Statement on the International Day of Non-Violence (via Pre-Recorded Video)

Ambassador Kelly Craft
Permanent Representative
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
October 2, 2020


Today, October 2, the United States joins the people of India and our United Nations family in honoring and celebrating the life and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.

Happy Birthday, Gandhi, we could really use your presence today. Thankfully, your inspiration and guidance still resonate around the world.

Gandhi’s message of love, unity, compassion, and tolerance is needed now more than ever, in a world undergoing profound political, social, and economic changes.

This is especially true in 2020, as we fight an unprecedented pandemic and witness autocratic governments in Asia, South America, Eastern Europe, and in the Middle East, torture and murder dissidents and violently crack down on peaceful protests.

Mahatma’s principles and appeal to morality serve us here at the United Nations – from defending human rights to peacekeeping, to stepping up to meet the dire needs of refugees, and even to confronting threats to international peace and security.

Our celebration this year of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations is an especially opportune moment to reflect on Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings of non-violence, which inspired and shaped the principles on which the United Nations was founded.

In the United Nations’ 75th year, all of us are suffering the devastating effects of COVID-19. Gandhi’s message of compassion and sacrifice to improve the lives of our neighbors rings more true than ever. The American people are answering the call; we are devoted to this pandemic, we are devoted to the pandemic response and recovery, including the vital research and development of a vaccine.

Gandhi’s life and teachings are as relevant today as they were during the struggle for India’s independence, and his message of non-violence has long resonated with the American people. His teachings profoundly affected American civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and influenced the civil rights movement in the United States.

As fellow democracies, the United States and India share a connection between those two peaceful icons of nonviolence. Let us work today to uphold the values for which Gandhi stood and Gandhi strived for justice, in our words and deeds, as he did.