nation and the betterment of peoples' lives,” she said.

In his remark, President of the UN General Assembly Miroslav Lajcak underscored the importance of the “timeless principles” of Buddhism to the work of the UN, saying that it offers insights and ideals on improving the planet and shows people the way to a more sustainable future.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres also highlighted Buddhism’s emphasis on non-violence as a powerful call for peace and said the Buddhist world view teaches people to see themselves as a part of this world and not as its matters.

The focus in Buddhism on the inherent dignity of life finds resonance today in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, he said, urging everyone to commit themselves to overcoming differences, care for the most venerable and truly leave no one behind.

In 1999, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in which it recognised the Day of Vesak, the Day of the Full Moon, to acknowledge the contributions that Buddhism, one of the oldest religions in the world, has made for over two and a half millennia and continues to make to the spirituality of humanity.