The first Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam Buddhist Leaders’ Conference was held in the Lao capital city of Vientiane on November 12, aiming to promote the development of Buddhism in the countries as well as regional exchange in the religion.

The conference saw the attendance of President of the Lao Front for National Construction Saysomphone Phomvihane, President of the Lao Buddhist Coalition Most Venerable Ngon Damlongboun, Cambodia’s Great Supreme Patriarch Most Venerable Monk Tep Vong and Chairman of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha’s Executive Council Most Venerable Thich Thien Nhon, along with nearly 600 delegates from the countries. 

In his opening remarks, President of the Lao Buddhist Coalition Most Venerable Ngon Damlongboun highlighted the special significance of the event to Buddhism and people in the three countries as it is a step forward to realise documents signed by Buddhist organisations in the countries. 

The Buddhist leaders took stock of the cooperation between the Buddhist organisations in the three countries and acknowledged the need to enhance their friendly ties and coordination in religious matters and other activities, in order to meet society’s demand and join the international community’s effort to address global problems such as trust crisis, environmental crisis, climate change, diseases, conflicts and poverty, in order to bring about happiness, peace and prosperity to the region and the world. 

In that spirit, the Buddhist leaders agreed to consolidate the solidarity and harmony among Buddhist associations, and popularise the tradition of solidarity and special friendship among Buddhists and people of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, on the basis of respect for each other’s sovereignty, equality, peace and harmonious development. 

They also consented to expand exchanges among Buddhist monks, nuns and followers from the countries, and encourage border localities to tighten their solidarity and mutual support in Buddhist affairs, and together build common borders of peace and friendship in Buddhism. 

The delegates concurred to step up Buddhist cultural exchange and implement projects on preserving Buddhist cultural values in each country, while encouraging people to take part in regional and international Buddhist activities, thus contributing to peace and development in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Asia-Pacific.

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