“I add my lantern to the millions of lights for peace lit in the hearts and minds of women everywhere” – Lakshmi Puri
Remarks by UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri at the “First Shinnyo lantern floating for peace” event, New York, 22 September 2013.
Date: 22 September 2013
Ladies and Gentlemen, good evening to you all.
I would like to thank her Holiness Shinso Ito, the Head Priest of Shinnyo-en, for the honour of joining you in this symbolically powerful gesture for peace.
Tonight I would like to dedicate my lantern to the millions of women around the world who face the unspeakable violence, hardships and perils of conflict and yet have the courage to stand up for peace… for women are inherently peacemakers and peacebuilders.
I strongly believe that women have a natural propensity for peace. I have seen it with my own eyes around the world – in my country India, in Sri Lanka, in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Pakistan. They are creators, sustainers and transformers of communities. They think across generations and work to prevent conflicts.
Like these lanterns, they dispel the darkness of ignorance and hatred and spread the light of understanding, peace and harmony through what Lord Buddha called “Maitri” - loving kindness – and “Karuna” - compassion.
Tonight I add my lantern to the millions of lights for peace lit in the hearts and minds of women everywhere, every day.
As enshrined in the Upanishads, I invoke women's power and pray that
May everything be auspicious unto all;
May peace be unto all;
May fullness be unto all;
May prosperity be unto all;
Om Peace, peace, peace.
To watch a video of the lantern floating event, visit: http://www.bealightforpeace.org/