UN declares 21 June as 'International Day of Yoga'

12 Dec 2014


The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday adopted a resolution declaring 21 June as 'International Day of Yoga', inviting an enthusiastic response from Prime Minister Narendra Modi who Tweeted his delight over UN recognition to the age-old Indian system of physical and mental exercise.

yogaThe resolution, introduced by India's ambassador to the United Nations, Asoke Mukerji yesterday, had 175 nations as co-sponsors, the highest number of supporters for any resolution in the 193-member UN Genral Assembly.

The UN move comes less than three months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed the idea during his address of the UN assembly, making it the fastest ever proposal to be adopted by the UN body.

The resolution, adopted under the agenda of 'Global Health and Foreign Policy,' recognises that Yoga "provides a holistic approach to health and well-being" and aims at a wider dissemination of information about benefits of practising Yoga.

Mukerji, while introducing the resolution, quoted from PM Modi's address to the United Nations General Assembly in which he had asked world leaders to adopt an International Yoga Day, saying that by changing lifestyle and creating consciousness it can help us deal with climate change.

"Yoga embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well being," PM Modi had said.

In suggesting 21 June as the International Day of Yoga, PM Modi had said that the date, one of the two solstices, is the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world.

The UN in its annual calendar has listed nearly 118 international days, years and anniversaries for observance. The main significance of the UN declaring an International Day is to focus the attention of the international community on the topic and to encourage activities among the member states to commemorate the day.

Modi welcomed the UN decision of declaring 21 June as 'International Day of Yoga':

  • "Elated! Have no words to describe my joy on the UN declaring 21st June as 'International Day of Yoga.' I fully welcome the decision.
  • "I profusely thank all 177 Nations across the world who co-sponsored the resolution to declare 21st June as 'International Day of Yoga.'
  • "Countless people across the world made Yoga an integral part of their lives. Congrats to them! This will inspire many more people towards Yoga,'' he tweeted.
  • ''Yoga has the power to bring the entire humankind together! It beautifully combines Gyan (knowledge), Karm (work) and Bhakti (devotion)," said the prime minister.


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