On International Day of Non-Violence, Ban challenges people to counter forces of intolerance

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NEW YORK – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has challenged people around the world to counter the forces of intolerance, advance global citizenship and forge human solidarity based on Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence.

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Ban in a message to mark  the International Day of Non-Violence on Thursday in New York, “said we have to foster a culture of peace, built on dialogue and understanding, for living together in harmony while respecting and celebrating humanity’s rich diversity.”

The United Nations’ International Day of Non-Violence is a global observance that seeks to promote the vital quality of non-violence.

It is annually held on Oct. 2, coinciding with the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, revered throughout the world for his wisdom, fight for freedom and his deep spiritual understanding.

Gandhi is mostly remembered for his philosophy of “ Ahimsa”, which encourages the use of ‘non-violence’ as a tool for peaceful resolution of differences.

The UN General Assembly came up with a resolution in 2007 to establish the International Day of Non-Violence aimed at spreading the message of peace as advocated by the legendary leader.

The resolution was an affirmation of the universal relevance of non-violence and through it the desire “to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding, and non-violence.

Ban in his nessage to mark the day,  said there is no greater tool than education to enhance human dignity, promote a culture of non-violence, and build lasting peace.

“Through education, we can craft new ways of living with each other and the planet. [eap_ad_1] “Education can also lay the foundation for developing new forms of global citizenship and solidarity that are so essential in today’s world.

“On this International Day of Non-Violence, we commemorate the philosophy of the late Mahatma Gandhi, who through his example proved that peaceful protests could accomplish much more than military aggression.

“The principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, the year of Gandhi’s death, owe much to his beliefs.

“At this time of increased sectarian violence and the wanton destruction of cultural sites and heritage, it is timely to recall Gandhi’s call for peace and reconciliation, and his warning that, “An eye for an eye ends up making the whole world blind,” Ban said in his message.

He said there was the need for more leaders in nations across the world, as well as in homes and communities for there to be peace, fairness and freedom. (NAN)

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