THE TENTH UNDV DECLARATION - THAILAND 2013
On 15th December 1999, representatives from thirty-four countries proposed to the General Assembly of the United Nations that the full moon day in the month of May be recognized and observed at the United Nations Headquarters and its Regional Offices as the United Nations Day of Vesak. The General Assembly so resolved (Agenda Item 174 of Session No. 54) and, accordingly, the UN Day of Vesak was instituted in the year 2000 with the support of all Buddhist traditions. In pursuance of that Resolution, we, participants from eighty-seven countries and regions, have come together on May 21-22, 2013 (B.E. 2556) for the celebration of the Buddha's Birth, Enlightenment, and Mahaparinibbana. As in the previous years, the celebrations were generously organized by Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, and graciously supported by the Royal Government of Thailand under the guidance of the Supreme Sangha Council of Thailand.
During the celebrations at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (UNESCAP) Conference Center in Bangkok and at Buddhamonthon in Nakhon Pathom Province, we have come together to explore the topic of "Education and Global Citizenship: A Buddhist Perspective," promoting mutual understanding and cooperation between organizations and individuals from all Buddhist traditions. At the conclusion of our successful celebrations and meetings we have unanimously resolved as follows:
1. To commend His Holiness Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara, Supreme Patriarch of Thailand, on the Auspicious Occasion of His 100th Birth Anniversary, for the work He has accomplished to uplift humanity, particularly in the areas of education, spirituality, and healthcare;
2. To work tirelessly for universal education in the 21st century, emphasizing the integration of wisdom and compassion in caring for the environment, cultivating synergy between school subjects and disciplines, and incorporating ethics and a sense of community to the existing approach for acquiring skills for economic and social development within the curricula and syllabi at all levels of education, in order to realize the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goal of “achieving universal primary education” and beyond;
3. To encourage Buddhist leaders to strengthen their ongoing noble mission to promote education, as well as social and humanitarian development for sustainable world peace;
4. To reinforce the Buddhist path of non-violence, by facing the many challenges to peaceful co-existence, with a conviction that is stronger than ever before, reaffirming our determination to maintain cultural and religious harmony and tolerance through upholding human dignity;
5. To take the opportunity of the Day of Vesak gathering to encourage Buddhists to be more proactive in promoting peace, which is so central to the teachings of the Buddha, and in particular, spreading the Buddha’s wisdom on the inter-connectedness of all humans as a global family and the shared consequences of their actions;
6. To urge all governmental and non-governmental organizations to strive toward sustainable economic and social development, stressing the need to balance such development with the preservation of the environment;
7. To strengthen efforts to promote the message of the inter-being of humankind, through encouraging individuals and organizations to develop the perspective of being global citizens as they address important issues in their work together;
8. To promote the ethical use of mindfulness in a universally applicable manner, in such fields as healthcare, education, management, and community development, and;
9. To do the utmost to contribute towards achieving the goal of the ASEAN Community in 2015, calling upon the strength of the unity within the diversity of the Buddhist community that has been fostered by the International Council for the Day of Vesak.
Done as the Bangkok Declaration of the Tenth Anniversary Celebrations of the United Nations Day of Vesak, this 22nd Day of May 2013 (B.E. 2556).