UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres on Tuesday praised Indian Government's decision to ban Single-use plastic in the country. The government's move is also being seen as an initial effort that goes beyond mere talks of climate change.
Addressing a gathering of world leaders at the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to mark 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Mr Guterres said, "I commend those who have decided to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi's legacy by marking his anniversary with a project connected to one of the sustainable development goals. It is a fitting way to honour the most action-oriented leader."
Guterres further added, "I would like to take the opportunity to thank the government of India for supporting the elimination of single-use plastics and for the installations of solar panels and the green roof on top of the conference building in the United Nations headquarters." PM Modi was also seated in the audience during UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres's address.
To mark 150 years of Mahatma Gandhi's birth, India hosted an event at the United Nations (UN). He highlighted the relevance of Gandhi's thoughts and values in today's world. Several heads of states and government along with the UN Secretary-General attended the event to pay their tributes to Mahatma Gandhi and underscore the significance of his message.
PM Modi at 'Relevance of Mahatma Gandhi in the Contemporary World' programme at UN: I'm extremely grateful to the United Nations (UN) for this programme & issuing a special commemorative stamp to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. #UNGA pic.twitter.com/HmKK59efZ7— ANI (@ANI) September 24, 2019
UN Secretary-General called Mahatma Gandhi as one of the giants of the 20th century, a global icon of peace and an advocate of the most vulnerable.
He said, "Mahatma Gandhi's vision and philosophy are pillars of the work of the United Nations. Part of his genius lay in the ability to see the inter-connectedness and the unity between all things."
Guterres said that Gandhi's vision went way beyond politics, "went far beyond politics to encompass human rights and sustainable development," he said.
"(Mahatma) Gandhi promoted non-violence not just as a philosophy, but also as a political strategy to achieve justice and change. Just as an example, he understood the importance of advocacy and vexation around the issue of sanitation and led campaigns for clean drinking water and hygienic facilities when these issues were deep taboos," he said.
"His values truly transcend borders. Other countries are also planning to issue these UN stamps to honour the global leader," Mr. Guterres said while addressing the gathering.
Global leaders like, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and South Korean President Moon-Jae-in attended the event hosted by India at the United Nations.
Post assuming Prime Minister's office for the second time in 2019, PM Modi has been actively talking about the elimination of single-use plastic waste. PM Modi even spoke about it from the Red Fort during his Independence Day speech. The Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan launched an anthem as part of a campaign to make India plastic-free by 2022. PM Modi also urged other countries to follow India's footsteps in the efforts to end the usage of single-use plastic.
(With inputs from ANI)