UN declares 2 October, Gandhiâ€™s birthday, as International Day of Non-Violence
15 June 2007 â€“ The United Nations General Assembly today decided to observe the International Day of Non-Violence each year on 2 October â€“ the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, who helped lead India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.
Introducing the resolution adopted by the 192-member body, Anand Sharma, Indiaâ€™s Minister of State for External Relations, said the idea originated at an international conference on â€śPeace, Non-Violence and Empowerment â€“ Gandhian Philosophy in the 21st Centuryâ€ť convened in New Delhi in January this year.
The late leaderâ€™s â€śnovel mode of mass mobilization and non-violent actionâ€ť brought down colonialism, strengthened the roots of popular sovereignty, of civil, political and economic rights, and greatly influenced many a freedom struggle and inspired leaders like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. Sharma stated.
The Assembly, â€śdesiring to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence,â€ť invited States, UN bodies, regional and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and individuals to commemorate the Day, including through education and public awareness.
In a further effort to promote a culture of peace and cultural diversity, the Assembly also decided to recognize the year from 12 September 2007 to 11 September 2008 as â€śthe year commemorating the Ethiopian Millennium.â€ť
Highlighting the significance of the event, Ethiopian Ambassador Negash Kebret Botora, said it is â€śnot only for celebrating the unique and distinct nature of our system of calendarâ€ť but also â€śhelps promote and further strengthen cultural understanding among the people of the world.â€ť
The Assembly began its work today by extending its condolences to the family of former UN Secretary-General and Austrian President Kurt Waldheim, who died yesterday, as well as to the Government and people of Austria.
Leading the Assemblyâ€™s remembrance of Mr. Waldheim, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon paid tribute to him and all his predecessors, who have served in what has been called â€śthe most impossible job on earth.â€ť
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