The celebration of Visakha Puja Day or the Day of Vesak has been practised in Buddhist countries from ancient times until today. In Thailand the celebration of the Day of Vesak has been performed since the Sukhothai period and it is believed that the tradition was brought from Sri Lanka.|
As Buddhism is one of the oldest religions in the world the Buddhist teachings have contributed for over two and a half millennia, and continue to contribute, to the spirituality of humanity. In December 1999, therefore, the General Assembly of the United Nations, at its fifty-fourth session (Agenda Item 174 on the International Recognition of the Day of Vesak), recognized the Day of Vesak as an International Day of the United Nations and resolved that an appropriate activity would be held annually at the UN Headquarters and other offices as well.
Since the year 2000 Buddhist countries have been honoured to be the sponsor of the Vesak Activities at the UN Headquarters in New York. In 2004 it was the turn of Thailand and the Thai Sangha, coordinated and led by Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, to organize the Day of Vesak Activities at the UN Headquarters in New York City, U. S. A.
As Thailand is one of the major Buddhist nations, Buddhist leaders and scholars agreed to hold the International Buddhist Conference in Thailand. Since 2004 Thailand has hosted International Conferences on different occasions as follows:
From May 25-28, 2004 Buddhist leaders from 13 countries were invited to participate in the World Buddhist Leaders' Conference on the International Recognition of the Day of Vesak. At that meeting it was agreed that the activities celebrating the International Day of Vesak for 2005 should be held at the United Nations Asia-Pacific offices (UNCC) in Bangkok. Accordingly, from May 18-20, 2005, the International Buddhist Conference on the United Nations Day of Vesak was held at Buddhamonthon, Nakorn Pathom and at the United Nations Conference Centre, Bangkok, Thailand.
In the year 2006 Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University is entrusted by the Sangha Supreme Council, together with the organizing committee and Buddhist organizations from both Government and the private sector, hosting the International Buddhist Conference on the United Nations Day of Vesak from May 7-10, 2006 under the sponsorship of the Royal Thai Government and Buddhist organizations. This Conference is also a part of the celebration of the 60th Anniversary of His Majesty King's Accession to the Throne. The Conference was held at Buddhamonthon, Nakorn Pathom and at the United Nations Asia-Pacific Conference Centre in Bangkok, Thailand.
A total of 2,310 Buddhist leaders from 46 countries took part in the 2006 conference.