UN chief Ban Ki-moon today called on people across the world to be inspired by the courage of Mahatma Gandhi and his resonant legacy of non-violence to peacefully oppose oppression, injustice and hatred.
In his message for the International Day of Non-Violence, which is also the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, Ban said, "I call on global citizens everywhere to be inspired by the courage of people like Mahatma Gandhi."
"Mahatma Gandhi showed the power of peacefully opposing oppression, injustice and hatred. His example has inspired many other history-makers such as Martin Luther King, Jr, Vaclav Havel, Rigoberta Menchu Tum and Nelson Mandela."
"Today we celebrate the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi and his resonant legacy of non-violence," the UN Secretary General said in a statement.
"It requires resolve to stand against injustice, discrimination and brutality and to demand respect for diversity and fundamental human rights," he said, adding that non-violence needs leaders backed by an army of brave people prepared to demand peace, freedom and fairness.
"The United Nations stands for the peaceful resolution of disputes and the end to all forms of violence, whether State-sponsored or embedded in culture and practice, such as the violence and intimidation women and girls endure in all regions.
"Ending such violence can start with each of us - in homes, schools and workplaces. Violence can be contagious, but so can peaceful dialogue," he said and asked people to "turn your back to division and hatred; stand up for what is right and just."
"Work with your fellow women and men for a world of lasting justice, peace and prosperity for all," he said.