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Vietnam to host 2014 UN Day of Vesak

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Vietnam will host the 2014 United Nations Day of Vesak (Buddha's Birthday, Enlightenment and Passing Away) and an international Buddhism conference at Bai Dinh pagoda in the northern province of Ninh Binh from May 7-11, 2014.

Under the theme of "Buddhist Perspective towards Achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals", the event is being organised by the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) in collaboration with the International Council for the Day of Vesak.

The event aims to celebrate the thrice-sacred day of Vesak internationally, and foster co-operation among Buddhist communities and institutions. It also aims to develop Buddhist solutions to the global crisis and disseminate Buddhism through academic activities, religious ceremonies and ways of life.

The 2014 United Nations Day of Vesak would be an important event contributing to the role of Vietnamese Buddhism in international integration and to affirm Vietnam's position and responsibility towards the United Nations, said Most Venerable Thich Thien Nhon, Standing Vice President of the VBS, at a press conference on November 24.

The event will focus activities on Buddhists response to sustainable development and social change; global warming and environmental protection; healthy living; peace-building and post-conflict recovery; Buddhist education and university level curriculum.

It also aims to popularise Vietnam's image, culture, people and ecological and religious tourism development.

The event is expected to welcome around 10,000 participants, including 1,500 international guests from some 100 countries and territories worldwide and 8,500 local Buddhists and visitors.

This will be the second time Vietnam has hosted the event. In 2008, the Vesak celebration in Hanoi was attended by over 600 Buddhist delegations from around the world.-VNA
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