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Viet Nam & UN  »  Human Rights, Social and Humanitarian Issues  »  62nd General Assembly
 
STATEMENT BY H.E. AMBASSADOR BUI THE GIANG, DEPUTY PERMANENT, REPRESENTATIVE OF VIETNAM, AT VESAK DAY 2008 CELEBRATIONS
05-23-2008, 11:58 pm

STATEMENT

BY H.E. AMBASSADOR BUI THE GIANG,

DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF VIETNAM,

AT VESAK DAY 2008 CELEBRATIONS AT U.N. HEADQUARTERS

New York, 23 May 2008

 

H.E. Ambassador M. R. Acharya, Permanent Representative of Nepal,

Under Secretary-General K. Akasaka,

Venerable Monks,

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me to express my most sincere thanks to H.E. Ambassador Acharya and the Permanent Mission of Nepal for hosting this important event. Let me join previous speakers in conveying our deepest sympathy and condolences to the Governments and peoples of Myanmar and China for the great losses they have been suffering these days.

 

Venerables Monks,

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Yesterday, I attended the UN Population Award ceremony co-chaired by Under Secretary-General Akasaka in honor of two laureates who have significantly contributed to better sexual and reproductive health for women and adolescents, safer motherhood and reduced spread of HIV/AIDS. But what remains in my mind after the ceremony is the apparently alarming pervasive health problems that women and children, particularly in the developing world, are facing.

The day before yesterday, I attended the 3-day-long Special Meeting of the ECOSOC on the current food crisis in which leaders of Governments, international organizations, civil society representatives and scholars all talked about millions and millions of people in many parts of the world relapsing into hunger, famine and deeper poverty.

For about ten days now, all of us here have looked to Myanmar and China where natural disasters have taken away nearly a hundred thousand lives and driven hundreds of thousands of others into homelessness and hunger.

And yet, I have not mentioned the armed conflicts and wars in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere that have inflicted heavily on numerous civilians, old and young, men and women.

Amid these sufferings, the celebration of Vesak Day is all the more meaningful and relevant, for it reminds us that more than 2,000 years ago Buddha Goutama taught us to live with each other and with Mother Nature in peace, harmony, compassion, non-violence, tolerance, and no-self. Had the Enlightened One’s teachings been remembered and well observed, those sufferings would have become history to humankind. Now, more fitting than ever before, we need to recall and teach ourselves again these teachings in order to be united, live better, work better and serve better.

 

Venerable Monks,

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today last week, the official UN Vesak Day 2008 celebrations were closed in Vietnam. This is the first time the UN Vesak Day is celebrated in a Southeast Asian country outside Thailand. On this occasion, some 5,000 members of 600 delegations from 75 countries and territories from across the globe came to Vietnam, entertained by, among other things, a first-ever Buddhist orchestra involving 500 musicians. A peace-candle lighting ceremony was conducted with 20,000 people participating. Celebrative activities were organized throughout the country, drawing the broad participation of not only Buddhists but also top leaders of the State, dignitaries and followers of all other religions, and millions of non-religious people, making the Vesak Day a true festive day of the whole nation. In a country where the spiritual life is greatly treasured as expressed in the fact that in every home - be it Buddhist, Catholic, Christian, Muslim or non-religious - there is an altar dedicated to ancestors and God the Protector of the Land, and in a country where the whole population are proud of Buddhism and its valuable contributions to nation-building and -defense, we have done our utmost for the successful organization of the UN Vesak Day.

 

Venerable Monks,

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

To conclude, let me quote Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who said in a message sent to Vietnam on this occasion, “[the Buddha’s timeless teachings should] inspire our efforts to address the broader challenges confronting our world – in peace and security, in development and in the protection of our environment. In each of these areas, we have to rise above our perceived narrow self-interests, and think and act as members of one global community. This is the path to enlightenment, and it is the foundation of a better world for all”.

May the Triple Gem bless all sentient beings in this endeavor.

I thank you.



Print version

Other News:
 » Statement by H.E. Ambassador Bui The Giang, Deputy Permanent Representative of Vietnam, at the Special Meeting of ECOSOC on food crisis | 05-20-2008 |
 » Statement by Ambassador Bui The Giang, Deputy Permanent Representative, at the General Debate on Agenda item 46 on “Global road safety crisis” | 04-01-2008 |
 » Statement by Ms. NGUYEN THI THANH HOA, Chairperson of Viet Nam Women’s Union, Head of Viet Nam’s Delegation to the Fifty-Second Session of the Commission on the Status of Women | 02-28-2008 |
 » Statement by H.E. Madame Huynh Thi Nhan at the General Assembly’s Special Session on Children | 12-11-2007 |
 » Statement by H.E. Ambassador Le Luong Minh on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflicts | 11-20-2007 |
 » Agenda Item 33 : United Nations Relief and Works Agency for the Palestine Refugees in the Middle East | 11-07-2007 |
 » International Strategy for Disaster Reduction | 10-29-2007 |
 » Statement by Mr. Pham Hai Anh on agenda item 66: Promotion and protection of the rights of children | 10-18-2007 |
 » Statement by Mr. Pham Hai Anh on item 63: Advancement of women | 10-15-2007 |


 
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