UN adopts Modi’s proposal of Yoga Day

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressing the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, in New York


The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressing the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, in New York
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressing the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, in New York

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution, with a record number of 175 country co-sponsors, for observance of International Day of Yoga June 21 each year.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had proposed holding an international yoga day in his UN General Assembly speech in Sep 27 this year, voiced his elation on twitter.

“Elated! Have no words to describe my joy on the UN declaring 21st June as ‘International Day of Yoga.’ I fully welcome the decision,” he tweeted.

The 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Thursday adopted by acclamation draft Resolution A/69/L.17 with a record number of 175 countries co-sponsoring it.

Tweeting his thanks, Modi said: “I profusely thank all 177 nations across the world who co-sponsored the resolution to declare 21st June as ‘International Day of Yoga’.”

“Countless people across the world made Yoga an integral part of their lives. Congrats to them! This will inspire many more people towards Yoga.”

“Yoga has the power to bring the entire humankind together! It beautifully combines Gyan (knowledge), Karm (work) and Bhakti (devotion),” he wrote.

Modi had indicated that June 21, one of the two solstices, which is the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere, has special significance in many parts of the world and could be considered for adoption as the International Day of Yoga by the United Nations each year.

In order to implement the Modi’s initiative, the Permanent Mission of India in New York convened three rounds of informal consultations with all 193 member states of the United Nations.

A final text of the Resolution, on which all the participating countries agreed, was reached Oct 22. Following this, the proposed Resolution was circulated by the UN Secretariat as a “L” document with 130 co-sponsors Nov 7.

Subsequently, till Dec 5, another 45 member states have joined as co-sponsors, bringing the number to 175 out of the 193 member states of the United Nations, said an official statement.

The Resolution on International Day of Yoga has been brought about in an unprecedented manner. It is for the first time that such an initiative has been proposed and implemented by any country in the UN General Assembly in less than 90 days.

Modi’s initiative garnered record numbers in record time. Co-sponsors of the proposal include all five permanent members of the UN Security Council, nearly all members from the African continent, Latin America, Europe, most from Asia, the Caribbean Community, and most of the Small Island Developing States including the Pacific island states, who interacted with the Prime Minister at the recent First Meeting of the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation.

Both the President of the 69th UN General Assembly Sam Kutesa and UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon issued congratulatory statements on the adoption of the Resolution in the General Assembly.

This shows the convergence of views of the leaders of two of the major organs of the United Nations system, the General Assembly and the Secretariat. (Copies of PGA’s and UNSG’s messages are enclosed).

Introducing the Resolution, the Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations Asoke Kumar Mukerji thanked each and every member state co-sponsored the prime minister of India’s initiative.

He emphasised the significance of the Resolution adopted Thursday in terms of its timing, coming so soon after the presentation of the Synthesis Report of the UN secretary general, on which the negotiations of the post-2015 development agenda will commence in the United Nations from January 2015.

The United Nations in its annual calendar has listed nearly 118 International days/years/anniversaries for observance.

The main significance of the UN declaring an international day is to focus the attention of the international community on the topic of the day, and to encourage activities among the member states of the United Nations to commemorate the day.

The adoption of the International Day of Yoga does not entail any additional budgetary implications for the UN system. Commemorative activities would be organised through voluntary contributions, said the statement.


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