Mahatma Gandhi was hailed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for his vision that guides the world organization at the unveiling of his statue at the UN headquarters in New York on December 14, 2022.
Guterres said that the drafters of the UN Charter “took great inspiration from Gandhi’s message of peace, non-violence, and tolerance” and “Gandhi-ji’s anti-imperialist vision was foundational for the United Nations”.
“Gandhi is not only a historical figure”, Gutters was quoted as saying by a news agency. “His visionary ideas and values, including his concern for justice and social transformation, continue to resonate today.”
“Recognizing that diversity is one of India’s greatest assets, Gandhi strove for harmonious relations between religions, cultures and communities”, Guterres added.
Called Father of the Nation in India, the Mahatma’s bust was donated by the Indian government and stands on the north lawn of the UN campus with the East River as the background and among sculptures and art works from countries around the world. The sculpture was made by Ram Sutar, who has created several statues of Gandhi installed around the world and designed the massive “Statue of Unity” of Sardar Vallabhai Patel in the Indian state of Gujarat.
General Assembly President Csaba Korosi said, “The focus of his life was pressing for social and political reform through nonviolent resistance by creating the culture of peace. His legacy is everywhere, including in the daily work of the United Nations.”
India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said the statue was “a gift from 1.3 billion people of India to the United Nations”.
He said that the UN is guided by the five principles of Gandhi – Ahimsa or nonviolence, Satyagraha or truth force, Swaraj or independence, Swadeshi or self-reliance and Sarvodaya or universal welfare.
“Today, when the world grapples with violence, armed conflicts and humanitarian emergencies, these Gandhian ideas must continue to guide our actions in ensuring peace and stability,” he said.