Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations (UN) highlighted noble teachings and universal message of love for mankind, of living together in peace, harmony, non-violence and tolerance of Lord Buddha at the recent celebration of International Day of VESAK in New York.

“After more than two and a half millennia, today these teachings and principles remain all the more relevant and of great significance, she stressed, describing them as the foundation for harmonious relations between peoples and nations, for diversity and tolerance which are essential to the continued advancement of the international community, especially in face of multiple and complex threats and challenges, including poverty, inequality, climate change, economic crises, violent extremism and armed conflicts in many parts of the world.

Buddhism was first introduced into Vietnam more than 2000 years ago, and it has integrated into the Vietnamese society and had immense influence on our culture, ideal, morality, and customs, Nga said.

Buddhism co-exists in harmony and thrives together with many other religions in Vietnam thanks to the Vietnamese State's guarantee of freedom of religions and beliefs, she added

Vietnamese Buddhists proactively participate in many international fora, dialogues among religions and faiths and exchange views on religious beliefs, she affirmed.

Last year, Vietnam successfully hosted the 11th Anniversary Celebration and International Buddhist Conference of the UN Day of VESAK.

This year’s International Day of VESAK (Buddha’s Birth, Enlightenment and Passing Away) in New York saw the participation of ambassadors, representatives from the UN’s member nations along with over 300 Buddhist monks and nuns worldwide.

As an annual event hosted by the UN since 1999, the celebration aims to honour great contributions of the Buddhism -one of the oldest religions in the world- to the spiritual life of the people as well as to the international community’s joint efforts to promote peace, cooperation and development.-VNA