Kampala, Uganda | XINHUA | UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday called for a sense of shared fate and collective compassion in face of COVID-19.
“This sense of shared fate and collective compassion is both the spirit of the Buddha and the animating force of the Charter of the United Nations, which just marked its own 75th birthday,” Guterres told a virtual commemoration of the International Day of Vesak 2020.
Vesak Day falls on May 7 this year. A virtual belated commemoration was held on Thursday at the United Nations.
Guterres said the Buddha’s teachings can help remind the world of the unity that it needs to meet the challenges posed by COVID-19.
“Because all living beings are subject to illness, I am ill as well,” he quoted a sutra as stating.
This timeless message of solidarity and service to others is more important than ever, said Guterres. “It is only by combining our energies and expertise that we can address the tremendous fragilities in our world today. Only through international cooperation will we ease the economic and social consequences of the crisis, which are pervasive but place a particular burden on the world’s most vulnerable people and countries. And it is only by strengthening bonds across society that we will recover better and build a healthier, more inclusive, sustainable, resilient and equitable world.”
“As we recognize this enduring wisdom, let us act in that spirit in answering the colossal test that people and planet face today,” said Guterres.
Vesak, which commemorates the birth, enlightenment and passing of the Buddha, is a sacred holiday observed by millions of Buddhists around the world.