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INSIDE THAILAND
Bangkok Declaration of the Twelfth Anniversary Celebrations of the United Nations Day of Vesak

1 June 2015

All governmental and non-governmental bodies have been urged to invest more in education to promote mindful education, religious diversity, ethical values, and spiritual development, both among the young and for society at large, as, for instance, in the Village of the Five Precepts Project in Thailand.
 
The call was contained in the Bangkok Declaration of the Twelfth Anniversary Celebrations of the United Nations Day of Vesak, issued on 30 May 2015 in Thailand.
 
The declaration came after the conclusion of the celebrations, organized by Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University (MCU) and supported by the Thai government from 28 to 30 May 2015. Buddhist leaders and Buddhist monks from 85 countries joined the celebrations and meetings under the theme of "Buddhism and World Crisis."
 
As a way to help solve all forms of crises occurring in the world, participants in the Twelfth Anniversary Celebrations of the United Nations Day of Vesak urged all parties concerned to promote the optimistic view that, through compassion and wisdom, crises can be turned into opportunities for well-being. They also urged all individuals, especially those in positions of responsibility, to promote the empowerment of women worldwide.
 
The Bangkok Declaration called for relief efforts for natural disasters and famines, such as the recent earthquake in Nepal, already undertaken by the Buddhist communities worldwide. All governments and communities within the ASEAN Community, together with their neighbors, were also urged to find a solution for the dire situation of the Mekong River and its fragile ecosystem.
 
Buddhist leaders were encouraged to strengthen their ongoing inter-religious and inter-ethnic and cultural dialogue in order to promote mutual understanding, reconciliation, respect, peace-building, and harmony, to create a more integrated society within the ASEAN Community and beyond.
 
In addressing social problems, such as narcotic drugs, ethnic violence and domestic abuse, the Bangkok Declaration called for the use of resources available in the Buddhist traditions, such as the practice of mindfulness, compassion, wisdom, self-responsibility, and respect for life and for all people, regardless of social status and gender, as, for example, with the use of mindfulness meditation to rehabilitate prisoners.
 
On the occasion of the 60th birthday anniversary of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn in 2015, the Common Buddhist Text will be published. The Bangkok Declaration also stated that, in commemoration of this special occasion, Phase I of the Union Catalog of Buddhist Texts (UCBT) will be launched. There will be a new UCBT online catalog that will link the online catalogs for all the Buddhist canons. Phase 1 will consist of creating and launching a technically advanced catalog website for the MCU edition of the Pali canon and the MCU Thai translation of the Pali canon.
 
"Vesak," commonly referred to among Thais as "Visakha Puja, is the most sacred day to millions of Buddhists around the world. It is recognized internationally by the United Nations to acknowledge the contribution that Buddhism has made and continues to make to the spirituality of humanity.
 
Thailand is holding a Buddhism week from 29 May to 9 June 2015 nationwide to mark Visakha Puja, or the "World Day of Vesak.
Foreign Office, The Government Public Relations Department, Office of the Prime Minister
9 Rama VI Road, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

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