Embrace Diversity, Unite around Common Humanity to Overcome Rising Tensions, Create More Peaceful World, Secretary-General Urges on International Day of Non-Violence

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for the International Day of Non-Violence, observed on 2 October:

On this International Day of Non-Violence, we commemorate not only the birth of Mahatma Gandhi but also the timeless values he championed:  mutual respect and understanding, justice and the power of peaceful action.

Our world confronts grave challenges:  growing inequalities, rising tensions, proliferating conflicts and worsening climate chaos.  We also see divides deepening within countries — with democracy under threat and hate speech and intolerance on the march.

We can overcome these afflictions and chart a course towards a brighter, more peaceful future.  If we understand — as Gandhi did — that the magnificent diversity of our human family is a treasure, not a threat.  If we invest in social cohesion, nurture the courage to compromise and the determination to cooperate.  If we ensure that all of us — regardless of status, background, circumstance, or faith — can live lives of dignity, opportunity and rights.  If we unite around our common humanity.

Let us remember Gandhi’s wise counsel:  “Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization.”  Let us heed his words today and re-commit ourselves to this essential purpose.

For information media. Not an official record.