United Nations, Dec 12 (SocialNews.XYZ) Accepting the Power of One Award from Diwali Foundation USA, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the global organisation is indispensable at a time when crises are tearing the world apart.
After receiving the award on Monday, he said that crises like in the Middle East and Ukraine have kept nations and people apart and hindered global cooperation and progress.
“But it is exactly at times such as these that the work of the US is indispensable.”
The UN’s “pursuit of peace, human rights and sustainable development exemplifies the values and principles that we should all espouse to replicate”, he added.
Ravi Batra, chair of the National Advisory Council on South Asian Affairs, giving the citation for Ban, said that he was “a man of history embedded in Republic of Korea’s top political power, but he gave it all up to become a global champion. of peace and security and to better deliver justice to all”.
“His singular achievement is the Paris Agreement” on climate change, Batra said.
Ban, who was the Secretary-General from 2007 to 2016, received the award from Ranju Batra, the chair of Diwali Foundation USA.
Now Ban is the deputy chair of The Elders, a group of former world leaders founded by the late South African President Nelson Mandela to work for human rights and a sustainable planet.
The Power of One Awards recognise the singular achievements of diplomats in bringing about positive change.
Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative Mohan Pieris, who spoke at the awards ceremony, described the awards as the “Oscars of Diplomacy”, a comparison to the popular movie awards in the US.
The others who received the awards on Monday were Miroslav Lajcak, a former president of the General Assembly; and former Permanent Representatives Mirsada Colakovic of Bosnia and Kim Sook of South Korea.
The diplomats representing an array of religions who spoke at the event touched on the relevance of Diwali to the contemporary world and its significance that transcends religions.
India’s Permanent Representative Ruchira Kamboj said that the festival “is a sentiment that embodies the triumph of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance and hope over despair”.
Paula Narvaez Ojeda, the president of the UN Economic and Social Council, said that amid all the problems that the world faces, Diwali embodies hope, “a universal and powerful moral message”.
Olof Skoog, who heads the European Union delegation to the UN and moderated the event, said: “Our session today is very much about turning the best of intentions into real change, light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance.”
The event was co-sponsored by over 60 countries, including the US.
Both Israel and the Palestine Authority also joined in co-sponsoring it.
(Arul Louis can be contacted at email@example.com and followed at @arulouis)