His Holiness The Dalai Lama


At the request of the Edinburgh Inter-Faith Association, the organisation behind His Holiness The Dalai Lama's highly successful visit to Scotland last year, His Holiness gave a massage for all in respect to the G8 Summit and Make Poverty History Campaign. This message was deliver to the Edinburgh Inter-Faith Association the week before the G8 Summit and was first read to the gathered public at the massive Make Poverty History march in Edinburgh on July 2nd.

Additionally, on July 5th Scottish rock star Annie Lennox read His Holiness's message to an invited media group including broadcast media and other news journalists. This massage was then widely reported around the world on His Holiness' 70th birthday which was also the first day of the G8 Summit.

On the morning of His Holiness's birthday, Victor Spence, General Secretary of the Edinburgh Inter-Faith Association handed a copy of the message to Sir Bob Geldof who then carried this massage to the G8 Summit in Gleneagles later that morning.

Victor Spence

General Secretary

Edinburgh Inter-Faith Association


It is clear that no individual or group, community or nation can live in isolation, given the reality of the interdependent world we now live in. This is not merely an abstract concept, but a political, economic and environmental reality. We must realise that our every action has an impact on others and the emerging global community.

Every day we hear or read about breathtaking manifestations of affluence as well as deaths due to starvation, poverty, malnutrition, and preventable or curable diseases. We must ask ourselves whether something is wrong with our choice of goals or with our motivation or with both. Wherever it occurs, poverty is a significant contributor to social disharmony, ill health, suffering and war. Those of us who are able to do so have a moral responsibility to make every effort to eradicate it by promoting the equitable distribution of wealth both within nations and among nations, and to reversing the current trend toward a widening gap between rich and poor.

Most of our human problems, such as hunger, poverty and inequality, do not arise out of the blue. They occur as a result of causes and conditions, many of which are within our control. This is why firm and positive leadership is important. And to be effective, leaders need to display commitment, strategy and action. Therefore, in support of the positive potential of the G8 Summit about to be held in Scotland, and the objectives of the Make Poverty History Campaign, I call upon G8 Leaders and their advisors to consider and reflect upon the consequences of their thoughts, decisions and actions. Do they and will they contribute to the well being of all human beings and the planet?

An interdependent society has to be a compassionate society, compassionate in its choice of goals and compassionate in cooperation in pursuit of those goals. Concerned not only for ourselves, our families, our communities and country, we should also feel a responsibility for the individuals, communities and peoples who make up the human family as a whole. We require not only compassion for those who suffer, but also a commitment to share what we have with those in need.

There is a great and growing desire for change in the world: change that ushers in a renewed commitment to ethical and spiritual values; that resolves conflicts peaceably, employing dialogue and non-violence; that upholds human rights and human dignity as well as human responsibility. We need change that educates and promotes the urgent need to care for the planet and its ecological systems, that calls upon all nation states to work towards the universal abolition of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction and that encourages peace, compassion, respect and warm-heartedness. I believe that these goals can be achieved on the basis of increased awareness.

The G8 Summit and the Make Poverty History Campaign can and will be turning points in history if G8 Leaders and their governments live up to their earlier commitments to take actual steps to reduce poverty in the world. If they succeed we all will benefit, whereas failure will harm us all. Let us widen our perspective to include the well being of the whole world and its future generations in our vision of prosperity and freedom.

His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama

28th June 2005

Given to the Edinburgh Inter-Faith Association by The Office of His Holiness The Dalai Lama

JULY 12 2005   


To the start page