International Day of Non-Violence, 2 October

United Nations

10/2/21, 5:54 AM

International Day of Non-Violence, 2 October

Gandhi Monument, vacation travel statue symbol landmark, Credit- Pxhere

Say No to Violence

The International Day of Non-Violence is observed on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence.


According to General Assembly resolution A/RES/61/271 of 15 June 2007, which established the commemoration, the International Day is an occasion to "disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness". The resolution reaffirms "the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence" and the desire "to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence".


Introducing the resolution in the General Assembly on behalf of 140 co-sponsors, India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, Mr. Anand Sharma, said that the wide and diverse sponsorship of the resolution was a reflection of the universal respect for Mahatma Gandhi and of the enduring relevance of his philosophy. Quoting the late leader’s own words, he said: "Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man".


Secretary-General António Guterres pointed out that it was no coincidence that the day coincides with the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi – leader of India’s independence movement and a founder of the principles of non-violence.


For Gandhi, non-violence, peaceful protest, dignity and equality were more than words. They represented a guiding light for humanity, a map to a better future”, he said.


‘Template’ for the future

The UN chief also pointed to the movement as “a template” to confront today’s troubled times.  


Conflicts and climate change. Poverty and inequalities.  Mistrust and divisions.  All under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to devastate people and economies alike”, he said.


The UN chief underscored that the solution to these challenges “is in our hands: solidarity”.    


Solutions ‘in our hands’

The principle of non-violence, also known as non-violent resistance, rejects the use of physical force to achieve social or political change and has been adopted globally in campaigns for social justice.


 “We need to recognize, as Gandhi did, that what unites us is far greater than what divides us. That peace provides the only pathway to a better future for all”, he said.


Coming together as one

Addressing global challenges means “coming together as one human family, and embracing peace like never before”, Mr. Guterres said, calling on combatants around the world to lay down their arms and “focus on defeating humanity’s common enemy – COVID-19 – not one another”.  


He underscored the urgent need to deliver lifesaving vaccines and treatment, “and support countries in the long road to recovery ahead”; intensify efforts to reduce inequalities and end poverty; and create “a bold global plan of action” to heal the planet.  


Most of all flagged the UN chief, “we need to renew trust in one another”.


Hatred, division, conflict and mistrust have had their day”, he said.  “It is time to usher in a new era of peace, trust and tolerance”.


Mr. Guterres urged everyone to “heed Gandhi’s message of peace and get down to the business of building a better and more peaceful future for all”.


Source: UN News