International Vesak Day celebrated in Vienna


The Permanent Mission together with the United Nations Office in Vienna (UNOV) celebrated International Day of Vesak virtually on May 26. This is the first occasion the International Day of Vesak has been celebrated at the UN Office in Vienna.

Vienna Nyanaponika Dhamma Centre Chief Incumbent, Most Ven. Dr. Vijayarajapura Seelavansa Thera conducted religious observances and offered blessings to the world to overcome the pandemic. The Venerable Thera explained the significance of Vesak and its importance in the New Normal.

UN Secretary General António Guterres’ message was read by United Nations Deputy Director, General Dennis Thatchaichawalit. The message, while recognising the contributions Buddhism has made to human spiritually and culturally for more than two and a half millennia, highlighted that humility and deep empathy are essential to our wellbeing and that of our planet.

Ambassador Majintha Jayesinghe said that universal significance of the teachings of Gautama Buddha is one of the underlying reasons why Sri Lanka, under the visionary leadership of former Foreign Minister, late Lakshman Kadirgamar, took the initiative to recognise Vesak as an International Day at the United Nations.

Ambassador reminisced and recalled the contribution of the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka addressed to the 54th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in 1999.

Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand, Morakot Sriswasdi said that it is timely for global citizen to share understanding, promote compassion and sympathy and live in a more balanced way while extending support to each other to tackle cross-border challenges.

Importance of working together as one strong and united global community to create a resilient, healthier and sustainable future was also highlighted.