PGA remarks at the Unveiling of the Bust of Mahatma Gandhi – Gift to UN

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December 14, 2022

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Mahatma Gandhi’s lifelong devotion to building peace and eliminating poverty represents the very essence of the United Nations.

One of history’s most transformative figures, his life philosophy has been a great source of inspiration for more than a century.

Despite our world being vastly different from the one he left.

Gandhi called poverty the greatest form of violence.

What would he say about our society if he saw the world today?

Our wars, conflicts and ridiculous rivalries.

The endless violence online and offline.

Our inability to keep our pledges, to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.

And of course, our failure, at least so far, to unify against climate change and biodiversity loss.

Gandhi was a pioneer in his reflection on living in harmony with nature.

Or to be more precise, living in harmony in nature, in the world that we belong to.

“The Earth has enough resources for our need but not for our greed” – he said.

Thankfully many have since woken up to this realization.

As we face the global threats ahead, let us recall his spirit and his legacy of peace and kindness, towards ourselves, each other, and our planet.

Let this bust be a reminder to all of us of how much one person can achieve.

Let this bust prove, to use the Mahatma’s own words, that “In a gentle way, you can shake the world”.

Let it be a symbol of peace and humanity.

I thank you.

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