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UN to declare Gandhi's birthday as World Non-violence Day
Dharam Shourie | June 14, 2007 12:50 IST
The United Nations General Assembly will declare October 2 -- the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi [Images] -- as 'International Day of Non-Violence' in recognition of his role in promoting the message of peace around the world.
A resolution reaffirming the universal relevance of non-violence, initiated by India and co-sponsored by more than 120 of the 191 members of the Assembly, is expected to be adopted unanimously tomorrow.
The day will be observed for the first time on October 2 next, after which it would become an annual event.
Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma will participate in the formal adoption of the resolution which diplomats and officials say is very timely as the United Nations is expanding its efforts to resolve conflicts.
Most of the major countries, including Russia [Images], China, Britain, France [Images] and Germany [Images], are among the co-sponsors. From the subcontinent, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka [Images], Afghanistan and Bhutan are among those sponsoring it.
More countries are likely to join in sponsoring it by the time the Assembly considers it.
The resolution stresses that non violence, tolerance, full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, democracy, development, mutual understanding and respect for diversity are interlinked and reinforcing.
The resolution says: 'The Assembly decides, with effect from the 62nd session of the General Assembly (which begins in September next) and guided by the Charter of the United Nations, to observe the International Day of Non-Violence on October 2 each year, with the International day being brought to the attention of all people for its celebration and observance on this date.'
It invites all member states, NGOs and individuals to commemorate the day and to disseminate the message of non-violence, 'including through education and public awareness.'
The resolution also requests the Secretary-General to recommend ways and means by which the UN systems can assist member states in organising activities to commemorate the day.