In a clarion call to the international community to heed Mahatma Gandhi’s message of peace, UN Secretary Antonio Guterres has said combatants around the world should lay down their arms and focus on defeating humanity’s common enemy, the COVID-19 pandemic, and not one another.
“It is no coincidence that we mark the International Day of Non-Violence on the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. For Gandhi, non-violence, peaceful protest, dignity and equality were more than words. They represented a guiding light for humanity, a map to a better future,” Guterres said in his message for the International Day of Non-violence, observed on October 2.
He said non-violence, peaceful protest, dignity and equality a template to address today’s troubled times.
“Conflicts and climate change. Poverty and inequalities. Mistrust and divisions. All under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to devastate people and economies alike,” the UN chief said.
On this year’s observance of the International Day of Non-Violence, Guterres said “Let us heed” Gandhi’s message of peace, “and get down to the business of building a better and more peaceful future for all.”
“We call on combatants around the world to lay down their arms and focus on defeating humanity’s common enemy – Covid-19 – not one another,” he said, underlining the urgent need to deliver life-saving vaccines and treatment, and support countries in the long road to recovery ahead.