Global Community Should Do Much More To End The Culture Of Violence - UNDP Representative

Oct 3, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 3 (Bernama) -- The global community should do much more to end the culture of violence and promote peace, tolerance, and understanding, UN Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) representative for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, Michelle Gyles-McDonnough, said.

Speaking at the launch of the UN International Day of Non-Violence Wednesday she said that the world is currently seeing increasing conflict and turmoil with large scale violations of human rights "born of intolerance, hatred and oppression."

"We all must take courage and accept responsibility for ourselves and our fellow global citizens; and exercise the power within us and the networks, relationships and institutions around us to stand up and be counted in shaping the world we want - one of peace, prosperity, opportunity, tolerance and respect," she said.

The highlight of the celebrations was the Fourth Gandhi Memorial Lectures which coincided with the 144th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of India's independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in his message urged global citizens everywhere to be inspired by the courage of people like Gandhi, saying that it took courage to stand up to those who use violence to enforce their will or belief

"As we set sights on a sustainable future we must be guided by the imperative to "do no harm" to people or the planet. On this International Day of Non-Violence, I call on global citizens everywhere to be inspired by the courage of people like Mahatma Gandhi," Ban said in his speech delivered by Gyles-McDonnough

Meanwhile Ambassador-At-Large at Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Professor Tommy Koh, said that the international community should reflect on Ghandi's legacies to India and the world and fulfill his dream of a more peaceful, just and tolerant world,.

Speaking at the Memorial Lectures, he said that the legacies were Satyagraha (non-violent opposition to injustice), religious harmony and non-discrimination.

Former chairman of the GMT Datuk Mahadev Shankar reminded that "this is a day we should all keep within our hearts what non-violence means."

"Even as I stand here, the bombs are going on in Baghdad, the bullets are flying in Basra and school children in their beds have been blatantly killed in Nigeria, and all this in the name of politics," he said.

Organised by the GMT, the event was attended by some 300 people, including ambassadors, High Commissioners, judges and university lecturers.

The UN International Day of Non-Violence was declared by the UN General Assembly on June 15, 2007 to "disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness."


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