UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres highlighted the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of the International Day of Non-Violence.
In his message commemorating the day on Wednesday, which marks the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Guterres called Gandhi, who led India to independence, a “renowned global icon of peace”, Xinhua reported.
He said Gandhi’s vision continues to resonate across the world, including through the work of the UN for mutual understanding, equality, sustainable development, the empowerment of young people, and the peaceful resolution of disputes.
He cautioned that violence now takes many forms, from the destructive impact of the climate emergency to the devastation caused by armed conflict, from the indignities of poverty to the injustice of human rights violations to the brutalising effects of hate speech.
The UN has launched two urgent initiatives, namely a plan of action against hate speech and another on the protection and safety of religious sites, the UN chief said.
Last week, Guterres issued a global call for a decade of action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals, “our roadmap away from violence and towards peace, prosperity and dignity on a healthy planet”.
“Gandhi constantly highlighted the gap between what we do, and what we are capable of doing,” Guterres said, urging the international community to “do everything in our power to bridge this divide as we strive to build a better future for all”.
In June 2007, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to designate October 2, Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, as the International Day of Non-Violence.
The resolution said the day is an occasion to “disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness”.