Statement of the Universal Esperanto Association on the occasion of the International Day of Non-Violence

Over the past decade, as declared by the United Nations, October 2 has been regularly celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence. On this day we remember the outstanding achievements of those who, by applying non-violence, have changed their own societies in the direction of justice and equality.

Mahatma Gandhi called non-violence “the greatest force at the disposal of mankind” and Martin Luther King described non-violent resistance as “the courageous confrontation of evil by the power of love.”

The Universal Esperanto Association pays particular attention to the importance of linguistic communication as an instrument of non-violence. Through its capability of speech and writing, humankind can persuade, insist, reason – and can do these things to avoid violent confrontation. But this is possible only when both sides speak the same language. All too often, communication collapses becuase of language difference, or the inability of speakers of different languages to bridge those differences.

The International Language Esperanto was created to bridge the differences of languages, constituting a foundation for non-violent ommunication and the furtherance of understanding. The Universal Esperanto Association’s constitution states that “good international relations and respect for human rights, as these are defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other internationally recognized instruments, are essential conditions for the work of UEA.” On the basis of this requirement of our constitution, the Association unequivocally condemns all forms of violence – and on the occasion of the International Day of Non-Violence once again declares its dedication to working with the United Nations for the creation of a more peaceful and understanding world.