This year, as we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, the International Day of Non-Violence has special importance.
At a time of escalating conflicts, violent extremism, displacement and humanitarian need, the courage and determination of Mahatma Gandhi, whose birthday we celebrate today, is an inspiration for us all.
Gandhi showed the power of peacefully opposing oppression and hatred. He showed how cooperation and tolerance can prevails over injustice. He demonstrated the great value of the rule of law in breaking vicious cycles of vengeance.
The United Nations stands for the peaceful resolution of disputes and for mutual respect across culture, faith and other lines that might divide.
The International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures, first proposed by UNESCO for the period 2013 - 2022, has generated a wide range of creative projects that demonstrate the power of diversity and dialogue as forces for peace.
The newly 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development can also point the way towards reducing violence. A more sustainable world will be a safer world.
On this year’s International Day of Non-violence, let us recall the achievements of Mahatma Gandhi -- and renew our commitment to non-violence and lives of dignity for all.
FORUM : 2 October - International Day of Non-Violence
The International Day of Non-Violence is observed on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. This day is referred to in India as Gandhi Jayanti. In January 2004, Iranian Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi had taken a proposal for an International Day of Non-Violence from a Hindi teacher in Paris teaching international students to the World Social Forum in Bombay. The idea gradually attracted the interest of some leaders of India's Congress Party ("Ahimsa Finds Teen Voice", The Telegraph, Calcutta) until a Satyagraha Conference resolution in New Delhi in January 2007, initiated by Sonia Gandhi and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, called upon the United Nations to adopt the idea.
Non-Violence-Skulptur from Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd in Malmö, Sweden On 15 June 2007 the United Nations General Assembly voted to establish 2 October as the International Day of Non-Violence. The resolution by the General Assembly asks all members of the UN system to commemorate 2 October in "an appropriate manner and disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness." The United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) in New York City prepared a special cachet to commemorate this event, following a request from the Indian Ambassador at the Permanent Mission of India to the UN. The boxed pictorial cachet design was prepared by the UNPA and was limited to cancellation at UNPA's NY location (not Geneva and Vienna). The UNPA has indicated that all outgoing UNPA mail between October 2 and 31 carried the cache.