United Nations Day of Vesak 2010

RectorVesak is the most important day of the Buddhist calander and it is usually observed on the full moon day of May.

Following an International Buddhist Conference held in Sri Lanka in November 1998, the UN General Assembly in 1999 decided to observe Buddhist’ Sacred Day at United Nations.

Since 2000, Buddhist countries have been honored to sponsor the Vesak activities at the UN. In 2004, the Thai sangha coordinated and led by Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University to organize the celebrations at the UN Headquarters in New York City.

Read more about controversies surrounding the events this year:


This year an observation of the UN Day of Vesak will be held in Canberra in Parliament House and a large conference will be held in Bangkok.

Australia is home to numerous faith traditions, united by a common committment to fairness and respect for our democratic way of life. Therefore an event being held in Parliament House in the names of the general Buddhist community and the values of the United Nations should be represented by all Buddhist faith traditions.

It is a concern that the event in Canberra  is not being organised in co-operation with the Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils (FABC) which represents the vast majority of Buddhist organisations throughout Australia, representing the Buddhist community in all its variety in an open and transparent manner. About 160 Buddhist organisations nationwide stand together on the platform of the FABC.

We would like to state that the organisation which calls itself the Buddhist Federation of Australia (BFA) is not affiliated with the FABC or any of the five state councils. The BFA does not have a website but our understanding is that they represent only a few Buddhist organisations, perhaps between one to three. Because the names of both organisations are very similar it is causing confusion.

We will be writing to government of Australia to inform them of our concerns. We also hope this year the Australian Prime Minister’s speech to UNDV in Bangkok will be read out by an Australian delegate and that the Australian delegation will be a good representation of the diversity of Australian Buddhists both male and female.