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Explained: How Modi Government Led the Nations to Adopt International Yoga day

By LawStreet News Network      21 June, 2018 12:00 AM      0 Comments

International Yoga Day is annually celebrated on June 21 since its inception in 2015. The Modi government achieved this great feat with exceptional diplomatic moves.

On September 27th, 2014 Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his speech at United National General Assembly (UNGA) for the first time proposed the idea of International Yoga Day. He said that “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature.” He then urged the nations to support the adoption of an International Yoga Day.

The United Nations Rules

Following the proposal, the implementation was entrusted to the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations which introduced a draft resolution in UNGA on December 11th, 2014.

The procedural requirement to have the UN declare an ‘International Day’ was to make sure that the UNGA’s guidelines are met. In 1980, the assembly declared that the proposal should be “of priority concern to all or the majority of countries and should contribute to the development of international cooperation in solving global problems, in particular, those affecting developing countries.”

For the declaration of an International day, the first step is to submit the proposal directly to the United Nations General Assembly for consideration and action.

The Modi Government in satisfaction of the UN guidelines has decided to table the proposal under the head “global health and foreign policy” which is one of the agendas of the UNGA.

Strategically, the government also linked the proposal with two then ongoing processes in multilateral negotiations, i.e., the formulation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which was adopted by Agenda 2030 in September 2015, and climate change negotiations in Paris.

The proposal to transform into a resolution is required to gain majority support from the UN’s 193 member states.

International Yoga Day "2018"
 International Yoga Day "2018"

India’s Diplomatic outreach

To gain the support of other nations, India’s diplomatic outreach to implement the proposal was made in two forms, first, individually with country-delegations and second in informal sessions of the UNGA which were open to all delegations.

China was the first nation to become the co-sponsor of the proposal which created a significant impact drawing in other developing countries.

A further boost came when the nations like United States, Russian Federation, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan become the co-sponsors.

The proposal in total received broad support from 177 Member States who become the co-sponsors. The resolution was tabled and adopted without any opposition (negative vote) on December 11th, 2014 in mere 75 days after Prime Minister Modi had first proposed it, Modi.

Today, International Yoga Day has marked its 4th anniversary. On the occasion PM Modi leading over 55,000 volunteers at Forest Research Institute, Dehradun celebrated the Yoga Day.

The Delhi Police has also organized an event in which 2000 police personnel along with Commissioner of Police, Delhi Amulya Patnaik, Spl. Commissioner of Police Sanjay Baniwal and other senior officers participated at Thyagaraj Stadium grounds, New Delhi to mark the occasion.

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