During the opening ceremony, Chairman of the Vietnam Government Committee for Religious Affairs Vũ Chiến Thắng has delivered a speech highlighting important meanings and opportunities of the UN Buddhist event.
In his speech, while welcoming and sending best wishes to participating international delegates, dignitaries, monks and nuns, the Vietnam government religious committee leader regarded the UN Day of Vesak as a religious and cultural festival celebrating the long-lasting message of the Lord Buddha on peace, harmony, tolerance and kindness to all people, as well as an UN effort to promote Buddhist values and unity for world peace, cooperation and sustainable development.
The chairman stressed the increasing need for upholding the core values of Buddhism in the current unsettled society, saying the Buddhist values help wake up tolerance, selfishness, forgiveness in people, inspire global peace and cooperation amid conflicts, terrorism and environmental crises, relieve human suffering, bring peace and happiness to everyone in the globe.
He recalled the over 2000-year history of Vietnamese Buddhism, saying that Vietnamese Buddhism has upheld the fundamental principle that Buddhist Dharma does not stay away from the earthly live, and has embedded in the national culture and stood by the nation through ups and downs.
Given support of the Vietnam Government and its people, the solemn hosting of the UN Day of Vesak 2019 has demonstrated a vivid evidence of the religious freedom in the country, affirmed Vietnam's position and responsibility for UN activities in all fields, and reflected the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha’s development and status in the international Buddhist community, he said.
The official of the Vietnam government religious committee also stated that the state governance on religion in Vietnam would to its best for ensuring successes of the UN Vesak 2019, contributing to uphold practical values of Buddhism in today society.
He expressed hope that the UN Day of Vesak 2019 would practically contribute to realizing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, especially for promoting world peace, hunger eradication & poverty reduction and environmental protection, etc.