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UN Day of Vesak 2019 kicks off in northern Vietnam

Monday, May 13, 2019, 11:02 GMT+7
UN Day of Vesak 2019 kicks off in northern Vietnam
The UN Day of Vesak 2019 began at Tam Chuc Pagoda in the northern Vietnamese province of Ha Nam on May 12, 2019. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

The UN Day of Vesak 2019 commenced in the northern Vietnamese province of Ha Nam on Sunday morning, attracting the attendance of over 21,000 local and international delegates.

Themed ‘Buddhist Approach to Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Sustainable Societies,’ the event kicked off at 8:30 am at Tam Chuc Pagoda in Kim Bang District, Ha Nam Province.

Delegates arrive at the pagoda to participate in the UN Day of Vesak.

Delegates arrive at the pagoda to participate in the UN Day of Vesak.

Vesak is the most important holiday in the Buddhist calendar that celebrates three important events, namely the birth, full awakening, and passing away of the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama.

The United Nations recognized an international day of Vesak in December 1999, and the day has been internationally celebrated every year since 2004.

Delegates arrive at the pagoda to participate in the UN Day of Vesak.

Delegates arrive at the pagoda to participate in the UN Day of Vesak.

This year’s UN Day of Vesak is joined by over 20,000 Vietnamese delegates and 1,650 international delegates from 112 countries and territories.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Myanmar President Win Myint, Indian Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Nepalese Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli, Chairman of the National Council of Bhutan Tashi Dorji were among the participants at the kick-off event.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc arrives at the venue.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc arrives at the venue.

During his speech at the opening ceremony, PM Phuc believed that the UN Day of Vesak means beyond a religious and cultural festival as it sends a long-lasting message on peace, harmony, tolerance and kindness to all people.

The agenda of the celebration reflects the goals of the UN’s Agenda 2030 for sustainability and prosperity, the premier continued.

Nepalese Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli

Nepalese Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli

“By hosting the event, Vietnam reiterates its respect for cultural and ethic values of all religions, as well as its policies on international cooperation and integration,” he added.

This is the third time Vietnam has hosted the UN Vesak Day, following celebrations in 2008 and 2014.

The UN Day of Vesak 2019 will last until the end of May 14.

President of Myanmar Win Myint

President of Myanmar Win Myint

Indian Vice President Venkaiah Naidu

Indian Vice President Venkaiah Naidu

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the opening ceremony.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the opening ceremony.

Most Venerable Thich Thien Nhon, chairman of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha Executive Council and head of the Vesak 2019 organizing committee

Most Venerable Thich Thien Nhon, chairman of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha Executive Council and head of the UN Day of Vesak 2019 organizing committee
Most Venerable Phra Brahmapundit, president of the International Council for the Day of Vesak
Most Venerable Phra Brahmapundit, president of the International Council for the UN Day of Vesak

Delegates attend the opening ceremony.

Delegates attend the opening ceremony.

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