In June 2007, the United Nations passed a Resolution declaring Mahatma Gandhi’s birth date of 2nd October every year as the International Day of Non-violence. In the event, last Friday (2nd October, 2020) a Commemoration was held near the Statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the Wellington Railway Station to celebrate the International Day of Non-violence and remember this Great man who dedicated his life to promoting Peace and Humanity, not only in his own country (India) but throughout the world. The Keynote Address was delivered by Sir Anand Satyanand, former Governor General of NZ. Other Speakers included: HE Muktesh Pardeshi (Indian High Commissioner), Hon Grant Robertson (Minister of Finance), His Worship Andy Forster (Mayor of Wellington) and HE Leasi Papali’i Scanlan (High Commissioner of Samoa & Dean of the Diplomatic Corps).
In his address, the Samoan High Commissioner referred to Mahatma Gandhi’s life as a story of heroic effort to establish the values of truth and non-violence in human life, and that Mr Gandhi’s contribution to human development is far too great to be forgotten or overlooked. Leasi added that Samoa, like all the countries represented in Wellington, has adopted and observe the UN Resolution as we believe in the peaceful resolution of any conflict. ‘Peace is the cornerstone of the Samoan culture which is based on family life, respect, humility and forgiveness’. The High Commissioner acknowledged that despite the many diverse countries with different ideologies represented in Wellington, the NZ Diplomatic Corps Family is a very close group of people who take the view that ‘Diplomacy’ has lot to do with ‘people-to-people’ relations. ‘By knowing and understanding each other, we believe that this can go a long way in appreciating and resolving, in a non-violent manner, any differences that arise from time to time’. The Dean of the Dip Corps concluded his address with one of the many famous quotes of the great Mahatma Gandhi; “Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of Mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of Man"