United Nations :ndia’s journey with the UN through 70 years of the world body’s existence has been chronicled in an expansive pictorial book released on the occasion of the UN’s landmark anniversary.
The book ‘India and the UN : 70 years’ was presented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon when the Indian leader met him during the 70th session of the UN General Assembly here last month.
The special 374-page publication chronicles important moments in India’s engagement with the UN since 1945.
It contains as a foreword the July 4 letter written by Modi to the UN chief on the landmark occasion.
It has been authored and compiled by Permanent Representative of India to the UN, Ambassador Asoke Mukerji.
“This book seeks to illustrate how India and the United Nations have influenced each other over the past 70 years,” Mukerji wrote in the foreword.
“The perspective that India has brought into the United Nations is rooted in India’s own political and civilisational ethos. As this book shows, the United Nations, and especially its specialised agencies have in turn provided a supportive external environment for India,” he said.
The book starts with a pictorial journey of Indian Prime Ministers at the UN, from Jawaharlal Nehru in 1960 to Modi addressing the General Assembly in 2014.
It also has a picture of G S Bajpai dated January 1, 1942 on the occasion of the Declaration by the United Nations.
The picture shows representatives of 26 Allied nations fighting against the Axis Powers during World War II, meeting in Washington to pledge their support for the Atlantic Charter by signing the UN Declaration.
India was represented at this meeting by Bajpai, who became the first Secretary General of the Ministry of External Affairs of independent India in 1947 and was subsequently Governor of Bombay till his death in 1954.
It also chronicles India’s role and contribution to UN peacekeeping operations over the years. India is the largest cumulative troop contributor to UN peace operations, with over 185,000 troops having served in 48 of the 69 missions mandated so far.
The book showcases India’s role in getting the world body to commemorate the first International Day of Yoga on June 21 this year, after a resolution led by it got the unprecedented support of 176 other UN member nations.
It also has a picture of Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, the only woman to head a delegation to the 1946 UN General Assembly.
The book also chronicles the tragedy of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, with members of the UN Security Council and representatives of India and Pakistan paying a silent tribute to the memory of Gandhi.
It displays through pictures India’s role in key moments in UN history including the Committee on ceasefire in Korea in 1950 that had included the Indian envoy to the UN Benegal Rau, the ‘Atoms for Peace Conference’ in 1955 and the 18-nation Disarmament Committee in 1961.
It also chronicles Indian women medical officers in the Congo in 1960.