By Chioma Iruke
UN Secretary-General, António Guterres has urged world leaders to heed the late Indian leader, Mahatma Gandhi’s message of peace and get down to the business of building a better and more peaceful future for all.
Guterres said this in his message on the International Day of Non-Violence.
The UN Chief pointed out that the day coincided with the birthday of Gandhi – leader of India’s independence movement and a founder of the principles of nonviolence.
“For Gandhi, non-violence, peaceful protest, dignity and equality were more than words. They represented a guiding light for humanity, a map to a better future,” he said.
He also pointed to the movement as “a template” to confront today’s troubled times.
“Conflicts and climate change; Poverty and inequalities; Mistrust and divisions; All under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to devastate people and economies alike,” he said.
Guterres underscored that the solution to these challenges “is in our hands: solidarity”.
“The principle of nonviolence, also known as non-violent resistance, rejects the use of physical force to achieve social or political change and has been adopted globally in campaigns for social justice.
“We need to recognise, as Gandhi did, that what unites us is far greater than what divides us. That peace provides the only pathway to a better future for all,” he added.