The UN House in New Delhi glowed under rows of lights and echoed with the sounds of the “Loh-Tarang” as the UN family in India observed UN Day (24 October) on 30 October, the day in 1945 that India joined the United Nations.
Guests mingled and studied paintings that the UN Information Centre (UNIC) in New Delhi commissioned from school children on the theme “The Future We Want”. The paintings addressed food security, access to water, green energy jobs, inclusion, gender equality, education and health--all subjects that go to the heart of sustainable development.
Guests were struck by the creativity demonstrated by the young artists who splashed their vision of the future across massive 10X5 feet canvases.
The evening began with a video message by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that urged the international community to “raise our collective ambitions.”
“With the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals fast approaching, we must intensify our efforts to reach all of these lifesaving targets,” the Secretary-General said. “We must prepare a bold and practical post-2015 development agenda. And we must continue to combat intolerance, save people caught in conflicts and establish lasting peace.”
UN Resident Coordinator Lise Grande welcomed the Chief Guest for the evening, Minister of Tribal Affairs V. Kishore Chandra Deo, who spoke about India’s numerous contributions to the United Nations in peacekeeping, the UN Democracy Fund, and its role in the Executive Committees of various UN agencies, funds and programmes.
Three young people belonging to tribal communities from the state of Chhattisgarh, talked about how the UN helped to change their lives by supporting education and livelihood programmes in their communities.
The Chief Guest in his address lauded their achievements and also spoke about India’s longstanding engagement with the United Nations. India was committed to advancing the aims and goals of the UN and would continue to be a responsible and constructive partner, he said.