United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday said that Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was an uncompromising advocate of peaceful co-existence, non-discrimination and pluralism.

“Gandhi’s success in mobilizing millions for anti-colonial resistance, while adhering to the principles of non-violence, inspired people across the world,” Guterres said. “His visionary ideas and values, including his concern for justice and social transformation, continue to resonate today.”

Guterres made the remarks while unveiling a bust of Gandhi at the United Nations headquarters in New York. India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar was also present during the inauguration.
This is the first sculpture of Gandhi at the United Nations, according to PTI.

The bust, a gift from India to the United Nations, was designed by sculptor Ram Sutar, who also made the Statue of Unity in Gujarat.

During Wednesday’s inauguration, Guterres said that Gandhi recognised India’s diversity as one of its greatest assets and strove for harmonious relations between religions, cultures and communities.

“His legacy is everywhere, including in the daily work of the United Nations around the world for equality, solidarity and empowerment,” he said. “I hope the installation of his bust here will remind us of the values Gandhi upheld, and to which we remain committed.”

Jaishankar said that Gandhi’s bust is a gift from 1.3 billion people of India to the United Nations.

“Gandhi is a symbol of non-violence, truth and compassion,” Jaishankar said. “He is a symbol who reminds us of our duty to make the world a better place for future generations.”

He added that as the world grapples with violence, armed conflicts and humanitarian emergencies, the ideals of Gandhi must guide our actions to ensure peace and stability.

“I sincerely hope that the sculptural presence of Mahatma Gandhi in these hallowed premises will inspire the United Nations to live up to its founding ideals,” he said.