Ban calls for global compassion, solidarity on Buddhist day of Vesak

9 May 2009
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visits the birthplace of Buddha in Lumbini

In a message commemorating Vesak Day, which marks the birth, enlightenment and passing of the Buddha, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the world to learn from the spiritual leader's sense of compassion.

“The financial crisis, climate change, pandemics, terrorism and other international threats prove that the fates of all people are linked,” Mr. Ban wrote in his message.

He noted that a problem for one country can quickly turn into a global threat. “I constantly remind leaders that we must act together or we will fail individually.”

It is in the world's best interest to join forces in solidarity, as well as the right thing to do, stressed the Secretary-General. “More than 2,500 years ago Buddha taught that nothing exists in isolation.”

Underscoring the idea, Mr. Ban noted that Buddha also taught that we “cannot be happy as long as others suffer, and that when we do reach out, we discover the best in ourselves.”

“On this day of Vesak, let us resolve to help people who are suffering so that we may secure a better future for all.”


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