|In 1994, UNESCO issued a commemorative medal marking the 125th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, India’s “Father of the Nation” and the world’s advocate of non-violence, peace and tolerance. The General Conference of the previous year had adopted a resolution calling for a series of activities around the “great world personality whose thought and creative modes of non-violent action have shaped socio-economic and political currents in the twentieth century.”These events included a memorial lecture on “Gandhi in the Global Village” and a photographic exhibition on his life and times, all in anticipation of the 1995 United Nations Year of Tolerance for which UNESCO was the lead agency. This in turn led to the adoption by UNESCO’s Member States of the Declaration of Principles of Tolerance and the proclamation of November 16 each year as the International Day for Tolerance.
The irregularly-shaped medal bears a portrait of Gandhi engraved by the French artist Pierre-Yves Trémois. Etched underneath is the Mahatma’s message of hope: “In the midst of darkness light prevails.” The reverse side carries the UNESCO logo.
Available in gold, silver and bronze
Photo © UNESCO/N. Burke