The United Nations Wednesday dedicated its iconic campus here to India’s cultural heritage as its office in New Delhi marked the UN Day with a dazzling display of the country’s tangible and intangible cultural heritage. Yuri Afanasiev, UN Resident Coordinator in India, hailed India’s cultural diversity and said, “I personally have a love affair with India, its rich taste, colours, sounds, smells and food.”
The UN House has been revived as the site for the safeguarding of the history of the seven-decade long India-UN partnership and of India’s great contributions to the UN, he said. “We are equally proud to dedicate this compound to India’s cultural heritage, and the vibrant plural developmental traditions of the country that will provide the right environment for thinking about the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals),” Afanasiev said.
UN House is an iconic building, one of the structures designed by noted American architect Joseph Allen Stein in Lodhi Estate area. The others being India International Centre and India Habitat Centre. A senior official of the UN Office here said, as part of this initiative, exhibits from Crafts Museum would be brought and displayed at the premises on a rotational basis.
“Welcome to the UN House and thank you for joining us to commemorate UN Day – the 73rd anniversary of the entry into force of the United Nations Charter. As one of our founding members, it is also the 73rd year of India’s membership of the UN, a country which has been one of the UN’s strongest allies,” Afanasiev said.
The entire campus was beautifully decked up with a theme on India’s cultural heritage, ranging from ‘Chhau’ dance of the eastern region, to Therukoothu folk theater of Tamil Nadu. Earthen lamps, metallic bells hanging from trees created magical experience at the even that was attended by a host of personalities, including Union minister for Housing and Urban Affair Hardeep Singh Puri, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, Pakistan High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood, and other dignitaries.
“India is today poised at the convergence of massive economic growth and rising aspirations. This country is one of history’s biggest contributors to international peace and security, the incubator of some of the world’s largest and most ambitious development programmes, and a powerful advocate of sustainable development.
“During his visit to India earlier this month, the United Nations Secretary-General said the success of India is a success for us all. I firmly believe the rise of India will be the defining story of the 21st century,” Afanasiev said. Puri said he was “impressed” to see India’s cultural heritage being displayed at the UN Day.
Srishti Kaur, 20, a winner of a national beauty pageant in teen category in 2017 was among the invitees. She said, she runs a clothing line in Noida that promotes Khadi and
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