Sunday, October 2, 2016

India's Ratification Of Paris Climate Deal Celebrated At UN Headquarters

UNITED NATIONS: India's ratification of the historic Paris climate deal was today marked by a special ceremony at the UN headquarters attended by several dignitaries who hailed the country's move to combat global warming.

The event, which began with a special recital by India's leading carnatic music singer Sudha Ragunathan, was attended by President of General Assembly Peter Thomson, Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, Finance Minister of Bangladesh Abul Maal Muhith and India's former envoy to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri among others.

Mr Thomson recalled his visit about a month ago to the Gandhi Memorial in New Delhi, the "sacred compound" of 'Rajghat', where he stood by the "eternal flame" contemplating Mahatma Gandhi's central message of non-violence.

"We live in a world in desperate need of Mahatma's message of love and kindness, compassion and understanding."

"Everyday, we are confronted with news of conflicts and humanitarian disasters. The scale of these challenges is daunting," he said.

The world is confronted with the unprecedented refugee crisis, extreme poverty, inequality, human rights violations and rise of xenophobic rhetoric.

"I believe Gandhiji would have applauded our efforts in putting the 17 Sustainable Development Goals together," he said about the SDGs which aim to fight these challenges.

"I also agree he would be delighted today on India's ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement thus making its entry into force tantalisingly close," Mr Thomson added.

He also invoked Mahatma Gandhi for his "strong message" that there is enough in the world for everyone's need but not for every man's greed.

Underlining that Mahatma Gandhi took objection to violence, Mr Thomson underlined that while violence appears to do good, that good is only temporary but the evil it does is permanent.

He underscored the need for the international community to rededicate for "securing a culture of peace, tolerance and understanding in the world", and stressed on the need for implementing the Gandhian principles of "respecting our differences, responding with compassion, loving our environment and always choosing peace over conflict".

Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin said unlike today's times, in Mahatma Gandhi's lifetime environmental concerns, climate change, sustainable development were not issues at the forefront of global conversations.

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