The Permanent Missions of Sri Lanka and Thailand to the United Nations in New York co-hosted a virtual commemoration of the International Day of Vesak today, Friday, 13 May 2022. Sponsored by Sri Lanka and Thailand, in 1999, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Resolution 54/115,which internationally recognized the Day of Vesak at the United Nations.
The Commemoration commenced with the opening remarks by the co-hosts Ambassador Mohan Pieris of Sri Lanka and Ambassador SuriyaChindawongse of Thailand, emphasizing the importance of Vesak for the Buddhists around the world.
During the high-level segment, the President of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Abdulla Shaheed and H.E. Mr. Don. Pramudwinai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailandaddressed the commemoration through pre-recorded statements. A message from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka and a written message from H.E. Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, underscored that as the world faces the multifaceted challenges of crises all over the word, it is clearer than ever that humility and deep empathy, as conveyed in Buddhism, are integral and essential to the wellbeing of our world.
Ven. HeenbunneKondannathero, Chief Incumbent of the Staten Island Buddhist Vihara conducted the blessings in the Theravada traditionand invoked blessings. Ven. Nakagaki, Founder and President of the Heiwa Peace and Reconciliation Foundation of New York,Venerable Ming Yu of the American Buddhist Confederation, Ven. Gikwang of the Korean Buddhist Wonkaksainvoked blessings by chanting the ‘Heart Sutra’ and the ‘Four Great Vows’ in Korean, Japanese, and Chinese.
Ven.AjahnKevali, WatPha Nanachat of Thailand and Ven. AluthgamaDhammajothiThero, Chief Incumbent of New York Buddhist Vihara and the President of New York Buddhist Vihara Foundation added their blessings to the commemoration through sermons, outlining the message of the Lord Buddha. The event also included screening of cultural videos on how Vesak is celebrated in Sri Lanka and in Thailand.
Joining virtually, Permanent Representatives of Nepal, India, Viet Nam, China, Singapore, Bhutan, Myanmar, Egypt, Lao DPR, and representatives of Cambodia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Japan, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russia and Malaysiamade statements regarding the celebration of Vesak in their respective countries and the relevance and significance of Buddhismin our lives.
13 May 2022