New York [US], October 2 (ANI): On the occasion of the 151st birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called on the international community to be inspired by the spirit of Gandhi and the enduring principles of the UN Charter.
Speaking at a virtual event titled "Gandhi@150: A non-violent approach to peace and development", Guterres said that the birth anniversary of Gandhi is also celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence and the day re-emphasises the power of non-violence and peaceful protest.
"This international day highlights the remarkable power of non-violence and peaceful protest. It is also a timely reminder to strive to pull values that Gandhi lived by -- the promotion of dignity, equal protection for all and communities living together in peace," he said.
Urging the countries to focus on COVID-19 pandemic instead of other conflicts, the Secretary-General said, "On this year's observance we have a special duty -- stop the fighting to focus on common enemy that is COVID-19. There is only one winner of conflict during a pandemic -- the virus itself. I call for a global ceasefire. Today we need a new push by the international community to make this a reality by the end of this year."
"Ceasefires ease immense suffering, helps to lower the risk of famine and create space for negotiations for peace," he said.
While expressing hope amid the present "mistrust", Guterres said, "Now is the time to intensify our efforts. Let us be inspired by the spirit of Gandhi and the enduring principles of UN Charter."
The event was anchored by India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations TS Tirumurti.
Born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar town of Gujarat, Mahatma Gandhi or Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi adopted a non-violent resistance and was at the forefront of the freedom struggle against the colonial British rule with utmost patience.
This led to India finally achieving its independence in 1947. Fondly known as Bapu, his unwavering belief in 'Swaraj' (self-governance) and 'Ahimsa' (non-violence) won him accolades across the world.
Globally, Gandhi's birth anniversary is celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence. Several events were held in India and across the world to mark the occasion. (ANI)