The Sri Chinmoy Choir had the honour of performing arrangements of Sri Chinmoy’s songs dedicated to the UN and peace at a programme entitled “Yoga and the UN Culture of Peace.” The event was held at the United Nations in the prestigious Economic and Social Council Chamber the evening of 28 October 2016. Hosted by His Excellency Ambassador Durga Prasad Bhattarai, the Permanent Representative of Nepal to the UN, the event was webcast live, and the video is also available on the UN website (UN live weblink). The choir opened the programme, after the Deputy Permanent Representative of Nepal, Mr. Nirmal Raj Kafle, offered a few remarks on behalf of Ambassador Bhattarai, declaring that the wealth of yoga belongs to humanity in general.
Ms. Nilima Silver, Programme Coordinator of Sri Chinmoy: The Peace Meditation at the United Nations and UN Staff Member, was invited by the organizers to serve as Master of Ceremonies for the evening. In introducing the Choir, she explained that in 1970, then UN Secretary-General U Thant invited spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy to conduct meditations for peace at UN Headquarters in New York. Until his passing in 2007, Sri Chinmoy offered his multifaceted inspiration to the UN community through twice-weekly meditations, concerts and other programmes for peace. Sri Chinmoy also founded a non-governmental organization accredited with the UN Department of Public Information, the international Sri Chinmoy Centre, which provides humanitarian aid and promotes a culture of peace.
The singers are honoured to continue in this spirit. On this occasion the choir started with a poem by Sri Chinmoy, followed by several of his songs dedicated to peace and to the UN, with arrangements by members of the Choir.
Following the choir, the guest of honour, Yogmata Keiko Aikawa, gave the Keynote Address, which was followed by a panel discussion, with questions and answers.
The event served as a continuum to the UN International Day of Yoga, first proposed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his speech to the General Assembly in September 2014. The Assembly later unanimously adopted a resolution recognizing that “wider dissemination of information about the benefits of practising yoga would be beneficial for the health of the world population,” and declaring 21 June the International Day. (See link to the resolution and draft showing initial co-sponsors)
- A/69/L.17 Draft Resolution – Day of Yoga and Co-Sponsors (2014-Nov-07)
- A/69/L.17/Add.1 Added C0-Sponsors for Day of Yoga Draft (2014-Dec-11)
- A/Res/69/131 International Day of Yoga Resolution (Adopted by UN General Assembly 2014-Dec-11)
- Background to International Day of Yoga (excerpts from UNGA Meeting Record A/69/PV.69 and UN Press Release GA/11601)
- See Links at UN site: http://www.un.org/en/ga/69/resolutions.shtml (Resolution and Meeting Record in 6 Languages: Arabic عربي, Chinese 中文, English English, French Français, Russian Русский, Spanish Españo)
UN Secretary General Message for IDY (2016-Jun21)
- With photos of SG-Yoga: http://www.un.org/en/events/yogaday/message.shtml
- SG ST/SM/17867-Obv/1631 Release:-“respect all” : http://www.un.org/press/en/2016/sgsm17867.doc.htm