Secretary-General message on the International Day of Non-Violence – 2 October 2014

2 October 2014 | Press Releases

New York, 2 October 2014 – On this International Day of Non-Violence, we commemorate the philosophy of the late Mahatma Gandhi, who through his example proved that peaceful protests could accomplish much more than military aggression.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo

The principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, the year of Gandhi’s death, owe much to his beliefs.

At this time of increased sectarian violence and the wanton destruction of cultural sites and heritage, it is timely to recall Gandhi’s call for peace and reconciliation, and his warning that, “An eye for an eye ends up making the whole world blind.”

We have to foster a culture of peace, built on dialogue and understanding, for living together in harmony while respecting and celebrating humanity’s rich diversity.

There is no greater tool than education to enhance human dignity, promote a culture of non-violence, and build lasting peace. Through education, we can craft new ways of living with each other and the planet. Education can also lay the foundation for developing new forms of global citizenship and solidarity that are so essential in today’s world.

On this Day, I call on all people to counter the forces of intolerance, advance global citizenship and forge human solidarity based on Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy
of non-violence.