Six top diplomats, including an Indian woman, have been felicitated with the inaugural Diwali “Power of One” award at the UN headquarters here for their contribution to help form a more “perfect, peaceful and secure world”.
The inaugural ‘Power of One’ award was bestowed upon exceptional people who have toiled selflessly to help form a more perfect peaceful and secure world for all of us. The awards were presented on Monday last week on the occasion of the first anniversary of the US Postal Service’s issuing of a forever Diwali stamp last year.
The awardees included outgoing British Ambassador to the UN Matthew Rycroft; Lebanese Ambassador to the UN Nawaf Salam who was elected to the International Court of Justice last month and Indian head of the UN Women Lakshmi Puri.
The other awardees were Maged Abdelaziz, the former Permanent Representative of Egypt to the UN; Ion Botnaru, the former Permanent Representative of Moldova to the UN and Yuriy Sergeyev, the former Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations.
Co-organised by the Permanent Missions of Belarus, Georgia and India, the event was co-sponsored by nearly two dozen countries including the US, Britain, France, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Spain, Kuwait and Algeria, a statement said. The event was held at the prestigious Trusteeship Council Chambers at the UN headquarters in New York.
New York-based Batra is credited with the seven years of effort towards the release of a Diwali stamp by the US Postal Service. “In October 2016, we won and got our Forever Diwali Stamp. I personally sold over 170,000 stamps to make the Diwali Stamp the USPS’ #1 Bestseller for Day One in its over 200 year existence,” Ms Batra said.
“I was determined to succeed in my goal to get the USPS to issue a Diwali Stamp, despite knowing many others had tried and given up. I spent nearly 7 years chasing it peacefully, and using only inclusive and respectful means,” she said.
Eminent Indian-American attorney Ravi Batra said the Diwali Foundation USA’s “Power of One Awards” were the “Oscars of Diplomacy” and helped “Good” beat evil and suffering. Speaking on the occasion, Valentin Rybakov, Permanent Representative of Belarus to the UN, said the awardees symbolically illuminate a way forward to a more perfect, peaceful and secure world for all.
Diwali Foundation USA was established this year as an NGO to promote a peaceful and consensus-based process to achieve societal “Good” as befits the high hopes and ideals of humanity enshrined in the UN Charter.
Among others who spoke on the occasion included Frantisek Ruzicka, Chef de Cabinet, President Miroslav Lajcak, 72nd UN General Assembly and Syed Akbaruddin, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nation