Senior Bishop Mitsuo Nagatsuka Represents Shinnyo-en at the 9th International Buddhist Conference on the United Nations Day of Vesak

May 31, 2012
Bangkok, Thailand

The Venerable Mitsuo Nagatsuka, Senior Bishop of Shinnyo-en, participated at the 9th International Buddhist Conference, observed on Vesak Day, as organized by the United Nations and Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University in Bangkok, Thailand on May 31st – June 2nd.

Vesak Day, the holy day traditionally observed by Theravadan Buddhists on the full moon in the month of May, celebrates the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and entering to Nirvana.

Since 2003, the United Nations has supported the International Buddhist Conference, held annually at the United Nations Conference Center in Bangkok. This year has been particularly important, as the Thai Theravadan community is observing the Buddhajayanti: The Celebration of 2600 Years of Buddha’s Enlightenment particularly on Vesak Day 2012.

Over 5,000 Buddhist leaders from 85 countries attended this year. A keynote of the conference was the adoption of the Bangkok Declaration of the Ninth International Buddhist Conference which articulates a mutual understanding among organizations and individuals from all Buddhist traditions.

The Venerable Mitsuo Nagatsuka from Shinnyo-en, spoke about religious harmony at presentations at Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University and at the United Nations Conference Center. Among other speakers were the prime minister of Thailand and the president of Sri Lanka. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, addressed the conference by videoconference.