Statement by Dmitry Polyanskiy, First Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN, on occasion of commemoration of the International Day of Vesák 2020
President of the General Assembly,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very happy to be with you today to commemorate a sacred day for the millions of Buddhists all over the world – International Day of Vesák. This day has for thousands years united all the Buddhists symbolizing hope, expectation, striving for harmony and purity of thoughts.
Buddhism is one of the numerous confessions in Russia, where this holiday is observed by the Buddhist sangha. Today there are over 1 million Buddhists in Russia with more than 200 Buddhist religious organizations officially registered. In this sense Russia is a unique European country where Budddhism is a traditional religion. Buddhist culture became an integral and valuable part of our historic and cultural heritage.
We note that humanity has made tremendous technological advances but it did not decrease the number of challenges and threats in the world. It is evident that technological knowledge is not enough to overcome the most complicated conflicts that the international community is faced with today. We vividly see it while combating COVID-19 pandemic today. Quite often answers could be found in a completely different field - in everlasting moral values and ethical ideals, which are fundamental for the human life. Time shows that the profound truths of Buddha, delivered several thousand years ago, are still up to date and continue to serve as guidance for the modern humanity. In this vein the Spirit of the Vesák holiday is able to motivate the humankind to resolve peacefully many pressing issues of the present day.
The Vesák Day symbolizes birth, enlightenment and the end of Buddha’s life on Earth, it is a kind of reminder of fluidity of life. Such celebrations as today must help us avoid fighting and conflicts, and value all opportunities to preserve peace and harmony. We must stay mindful of this and united to follow this path.
I thank you and wish all of us a happy Vesak Day.