Saturday, 29 September 2012
International Day of Non-Violence 2012 - UN Secretary-General Message
In these times of global turmoil and transition, it is fitting that we take a moment to reflect on Gandhi’s message of understanding and peace.
As we look around the world, tolerance is being tested. Fighting is taking a heavy toll from Afghanistan to Syria to the Sahel. The economic crisis is fuelling xenophobia and other forms of dangerous – and deadly – discrimination. Terrorism, human trafficking, rights abuses and violence against women threaten millions of people.
We must work even harder for understanding among and within religions and communities and between and within countries.
I have made prevention a key priority in the five-year action agenda of the United Nations. But prevention means more than separating warring parties and cooling tensions. Fundamentally tackling the roots of conflict and intolerance will take a culture of non-violence and peace.
Governments must lead. But ultimately, the foundation for non-violence will be built by people: teachers and faith leaders, parents and community voices, business people and grass-roots groups. Perhaps it may be easier to pick up a weapon than to lay down a grudge. It may be simpler to find fault than to find forgiveness. But I have been deeply moved by communities and people in every corner of the world who have been inspired by Gandhi’s example and made a real difference.
Let us take strength from all of these efforts and work together to build a world of nonviolence and lasting peace.