By — BT NEWSDESK
Dharamshala: The 12th General Assembly of the Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace (ABCP), which was held in New Delhi on 17 and 18 January 2024, unanimously declared His Holiness the Dalai Lama to be a “Universal Supreme Leader of the Buddhist World” in recognition of His lifelong contributions in bringing closer the Buddhist communities and strengthening a sense of oneness of humanity.
The two-day conference themed “The Buddhist Voice of the Global South” also proclaimed 6 July, the day of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s birthday, as the “Universal Day of Compassion,” honouring the core teachings of Lord Buddha and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to build a harmonious and peaceful world. The conference further acknowledged in its resolution the importance of the continuation of Gaden Phodrang Institution and rejected any interference from governments or individuals in the recognition of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s reincarnation.
Prominent world leaders from various countries have written messages for the inaugural ceremony of the 12th General Assembly of ABCP, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama Himself. In His letter, His Holiness expressed appreciation to ABCP for taking initiatives to “create greater awareness of the need to promote peace in Asia and the wider world, as well as efforts it has made to strengthen Buddhist culture and values.”
“In the world today, it is very clear that our tendency to see other people in terms of ‘we’ and ‘them’ sadly leads to divisions that give rise to conflicts.” The letter continues, “This occurs because we fail to appreciate the oneness of humanity. However, when we recognise that we are all the same human beings, we can learn to live in harmony and friendship and help one another.” His Holiness’ message for the conference also touches on reducing the threats posed by poverty and environmental degradations, stating it will help not just the people “who are alive today, but even generations yet to come.”
In addition, the conference’s opening ceremony was also addressed in person by the honourable Vice President of India, Jagdeep Dhankhar, and Minister of Earth Sciences of India, Shri Kiren Rijiju. It was attended by representatives from India, Mongolia, Russia, South Korea, Laos, Bangladesh, Japan, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Bhutan, and Nepal.
Secretary Chime Tseyang from the Department of Religion and Culture participated in the ABCP’s conference as a representative of the Central Tibetan Administration.
On the second day of the conference, after the delegates had read their reports, the Secretary of ABCP Indian National Centre, Sonam Wangchuk Shakspo, read out the resolution adopted by the conference.
–Filed by the Department of Religion and Culture, CTA
Read the full statement below.