About 50 delegates from 27 countries, 100 delegates from India and ten special invitees gathered at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi, to discuss the present world scenario and mobilise global opinion for restoring peace in the world.
The two-day Convention has been organised by the Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, New Delhi. It was inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who called for reform and restructuring of the UN to make it more effective in dealing with the challenges of today's world. He further stated that the UN was the single most important contributor in preventing any major war after second world war, but now it was time to reform and restructure it. He said that the importance of treaties for peace and disarmament adopted bilaterally, regionally and in the United Nations should not be belittled.
Vajpayee stressed the need for collective action to attain the goal of disarmament and specifically elimination of all weapons of Mass Destruction in the 21st century.
Asserting that terrorism inspired by religious extremism was one of the major threats to global peace, the Prime Minister said it should be dealt with firmly both through the action of individual nations and through international solidarity. Full length speech
The Global Convention discussed the issues of strengthening of United Nations, and more particularly the Security Council, to effectively perform its responsibility for the preservation of peace and security in the world, disarmament, fighting terrorism and promoting universal brotherhood and harmony among all religious, ethnic, linguistic and other groups. The Gandhian concept of World Peace and its practical value in the current context was taken up for in-depth discussion.
Eminent persons including former Heads of States and peace activists and scholars from across the world took part in the two-day convention which includes former German President Mr. Richard von Weizsäcker (read his speech), former President of Indonesia Mr. Abdurrahman Wahid, former Tanzanian Prime Minister Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, former Prime Minister of Nepal, Mr. Girija Prasad Koirala as well as scientists and eminent personalities.
After the inaugural session, there were parallel sessions on the three broad themes of the Convention. Former Indian Prime Minister, Mr. I.K. Gujral chaired the session on 'Strengthening of United Nations'. The former Tanzanian Prime Minister, Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim was the co-chairman. The former German President, Mr. Richard von Weizsäcker chaired the session on 'Disarmament, Peace, fighting terrorism and promoting universal brotherhood', while eminent Gandhian activist Ms. Nirmala Deshpande was the co-chair. The former President of Indonesia, Mr. Abdurrahman Wahid chaired the session on 'Gandhian Concept of World Peace', and Acharya Ramamurthy co-chaired this session.
At the conclusion of the global Convention a Declaration was adopted.