New Delhi:The United Nations General Assembly has decided to declare October 2 — the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi — as 'International Day of Non-Violence'. This will be in recognition of his role in promoting the message of peace around the world.
The UN resolution reaffirms the universal relevance of non-violence. The move, initiated by India and co-sponsored by more than 120 of the 191 members of the Assembly, is expected to be adopted unanimously by June 15.
The 'International Day of Non-Violence' will be observed for the first time on October 2 2007 after which it would become an annual affair. The Union 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.
Countries including Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany are among its co-sponsors. From the subcontinent, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Bhutan are 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 Assembly decides, with effect from the 62nd session of the General Assembly (that begins in September 2007) 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," the UN resolution says.
It invites all member states, NGOs and individuals to commemorate the day and 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.
(Inputs from Agency)