Buddhistforbundets forstander har sendt en hilsen til United Nations day of Vesak konferansen som holdes i Bangkok 21. - 22. mai.
The 10th United Nations Day of Vesak Celebrations CE 2013/BE 2556
Congratulatory message from Buddhist Federation of Norway
On the most sacred full moon day in the month of Vesak Buddhists all over the world gather to pay homage to the Perfectly Enlightened One who was born, achieved Enlightenment and passed into Nirvana on this day.
In 1999 the General Assembly of the United Nations, by its resolution 54/115 of 1999, recognized the Day
of Vesak and acknowledged the contribution of Buddhism to the spirituality of humanity.
This recognition by the United Nation is highly valued by Buddhists and is also the reason that we gather in the ESCAP hall at the United Nation Conference Centre in Bangkok this year as we have done every year since 2004. So it may be in place to ask what the religion of Buddhism and the international organization of the United Nations have in common.
As we know the United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.
The values listed here: peace, friendly relations, social progress and human rights resonate strongly with the Buddhist tradition. Thus there is a very significant reason behind the fact that Buddhists from all over the world meet under the roof of the United Nations every year here in Bangkok. For followers of Lord Buddha Buddhists there is an obligation to express in one’s actions the values of peace, friendship, respect for fellow human beings and commitment to the welfare of all. Correspondingly the United Nations have dedicated itself to promote these same values and objectives as a representative body of the governments of most countries in the world.
In my view this calls for stronger efforts from Buddhists in studying the Teachings of Lord Buddha as they have been preserved in the sacred scriptures of our religion and interpreting them in relation to the burning issues facing the world today. Therefore presentations of academic papers and discussions between scholars and Buddhist leaders have always been important at the celebrations of the United Nation day of Vesak here in the Kingdom of Thailand. This is very important and should also encourage Buddhists to engage more actively in society on the basis of the Teachings of Lord Buddha.
I would also like to add that this challenge also calls for stronger representation of Buddhists in the various bodies of the United Nations that are dedicated to issues such as culture, social justice, human rights, environmental preservation and so on.
The fact that we meet here in at the United Nation Conference Centre in Bangkok points in this direction. However, there is much work to do, particularly in developing representative organizational structures, if Buddhists are to be well represented in the United Nations bodies and Buddhist perspectives more widely appreciated.
Therefore there are very important reasons for appreciating and thanking the Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya Buddhist University for hosting this international celebration and conference. I also thank warmly the Kingdom of Thailand that throughout the last decade has given its strong support to this noble endeavor.
Lastly I would like to offer my most sincere homage and congratulations to His Holiness Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara, the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand, on his 100th birthday anniversary.
Yours in the Dharma
President Buddhist Federation of Norway