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India to host event at UN on Gandhian thought and philosophy

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WASHINGTON, Feb 23 (PTI): India will host an event on Gandhian thought and philosophy at the UN headquarters in New York to discuss how the fundamental values of pluralism, democracy and rule of law can be strengthened to build peaceful and inclusive societies.

Thursday’s event comes as the UN Security Council is scheduled to hold a discussion on Ukraine on Friday.

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To be organised jointly by the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations and the University for Peace at the Economic and Social Council Chamber, the event is expected to be attended by diplomats from across the world.

Announcing the event in a tweet, India’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations said, “Join us tomorrow at UN for a thought-provoking initiative on the centrality of Mission Life & sustainable development to Gandhian thought as part of the India Roundtable series.”

It also shared a quote by Gandhi: “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”

According to the UN’s website, the meeting will discuss examples of how sustainable lifestyles can be promoted to combat the adverse effects of climate and environmental degradation and how the fundamental values of pluralism, democracy and rule of law can be strengthened to build peaceful and inclusive societies.

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The objective of this meeting is to shine a light on Mahatma Gandhi’s doctrine of ‘Trusteeship’ and its relevance in today’s world with a focus on the concept of ‘Human Flourishing’ to promote sustainable lifestyles and enduring peace.

The announcement comes as the UN General Assembly held an Emergency Special Session on Ukraine.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the one-year mark of the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine stands as a grim milestone for the people of Ukraine and for the international community.

“The invasion is a violation of the United Nations Charter and international law and is having dramatic humanitarian and human rights consequences,” he said.

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“The position of the United Nations is unequivocal: We are committed to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine, within its internationally recognized borders,” Guterres said.

Csaba Korosi, President of the General Assembly, said Wednesday marked the grim first anniversary of the war in Ukraine, highlighting the despair, displacement, destruction and death that Europe has not seen in decades.

“No one can be complacent,” Korosi said. He also assured all those suffering from the war’s consequences that they have not been forgotten.

“This war will come to an end, and the time of reconstruction, reconciliation and transformation will come,” Korosi said. “We know it will not be easy. We know the scars are deep. Culture, family bonds, sports, arts and the acknowledgement of the shared destiny of humanity will certainly help nations currently facing each other in the trenches.”

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba introduced a draft resolution calling for just and lasting peace in his country. Calling this “a decisive moment to show support, unity and solidarity,” he recalled, standing in the assembly urging its member nations to prevent war days before Russia’s February 24, 2022 invasion.

Ukraine exercised its legitimate right to self-defence, enshrined in the Charter as its people chose to fight for their lives. “Against all odds, we were able to stop the much stronger aggressor and kick him out of half of the newly occupied territory,” he said, adding, “No one should be fooled by Russia’s empty calls for negotiations.”

In his remarks, Vassily A Nebenzia of Russia alleged that Ukraine is nothing more than a pawn.

“While Moscow is ready for a diplomatic solution, its opponents have not recovered from the futile illusion that they could defeat a nuclear power,” he said.

US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that President Vladimir Putin had chosen war in an assault on the United Nations that struck at the heart of its Charter.

“On the one-year anniversary of this conflict, we will see where the nations of the world stand on peace in Ukraine,” she said.


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