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UN urges all to stand against COVID-19

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

Oct. 3, 2020 2 min read

2 min read

THE UNITED Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres says the commemoration of Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday highlights the remarkable power of non-violence and peaceful protest.

This, he said in his key note address during the celebration of the International Day for Non-Violence.

Mr Guterres said it is also a timely reminder to strive to uphold values that Mr Gandhi lived by the promotion of dignity, equal protection for all and communities living together in peace.
He highlighted that this year they have a special duty, to stop fighting and focus on the common enemy - COVID-19.

He noted that there is only one winner in conflict during a pandemic, the virus itself.
Mr Guterres said as the pandemic took hold, he called for a global ceasefire, adding that there is need for a new push by the international community to make this a reality by the end of the year.
The cease-fire he said would ease immense suffering, help lower the risk of famine and create space for negotiations towards peace.

He added that deep mistrust stands in the way, yet he sees reasons for hope.
Now, he said is the time to intensify efforts, urging all to be inspired by the spirit of Gandhi and the enduring principles of the UN Charter.

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Mahatma Ghandi in the middle

The International Day of Non-Violence is observed on October 2, the birthday of Mr Gandhi who was the leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence.
According to the General Assembly resolution A/RES/61/271 of June 15, 2007, which established the commemoration, the International Day is an occasion to 'disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness'.
The resolution reaffirms 'the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence' and the desire 'to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence'.

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