U Thant Peace Award – quotes from recipients

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The U Thant Peace Award is a symbolic presentation by Sri Chinmoy: The Peace Meditation at the United Nations to acknowledge, appreciate and admire distinguished accomplishments toward the attainment of world peace.

The award was named for the late Secretary-General of the United Nations in honour of this contemplative world leader’s exemplary devotion to peace in both his personal and his political life.

See also: U Thant Peace Award – an overview

The recipients are individuals or organizations reflecting U Thant’s lofty spiritual ideals.

Below are excerpts from statements and brief quotes by Previous recipients

H.E. Mr. Zenon Rossides, Ambassador of Cyprus to the United Nations:

“Sri Chinmoy, dear friends, I wish to thank you with all my heart for your kind spirit in giving me this award. “U Thant was a luminous ideal that walked among us as a human figure. His actions and his thoughts had a transcendental quality and a prophetic content that was due to a spiritual approach to life.

U Thant was a man entirely dedicated to the spirit, belonging to a region which was the birthplace of all the religions in this world. We must realise that the spirit is predominant in guiding man in the right direction, and that the United Nations must be guided in that way.

“We cannot invoke the spirit without meditating. Therefore the meditation group led by Sri Chinmoy at the United Nations is of great significance because it helps to evoke among the members of the United Nations the spiritual approach. We must honour Sri Chinmoy by following his example, by meditating, so that we can have a United Nations which is effective in the spiritual approach to life, with actions in accordance with justice, freedom and security in the world.

Mr. Bradford Morse: Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) :

“My colleagues in UNDP and I are proud and gratified for the great honour which “Sri Chinmoy” and “the Peace Meditation at the United Nations” granted us by offering the U Thant Peace Award to UNDP. UNDP is most appreciative of this honour. “This award not only gives us new inspiration, dedication and energy to serve in the best manner millions of human beings in poor countries, but also constitutes a high commemoration of the spirit of the late secretary-General U Thant, a world leader who was a champion of peace and development. I thank you from my heart.”

Dr. Jorge Illueca, President of the 38th Session of the General Assembly:

“I humbly accept this honour as a meaningful inspiration to accomplish all that I can for the benefit of humanity in my capacity as President of the General Assembly. I have been blessed with a unique opportunity to serve mankind. I hope I shall be able to offer something significant as an instrument of the highest principles of peace, progress and understanding.

“Perhaps no one has brought a higher spiritual vision to the United Nations than U Thant, for whom you have named the award which you have so graciously bestowed on me. I would like to recall a few deeply meaningful thoughts which the late Secretary-General offered in his farewell address:

“Above all, I would attach the greatest importance to spiritual qualities, like faith in oneself and the purity of one’s inner self, which to me is the greatest virtue of all. With this approach, with this philosophy, with this concept alone we will be able to fashion the kind of society we want, the kind of society which was envisaged by the founders of the United Nations.”

Message of secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar for the U Thant Peace Award Ceremony in 1986:

“The promotion of mutual human respect across religious, ideological, political and economic boundaries is at the very root of the United Nations and imbued the life’s work of my distinguished predecessor, U Thant. As we remember this therefore, we should also bear in mind that the ideals of tolerance and mutual accommodation, which he espoused so dearly, retain today all their power and relevance. They should inspire all our endeavours.”

(others to be added.)