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.