On the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary was celebrated at the United Nations in New York. At the event titled ‘Leadership Matters: Relevance of Gandhi in contemporary Times’, organised by the Permanent Mission of India to the UN, world leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi were joined by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, South Korea President Moon Jae-in, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsein Loong, Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to remember Gandhi at the UN Headquarters.
The world comes together to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary!
I thank all those who came for the special programme at the @UN on the relevance of Gandhian thoughts.
In the august presence of various world leaders, a stamp on Gandhi Ji was released. pic.twitter.com/oAq5MOrrKF
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 24, 2019
The world leaders inaugurated the Gandhi Solar Park and the Gandhi Peace Garden at the UN and the global body also released a special commemorative stamp to mark 150 years of Gandhi’s birth. The Gandhi Solar Park is an initiative funded by the Government of India where 193 solar panels have been installed on the roof of the UN Headquarters in New York, one solar panel for each UN member state.
The Gandhi Peace Garden is a combined initiative of the Consulate-General of India in New York, the State University of New York-Old Westbury (SUNY-Old Westbury) and the Shanti Fund, a New York-based NGO, where there are plans to plant 150 trees on the SUNY-Old Westbury campus in Gandhi’s memory through a crowd-sourced project.
The United Nations also released a special commemorative stamp to mark 150 years since Gandhi’s birth. “Mahatma Gandhi never held positions of power. Yet, he motivates people around the world…Whether it was Martin Luther King Jr. or Nelson Mandela, they were inspired by Gandhi,” said Modi in a statement addressing world leaders at the event.
“The earth, the air, the land, and the water are not an inheritance from our forefathers but on loan from our children”
— United Nations India (@UNinIndia) September 25, 2019
In his remarks at the event, South Korea’s President Moon Jae-In, spoke about ongoing efforts for peace on the Korean Peninsula and how Gandhi’s values and work for India’s independence inspired Koreans who were fighting for their own freedom from Japanese colonial occupation.
“In February 1923, the Korean people came to know about Gandhi’s boycott of British goods through the press, and in the summer that year, Korea’s campaign to promote the use of domestic products reached its peak. Gandhi criticized Japanese imperialists for imprisoning uncooperative Korean students and also sent a message to encourage the Korean people on January 5, 1927, expressing his hope that Joseon would come to wholly belong to Joseon through absolutely truthful and nonviolent means,” said Moon in his remarks.