Asian Buddhist Conference For Peace

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History of ABCP in Russia

By Dashinima Patkin

The creation of an international non-governmental organization of the Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace was initiated by Pandito Khambo Lama Jambal Dorzho Gomboev, Chairman of the Central Spiritual Board of Buddhists of the USSR back in December 1969. A preparatory committee of the organization of representatives from Sri Lanka, Mongolia and the USSR gathered in Mongolia. The newly created organization received the support of the leadership of the Soviet Union in opposition to the World Buddhist Brotherhood established in 1956 under the aegis of the United States for Asian countries loyal to the foreign policy of the White House. Literally after its establishment, the new organization quickly increased its influence in Buddhist countries. This was greatly facilitated by the personal authority and connections of Pandito Khambo Lama J. D. Gomboev with the leadership of the USSR and with the leaders of Asian Buddhist countries. In addition to the Soviet Union and Mongolia, ABCP included India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Cambodia, North Korea, Laos, Vietnam, Nepal. In 1980 at the next conference, Pandito Khambo Lama Gomboev was awarded the anniversary medal of ABCP. Looking ahead, the organisation born by the efforts of Pandito Khambo Lama J. D. Gomboev enjoys prestige not only among Buddhists, but also among the world community, as evidenced by the participation in the 5th General Conference of the ABCP a representative of the UN Secretary General, the World Peace Council, Christian Peace Conference and the World Buddhist Fellowship, and also has the status of the third category in ECOSOC and UNESCO.

In 1989, a session of the Executive Council of ABCP was held in Ulan-Ude, Buryatia, at which three resolutions were adopted and a communiqué was approved. The first resolution was devoted to the creation of the Commission for the Preservation of Buddhist Cultural Heritage; in the second resolution, the session condemned the policy of the leadership of South Korea towards religious leaders and patriotic democratic forces, and demanded the release of Honorable Mun Ik Hwan. Its participants reminded that, according to the resolution of the 30th session of the UN General Assembly, foreign troops and nuclear weapons should certainly be withdrawn from South Korea, which would create conditions for the country's independent and peaceful reunification. In the third resolution, the session supported the statements made by the governments of Kampuchea, Laos and Vietnam for a political and peaceful resolution of the Kampuchean problem. The communiqué referred to the progress of the work of the Executive Council. Dr. G. Luvsantseren (Mongolia) presented a report on the activities of ABCP over the past period and outlined a plan for the future. Deputy Secretary General Dr. V. B. Tsybikdorzhiev (USSR) made a report on the preparatory work for the 20th anniversary of ABCP and the 8th General Conference, for which the Executive Council approved the motto “Peace through non-alignment, mutual trust and social justice”.

In connection with the collapse of the USSR in 1991, the activity of ABCP was actually suspended, since it was mainly funded by the Central Spiritual Board of Buddhists of the USSR and supported by the government of the Soviet Union.

The plenum of the Executive Council of ABCP held its work from 1 to 4 August 2001, in the Republic of Buryatia. After a period of stagnation in the 1990s, this international NGO of Buddhists resumed its activities and defined the objectives of its activities in the new millennium.

Delegations from Nepal, Sri Lanka, Laos, Cambodia, Mongolia and Russia took part in the plenary meetings of the Executive Council of ABCP. The organizing committee of the plenum presented a report on the preparatory work that preceded the meetings, noting that the plenary session was supported by the president of the ABCP Kushok Bakula Rimpoche, as well as the national Abcp centers of Singapore, the DPRK, South Korea, Taiwan.

Pandito Khambo Lama Damba Ayusheev, the Buddhist Traditional Sangha of Russia, addressed the participants of the plenum with welcoming words, chaired by the plenum and high-ranking officials of the Republic of Buryatia.

The Executive Council (ExCo) of ABCP came to the conclusion that it was necessary to intensify the activities of this organisation in the new geopolitical conditions. At the same time, a special role is assigned to the national ABCP centers and other organizations of the Asian region that advocate peace. The ExCo also called on all members of the ABCP "to strengthen universal responsibility for thoughts and actions for the sake of world peace."

The final document of the plenum defined the following program of action of ABCP for the coming years: “Accept the challenge of globalizing the world according to the Buddhist principle of the Middle Path to establish an equitable distribution in the world; develop the concept of ABCP in the context of globalization; condemn acts of terrorism and separatism in accordance with the principles of Buddhism on non-violence; spare no efforts to implement the noble duty and responsibility of the ABCP in defense of ecology, human dignity, for disarmament and non-violence in the era of globalization; to strengthen the consciousness of common responsibility for the successful implementation of the goals and objectives of each ABCP national center; mobilize common efforts to further develop the activities of ABCP in the struggle to preserve peace on Earth. "