The Global Buddhist Congregation is being organized in New Delhi by Asoka Mission from 27 to 30 November 2011 to commemorate 2600 years of the Enlightenment of Buddha. 900 eminent leaders, scholars and activists from 46 countries including the Supreme Patriarchs and top Buddhist religious leaders belonging to all Buddhist traditions will be participating in the Congregation. This is the first time in history that the supreme leaders of all Buddhist traditions will be assembling under one roof. The largest Buddhist gathering of its kind on Indian soil in modern times, the Global Buddhist Congregation brings back to its roots the sacred tradition established with the convening of the First Buddhist Council at Rajgir immediately following the Mahaparinirvana of Buddha, and the Second Buddhist Council at Vaishali a century later.
Special plenary sessions have been planned to deliberate on various issues of global concern such as conflict and violence, and the environmental crisis.
Earlier, in August, at an International Workshop held in New Delhi, senior representatives of Buddhist organizations from 10 countries unanimously decided to work towards forming a new world Buddhist body that would function as an umbrella organization for Buddhist organizations presently working in different parts of the world. Without impinging on the identity of its member organizations, the proposed new body will help to co-ordinate their efforts and develop a collective Buddhist response to issues that are faced by the modern world. A resolution towards this end is expected to be passed during the Congregation.