Most Venerable Thich Thanh Nhieu (centre), deputy head of the Executive Council of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha Central Committe, speaks at the April 24 meeting on preparations for the Vesak 2019 celebration (Photo: VNA)

Ha Nam (VNA) – Preparations are being hastened for the United Nations Day of Vesak 2019 celebration, which will be held in northern Ha Nam province in May.

Vesak 2019, or the 16th UN Day of Vesak, will be celebrated at the Tam Chuc Buddhism Culture Centre in Kim Bang district from May 12-14.

The Ha Nam Party Committee had a working session with the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) on April 24 to review the preparations.

The provincial People’s Committee said many important facilities of the Tam Chuc Buddhism Culture Centre have been completed, and all the infrastructure will be ready by April 30.

Over the past months, local authorities have worked with the VBS and Government agencies to prepare for the Vesak celebration. While the provincial Department of Public Security has made plans to ensure security, the Transport Department has been working to ensure smooth traffic during the event. 

The Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism and relevant agencies have also examined accommodation establishments and promoted communications about the celebration, the administration noted.

At the meeting, the VBS said as of April 24, more than 600 foreign delegations with about 1,600 members from 110 countries and territories had registered to attend the Vesak 2019 celebration. More than 400 speeches by domestic and foreign scholars have been sent to the organising board.

The Vesak 2019 celebration is themed “Buddhist Approach to Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Sustainable Societies”. 

It will be the third time the UN’s commemoration of Vesak is held in Vietnam. Previously, it took place in Hanoi in 2008 and the northern province of Ninh Binh in 2014.

The UN General Assembly on December 15, 1999 recognised the Day of Vesak to celebrate the thrice-sacred event of the life of the Buddha Gautama and to acknowledge the contributions Buddhism, one of the oldest religions in the world, has made to humanity.

The UN Day of Vesak was first celebrated in 2001.-VNA