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UN Day of Vesak 2019 wraps up, conversing compassion

The 16th UN Day of Vesak 2019 wrapped up at Tam Chuc Pagoda in Kim Bang district, northern Ha Nam province, on May 14, with the adoption of the Ha Nam Declaration that promotes world peace, harmony, and improvements for all people.

International Buddhist leaders, delegates, scholars and leaders of Vietnamese Party, State and Government attended the closing ceremony.

Addressing the event, Most Venerable Thich Thanh Nhieu, Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha highlighted the theme of the 16th UN Day of Vesak 2019 -- “Buddhist approach to global leadership and shared responsibilities for sustainable societies”, saying the event contributes to realizing the UN’s goals to be achieved by 2030.

The success of the 16th UN Day of Vesak 2019 celebration will help the VBS strengthen cooperation and friendship with the world Buddhist community, he said.

For his part, Most Venerable Phra Brahmapundit, President of the International Council for Day of Vesak called the three-day celebrations “a wonderful time together” thanks to the hospitality and generosity of the Government, the VBS and people of Vietnam.
“Vesak 2019 celebration has been a great success. You have set a higher standard of Vesak celebration this time, from our observation,” he said.

He took the opportunity to congratulate the VBS on hosting the event and expressed his gratitude to the Vietnamese Government and people, saying “We all have a good time and good memory of Vietnam. I believe most of us would like to come back again for the nation’s 4th host of Vesak in the future.”

According to Most Venerable Phra Brahmapundit, the host of the UN Day of Vesak in 2020 has yet been decided.

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh addressed the closing ceremony, speaking highly of the outcomes of the 16th UN Day of Vesak 2019, including the adoption of the Ha Nam Declaration, presentations that dealt with various topics, the contribution of encouraging comments, and experience sharing from international and local scholars and Buddhist leaders.
“The 16th UN Day of Vesak 2019 is the rendezvous for us to share our passion for promoting peace, happiness, and improvements,” the Deputy PM said.

Over the past 30 years of “Doi Moi”, Vietnam has continuously ensured the freedom of religions, which has contributed to the nation building and development, he underlined.

"Vesak", the Day of the Full Moon in the month of May, is the year’s most sacred day to the millions of Buddhists around the world. It was on the Day of Vesak two and a half millennia ago that the Buddha was born. It was also on the Day of Vesak that the Buddha attained enlightenment, and it was on the Day of Vesak that the Buddha passed away.

The UN’s commemoration of Vesak has been held for three times in Vietnam so far. Previously, it took place in Hanoi in 2008 and the northern province of Ninh Binh in 2014.

The 16th United Nations Day of Vesak 2019 brought together 1,650 international delegates from 112 countries and territories worldwide.