[Dateline: Addis Ababa, Bangkok, New York | Author: iSeek]
Thursday marks the second observance of the International Day of Non-Violence, which falls annually on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence.
The Day takes on special significance this year as it falls during the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Secretary-General says in his message for the Day, "There is a profound philosophical connection between the fundamental principles of human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration and those practised by Mahatma Gandhi."
The day was established by General Assembly resolution 61/271 (A/RES/61/271) in 2007 as an occasion to reflect on and disseminate the message of non-violence. The resolution reaffirms "the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence" and the desire "to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence."
In Bangkok on Thursday, 2 October, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in cooperation with the Embassy of India, is holding an observance of the Day at the UN Conference Centre.
The ceremony, which begins at 10:40 a.m., features remarks by ESCAP Executive Secretary, USG Noeleen Heyzer, and Indian Ambassador to Thailand and Permanent Representative to ESCAP, Latha Reddy.
There will also be a short film on the life and work of Mahatma Gandhi and the laying of a garland on the statue of Gandhi that resides in the UN Conference Centre. The bust was a gift to ESCAP from India on the first observance of the International Day of Non-Violence in 2007.
The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), in cooperation with the Embassy of India, is holding an observance of the Day on 2 October at the UN Conference Centre, Conference Room 1, in Addis Ababa.
The UNCC observance begins at 2:40 p.m. and features remarks by Executive Secretary USG Abdoulie Janneh, and Indian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to ECA and AU (African Union), H.E. Mr. Gurjit Singh, as well as invited Ethiopian authorities. A short film on the life and work of Mahatma Gandhi is being shown to participants and the Gandhi Memorial lecture is to be delivered.
An exhibition on the life of Mahatma Gandhi is to be formally opened on this occasion, preceded by a traditional Indian lamp lighting ceremony.
In New York, also on Thursday, 2 October, an informal plenary meeting of the General Assembly to commemorate the Day will be held from 9.30 to 10 a.m. in the General Assembly Hall. The ceremony will include opening remarks by the President of the General Assembly as well as by the Secretary-General [webcast].
The Minister for Foreign Affairs of South Africa, H.E. Ms. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma; and the External Affairs Minister of India, H.E. Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, will also address the Member States.