The first Global Buddhist Summit was held from April 20-21 in New Delhi. The theme of the summit was Responses to Contemporary Challenges: Philosophy to Praxis. The event was hosted by the International Buddhist Confederation in collaboration with the Indian Ministry of Culture and drew 170 delegates from nearly 30 countries, including Taiwan, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and Mongolia.
The summit was inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Indian leader touched on the challenges of war, climate change, economic instability, terrorism, and religious extremism in his address. He said “there are millions of people like us who have faith in Buddha, who believe in the welfare of all living beings. This hope, this faith is the biggest strength of this earth. When this hope gets united, the Buddha’s Dhamma will become the world’s belief and Buddha’s realization will become the belief of humanity.”
The Dalai Lama spoke on day two of the gathering. He spoke of compassion, wisdom, and meditation which he said were the three ideals, central to the philosophy and teachings of the Buddha.
The summit concluded with the release of a New Delhi Declaration which focuses on the need to address the burning challenges both within and globally and a sustainable model for the future of the world. It emphasizes the need for environmental sustainability, a world free from conflict and in peace, and the importance of preserving sacred sites of Buddhism.
The Global Buddhist Summit is being held at a time when India holds the presidencies of both the G20 and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).