The 16th United Nations Day of Vesak officially opened at Tam Chuc pagoda in Kim Bang district of northern Ha Nam province May 12.

More than 1,650 international delegates from 112 countries and territories across the world and over 20,000 Vietnamese Buddhist dignitaries, monks, nuns and followers attended the opening ceremony.

Addressing the ceremony, Most Venerable Thich Thien Nhon, Chairman of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha’s Executive Council and head of the Vesak 2019 organising committee, highlighted the Buddhist philosophy for building an equal and peaceful society, without classes, wars and hatred.

In his speech, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc spoke highly of the theme “Buddhism's Approach to Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Sustainable Societies” of the UN Day of Vesak 2019, saying it showed the responsibility of Buddhism for the presence and future of the society.

Later the same day, head of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs Vu Chien Thang hosted a reception for Buddhist delegates attending the UN Day of Vesak 2019. The delegates expressed their impression on Vietnam’s great efforts and dedication towards the successful celebrations of the UN Day of Vesak.-VNA