By Yoshita Singh :
UNITED NATIONS, FOUR prominent diplomats have been honoured with ‘The Diwali - Power of One’ award in recognition and celebration of their work, especially at the United Nations, for a secure and peaceful world. The diplomats who were honoured are former Foreign Minister and Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the UN Kairat Abdrakhmanov, former Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the United Nations Nicholas Emiliou.
Former Chef de Cabinet to the President of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly and Permanent Representative of Slovakia to the UN Frantisek Ruzicka and Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations Volodymyr Yelchenko were also honoured with the ‘Power of One’ awards during a ceremony at the UN Headquarters on Friday. The awards, which have come to be known as the ‘Oscars of Diplomacy’, were established by the Diwali Foundation USA, Inc in 2017. They are awarded to former Permanent Representatives or high-level UN diplomats or those diplomats who will soon finish their tenure at the world organisation for working selflessly “to help form a more perfect, peaceful and secure world for all.”Diwali Foundation USA Chair Ranju Batra said this year’s awardees, all “exceptional world class diplomats”, have well earned the award “by their lifetime of principled efforts to help enhance peace and security by their many victories of ‘good’ over ‘evil’ and ‘light’ over ‘darkness’.”
“Whatever the UN Charter dreams of, the Diwali Foundation USA’s Power of One awardees have helped to make it a reality,” she said during the ceremony at the UN’s the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) chamber. India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin, in his remarks at the event, said that as a tribute to the power of one to bring about change, as exemplified by the “passionate pursuit” by Batra of the Diwali Forever Stamp in 2016, “we have also celebrated the pursuit of excellence at the UN.” “We annually honour those who have made exemplary contributions in upholding the values that the United Nations stands for,” he said, congratulating UN colleagues who have stood up for the timeless spirit of Diwali.