Message of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the International Day of Non-Violence 2 October 2018

On the International Day of Non-Violence, we recognize the enduring vision and wisdom of Mahatma Gandhi, whose birthday we also celebrate today.

At a time of protracted conflicts and complex challenges, Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence remains an inspiration. At the United Nations, a world free of violence — and the resolution of differences through non-violent means — is at the core of our work.

At a time when inequality is on the rise and a fair globalization is an imperative, we also recall Gandhi’s commitment to social justice.

And in a period when the world is striving to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, ensure gender equality and leave no one behind, Gandhi’s commitment to human dignity can light our path.

As Gandhi once said, “non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind.” The Charter of the United Nations echoes that spirit, with its call in Chapter VI for the use, “first of all”, of negotiation, mediation, arbitration, judicial settlement and other peaceful ways to address threats to peace.

Gandhi proved that non-violence can change history. Let us be inspired by his courage and conviction as we continue our work to advance peace, sustainable development and human rights for all of the peoples of the world.