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Viet Nam & UN
 
Statement by H.E. Ambassador Pham Vinh Quang, Deputy Permanent Representative of Viet Nam, at VESAK Day 2013 Celebrations at U.N. Headquarters
05-31-2013, 05:05 pm

STATEMENT

BY H.E. AMBASSADOR PHAM VINH QUANG,

DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF VIET NAM,

AT VESAK DAY 2013 CELEBRATIONS AT U.N. HEADQUARTERS

New York, 24 May 2013

 

 

Venerable Monks,

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

            It is my great honor, on behalf of the Government of Viet Nam, to address this Special Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in commemoration of the United Nations Day of VESAK. On this auspicious occasion, may I first pay my respects and express my warmest welcome to all venerable monks and participants from countries around the world.  I am also grateful to H.E. Ambassador Dr. Palitha T.B. Kohona and the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka for their efforts leading to this august event commemoration.

Venerable Monks,

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Each year during the month of May, we celebrate the VESAK festival, a day of great spiritual importance to Buddhists all over the world as it commemorates three significant events in Lord Buddha’s life namely his birthday, enlightenment and his passing away.it was on a VESAK day that Lord Buddha was born, it was on a VESAK day that he attained Enlightenment and it was also on a VESAK day that he passed away. It has been over 2,500 years and yet Lord Buddha’s teachings remain as relevant as ever. His teachings inspire us, as nations and international community as a whole, to act in unison in finding possible solutions if we are to address the multiple and complex threats and challenges facing our world today, including the climate change, environmental deterioration, the spread of deadly diseases, the persistence of crimes, conflicts and wars in many parts of the world. And, as the 2015 deadline is fast approaching while division, discrimination and gaps continue to exist in many domains, Lord Buddha’s teachings provide the moral ground for promoting mutual understanding, cooperation and brotherhood. We are pleased to see the participation of a larger number of Delegations, Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike in the Ceremony. As we celebrating the Day of VESAK, we are also celebrating the spirit of interfaith dialogues and cooperation.

Venerable Monks,

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Looking back at the thousands of years of national construction and protection, Vietnamese Buddhism has been closely linked with the survival of the nation, whether in its rise and fall, and has become a part of traditional and national culture. Its lofty values and fundamental principles which stand for non-violence, peaceful existence and tolerance, have been deeply integrated into the everyday lives of Vietnamese people and have made significant contributions to the maintaining and preserving of peace and stability for Vietnamese society during periods of peace as well as war. Now, when Viet Nam is practicing renovation and the market economy and the open-door policy, Vietnamese Buddhism is proving indispensable, especially for the maintenance and improvement of ethical values of restraint and to reduce socially negative aspects.

Lord Buddha’s teachings of compassion and the purpose of Buddhism which is to bring about the well-being, peace and happiness to human-kind, find their expression in the Government’s consistent policy of national unity of followers of different religions as well as between believers and non-believers. The Government has always given favorable conditions for Buddhism to make Lord Buddha’s teachings more accessible and widely known, to uphold and preserve the national cultural identity. Thank to this policy of the Government, Vietnamese Buddhism today has developed steadily with more than 12 million Buddhist followers, over 40 thousand of monks and nuns and tens of millions of followers; almost 15,000 thousands of temples, monasteries or places to worship Buddhist renovated and beautifully embellished. Training facilities from primary to university level are also expanded and built new, providing education for thousands of monks and nuns. Vietnamese Buddhism is proudly to have has 04 academies, 01 college, 32 secondary schools and dozens of classes at primary level which train over 5,000 monks and nuns each year.  Vietnamese Buddhists also participate in many international fora, dialogues among religions and faiths and exchange views on religious beliefs to build a society that Buddha envisioned more than two and half thousands of years ago – a society free from violence, hatred, for peace, harmony and tolerance among all beings.

Venerable Monks,

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The implementation of Lord Buddha’s teachings, of course, is an immensely challenging journey that calls for committed engagement of each and every member of the international community. On this Day of VESAK, let us all, Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike, pledge to work together to translate his teachings into reality for the common good and for the betterment of all humankind.

I thank you.

 



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