PM Modi to lead Yoga Day event at UN headquarters in New York today

Jun 21, 2023 04:33 AM IST

\Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead International Day of Yoga celebrations at the UN headquarters in New York.

New York Nine years after the United Nations recognised June 21 as International Day of Yoga, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead the global community in celebrating the day at the UN headquarters in New York on Wednesday.

The United Nations recognised June 21 as International Day of Yoga in 2014. (PTI)
The United Nations recognised June 21 as International Day of Yoga in 2014. (PTI)

Csaba Korosi, president of the UN General Assembly, diplomatic representatives of almost the entire UN membership of over 190 countries, the mayor of New York, Eric Adams, US political leaders from the New York area, and top Indian-American diaspora figures in various domains will join Modi on the north lawns of the UN complex in New York on the morning of June 21, said a person familiar with the planning of the event.

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“177 countries had co-sponsored and supported the Yoga Day resolution at the UN in December 2014. The following year, the world saw the first celebrations. And now, the author of that idea will return to the UN to lead the celebrations and send a message,” the person said, seeking anonymity.

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India’s permanent representative to the UN, Ruchira Kamboj, who has earlier served as the chief of protocol of the foreign ministry in New Delhi, India’s permanent representative to UNESCO in Paris, high commissioner to South Africa and ambassador to Bhutan, and her team at the permanent mission of India in New York, are reaching out to counterparts to firm up the details of the event.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres will, however, miss the event as he will be in Paris at the time to attend a conference on a new global financing pact.

India has not only booked all the open spaces within the UN complex and the riverside promenade overlooking the Hudson river, but also parts of Roosevelt City and Long Island city to make space for over 2,000 people who are expected to participate in the event. A live feed of the yoga celebrations will be broadcast at Times Square, a few blocks away.

The event will have a brief cultural component, with the UN choir performing. Modi and Korosi are expected to speak before the Indian Prime Minister leads the yoga event. “The event will be inclusive. It will be international. It will attempt to showcase what India has to offer to the world. It will bring together the world, north and south, east and west, parties in conflict with each other, to send a message of oneness,” said the person quoted above.

In the week leading up to the Yoga Day celebrations, the UN will also see a special yoga exhibition inside its premises by Isha Yoga, a non-profit.

Modi is expected to leave New York for Washington DC on June 21, soon after the event, to begin the bilateral leg of his visit. On June 22, President Joe Biden will host him for a State visit, which includes a ceremonial welcome at the White House, bilateral talks, and a State dinner.

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    Prashant Jha is the Washington DC-based US correspondent of Hindustan Times. He is also the editor of HT Premium. Jha has earlier served as editor-views and national political editor/bureau chief of the paper. He is the author of How the BJP Wins: Inside India's Greatest Election Machine and Battles of the New Republic: A Contemporary History of Nepal.

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