Bangkok Declaration of the Twelfth Anniversary Celebrations of the United Nations Day of Vesak May 28-30, 2015 (B.E.2558)

At the Main Campus, Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, Wang Noi, Ayutthaya and The United Nations Conference Centre, Bangkok

On 15th December 1999, representatives from thirty-four countries proposed to the General Assembly of the United Nations that the full moon day in the month of May be recognized and observed at the United Nations Headquarters and its Regional Offices as the United Nations Day of Vesak. The General Assembly so resolved (Agenda Item 174 of Session No. 54) and, accordingly, the UN Day of Vesak was instituted in the year 2000 with the support of all Buddhist traditions. In pursuance of that Resolution, we, participants from eighty-five countries and regions, have come together on May 28-30, 2015 (B.E. 2558). As in the previous years, the celebrations were generously organized by Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, and graciously supported by the Royal Government of Thailand under the guidance of the Supreme Sangha Council of Thailand.

During the celebrations we have explored the theme of "Buddhism and World Crisis" promoting mutual understanding and cooperation between organizations and individuals from all Buddhist traditions. At the conclusion of our successful celebrations and meetings we have unanimously resolved as follows:

1. In honor of the 60th Birthday of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, to publish the Common Buddhist Text;

2. Also in honor of the 60th Birthday of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, to launch Phase I of the Union Catalog of Buddhist Texts (UCBT), which will be a new UCBT online catalog that will link the online catalogs for all the Buddhist canons; Phase 1 will consists 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;

3. In solving world crisis of all forms, to urge all parties concerned to (a) contemplate the interdependence of sentient beings with other sentient beings, and sentient beings with their environment, and (b) promote optimism that, through compassion and wisdom, we can transform crises into opportunities for well-being;

4. To urge all individuals, especially those in positions of responsibility, to promote the empowerment of women worldwide;

5. To urge all governmental and non-governmental bodies to invest more in education to promote mindful education, religious diversity, ethical values and spiritual-development, among the young and for society at large, as, for instance, in the Village of the Five Precepts Project in Thailand;

6. To promote personal spiritual transformation and structural changes at the social, economic, legal and political levels, through a simple contented lifestyle with virtuous ethical principle, in order to create an ecologically sustainable environmental community that addresses global warming and environmental degradation; to encourage fellow human beings to live with, but not exploit, the Earth; and to urge the world community to promote a greater awareness of the interconnectedness between human beings and the natural environment;

7. To commend on the relief efforts for natural disasters and famines, such as the recent earthquake in Nepal, already undertaken by the Buddhist communities worldwide and to further urge them to pull together their resources to promote this practice of compassion in action;

8. To urge all the governments and communities within the ASEAN Community, together with their neighbors, to find a solution for the dire situation with the Mekong River and its fragile ecosystem;

9. To encourage Buddhist leaders 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; and

10. In addressing social problems, such as narcotic drugs, ethnic violence and domestic abuse, to employ resources available in the Buddhist traditions, such as the practice of mindfulness, compassion, wisdom, self-responsibility, 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.

Done as the Bangkok Declaration of the Twelfth Anniversary Celebrations of the United Nations Day of Vesak, this 30th Day of May 2015 (B.E. 2558).

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