Palais des Nations United Nations Geneva

19 JUNE 2016

Mr. Michael Moller, Director General of United Nations, Geneva,
Yoga Practitioners and friends,

Let me begin by quoting the Hon'ble Prime Minister of India who says that 'Yoga is a holistic approach to health and wellbeing';and 'A healthy body and a disciplined mind are the foundations of a world free from fear'.

As you are aware, on December 11, 2014, the 193 member UNGA approved the proposal by consensus with a record 177 co-sponsoring countries a resolution to establish 21st June as “International Day of Yoga”.  In its resolution, the UNGA recognized that Yoga provides a holistic approach to health and well-being and wider dissemination of information about the benefits of practicing Yoga for the health of the world population.  Yoga also brings harmony in all walks of life and thus, is known for disease prevention, health promotion and management of many lifestyle-related disorders. 

The 1st International Day of Yoga was celebrated on 21 June 2015 was resounding success across the world in 250 cities and 192 countries, including in Geneva, at this very historic venue with great enthusiasm and participation of people from all walks of life. It has created great interest and curiosity among people about yoga, and yoga has been adopted as a way of life by many. We have witnessed that more and more people have started practicingit not only for physical fitness but also as a holistic mean towards wellness, a tool to manage stress and pressures of the modern world. 

Yoga is considered as a subtle science which focuses on bringing harmony between mind and body.  It is an art and science for healthy living. Yoga is an extension of soft power of India.Through Yoga we are trying to spread the message of peace and harmony at individual and global level as well as a pave the way for connecting humankind with nature to ensure sustainability.

I am happy to inform that the Government of India and the World Health Organization (WHO) signed a Project Collaboration Agreement titled “Cooperation on promoting the quality, safety and effectiveness of service provision in traditional and complementary medicine between WHO and Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) at a special event organized at WHO Headquarters in Geneva on May 13, 2016. This agreement will deliver WHO benchmark documents for Yoga, Ayurveda, Unani and Panchakarma and expected to contribute significantly in strengthening the Indian traditional healthcare and wellness systems.

Today, we are gathered here to celebrate the 2nd International Day of Yoga. I convey my good wishes to all yoga practitioners and yoga enthusiasts. I am sure that this event will connect more and more people with yoga and ensure union of individual consciousness with that of the universal consciousness and pave the way for spreading peace and harmony among us. 

I welcome you all to participate and enjoy this event and spread the message of yoga.