On October 7, 2023, we representatives of the Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace (ABCP), gathered at the Vietnam Buddhist Academy in Ho Chi Minh City. HCMC, Vietnam in preparation for the 12th General Assembly of ABCP, scheduled to take place on December 16-17, 2023 in Delhi, India, and discuss the urgent issue of conflict-affected countries around the world.
We are deeply concerned about the terrible suffering being inflicted on innocent lives, such as those who practice the Dharma, which emphasizes non-violence, compassion and peace. In this critical situation, we affirm our strong commitment to promoting peace and justice as follows:
- Identify the connection of sentient beings
Buddhism teaches that all beings have relationships and that one’s suffering affects everyone’s happiness. We recognize the grave sufferings of conflict-torn countries and sincerely stand with those who have experienced extreme suffering.
- Advocacy of non-violence
The principle of non-violence is at the heart of Buddhist thought. We condemn all acts of aggression, violence and war. Instead of using military violence, we call on all parties to seek peaceful solutions through understanding and negotiation.
- Emphasize love and empathy
Buddhism teaches us to develop compassion and empathy for all sentient beings, regardless of nationality, ethnicity or religion. We call on people, groups and governments to face this disaster with great empathy, recognizing the common natural and humanitarian value of all involved.
- Promote dialogue and peace negotiations
We emphasized the important role of peace dialogue and negotiation in bringing about lasting peace. In order to find a solution that respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of conflicted States, we call on all parties to engage in honest and practical dialogue.
- Humanitarian assistance and reconciliation work
We call on the international community to provide immediate humanitarian relief to those affected by war, especially displaced persons, refugees and vulnerable communities. We call on all parties to participate fully in reconciliation efforts to help hurt parties understand each other and heal each other.
- Advocating for human rights and international law
We demand that all parties abide by international principles, in particular the Charter of the United Nations, and protect human rights. Regardless of history or belief, we need to protect the rights and freedoms of each individual.
- Raise awareness and educate people
We are committed to spreading awareness of countries affected by current conflict and the fundamental value of non-violence, compassion and peace taught by the Buddha. Through discussion and education, we aspire to create a society where differences are resolved and values such as compassion, love and understanding are valued.
We offer those affected by conflict our sincere prayers and unwavering support. We call on the international community to join us in working to find a peaceful path to ending war in conflict-affected countries, while protecting the safety and dignity of everyone. May peace reign throughout the world and in the hearts of all living beings.
In conclusion, as a representative of the Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace, gathered at the Vietnam Buddhist Academy in Ho Chi Minh City. HCM, we are united in our commitment to world peace and conflict resolution through non-violence, compassion and understanding.
May the Triple Gems bless us all!
(Recorded by Ven. Thich Tam Duc)