International Day of Nonviolence 2023: A challenge to take bold action for peaceful resolution

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Today, 2nd October, the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, stated 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.”

Here in Canada we need to embrace this day to create awareness about the significance of nonviolence and its role in promoting peace, harmony, and unity worldwide. Nonviolence is a powerfully moral methodology for bringing about transformative change, both at the individual and social levels. It has the power to lessen people’s rage and aggression and chanel that energy constructively, fostering individual development and peaceful and respectful interpersonal interactions.

The International Day of Nonviolence was unanimously proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in June 2007. The resolution placed a special focus on raising public awareness and spreading the nonviolent message.