General Conference

1st General Conference

25 May - 6 June B.E. 2493 (1950)
Colombo, Sri Lanka
The First Conference was held at the Holy Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, Sri Lanka on 25 May which is the Buddhist Vesak Day to make the event worldwide importance.  There were 129 delegates representing 29 countries excluding those from Sri Lanka, the host country gathering at the conference. 

At the conference Dharmacakra (Wheel of the Law) with eight spokes representing the Noble Eight Fold Path was adopted as the International Buddhist Symbol and the six-colored Buddhist Flag as the International Buddhist Flag.  These two symbols of Buddhism have been recognized by every group of Buddhists throughout the world.

The Conference also pledged to the government of countries where Buddhist communities are to be found to recognize the first full moon day of May as Buddha Day or Vesak Day.  Moreover, the term Hināyana in all contexts was to be replaced by the term Theravāda for the unity and solidarity among all Buddhists.

It was also recommended that the work of the WFB should not be measured simplistically in terms of success and failure, but it need to be viewed whether any infrastructure has been laid for the future of the WFB and the Buddhists all over the world.  In addition, five Committees were set up (1) Finance, (2) Publications, (3) Dhammadūta Activities, (4) Mettā or later known as Humanitarian Services, and (5) Unity and Solidarity.