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New York city tables resolution to recognise June 21st as Yoga Day

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

A resolution to recognise June 21st as ‘World Yoga Day’ has been tabled in the New York City in line with the United Nations’ decision to commemorate the day internationally.

Council member for the 19th district, Paul Vallone tabled the resolution on Tuesday, calling on the city to commemorate June 21 as ‘World Yoga Day’.

The resolution, that is yet to be voted upon, notes that the UN had last year declared June 21 to be commemorated each year as the ‘International Day of Yoga’.

A ‘Yogathon’ website focusing on the movement of Yoga in the US has also been launched by Indian Consul General Ambassador Dnyaneshwar Mulay.

Started by the Overseas Volunteers of Better India(OVBI), the website aims to serve as a one-stop portal that will provide information and details about various yoga events planned in over 100 US cities on June 21.

Mulay said that several events will be held across the US in the run-up to June 21, aimed at spreading awareness about yoga and to “celebrate yoga as a world heritage.

According to the Ambassador, yoga should not be seen with a religious perspective.

“We have been celebrating yoga for 5000 years and it has evolved as a holistic life mechanism and not just a lifestyle,” he said.

“It is an ancient Indian practice that provides solutions in current times of anger, stress and disputes.  The City Council resolution is a recognition of yoga as well of India’s heritage”, he further elaborated.

Last year, after the UN General Assembly adopted an India-led resolution co-sponsored by a record 175 countries, June 21st was declared as the ‘International Day of Yoga’

Less than three months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed the idea at the UN, the UNGA passed the resolution saying that “yoga provides a holistic approach to health and well-being.”

“The UN declared June 21 of each year as international yoga day; now therefore, be it resolved that the Council of the City of New York recognises and commemorates June 21 as World Yoga Day in the City of New York,” the City Council resolution reads.

The resolution referred to a number of studies to back-up the recognition of Yoga:

  • A study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology that showed that yoga produced significant changes in body weight, diastolic blood pressure, cholesterol and heart rate.
  • The recognition of Yoga by the US Centre for Disease and Control as a “great activity for everyone.”
  • A 2012 study which claimed that 20.4 million Americans practice yoga
  • The listing of New York by  Forbes magazine as one of the top 10 cities in the US for yoga.

This year will mark the first commemoration of International Day of Yoga by the UN.

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World Leaders Gathering in New York for United Nations Summit on Climate Change

U.S. President Donald Trump will not be among those attending the summit

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World, Leaders, New York, United Nations
In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani reviews an honor guard at the Mehrabad airport while leaving Tehran, Iran, for New York to attend UN General Assembly, Monday, Sept. 23, 2019. VOA

World leaders are gathering Monday in New York for a United Nations summit on climate change as scientists warn much more ambitious action must be taken to meet targets to mitigate the effects.

Some 60 presidents and prime ministers are due to address the day-long event on topics including shifting away from coal toward renewable energy sources, preventing and responding to disasters, and climate finance.

U.S. President Donald Trump will not be among those attending the summit.  He is spending Monday attending a meeting about the persecution of religious minorities, particularly Christians, before holding separate talks with leaders from Pakistan, Poland, New Zealand, Singapore, Egypt and South Korea.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has sought to highlight the importance of the climate summit and challenged leaders to “come with concrete plans” and not just “beautiful speeches.”

World, Leaders, New York, United Nations
Some 60 presidents and prime ministers are due to address the day-long event on topics including shifting away from coal toward renewable energy sources. Pixabay

Ahead of Monday’s event, the U.N. released a report compiled by the World Meteorological Organization showing there has been an acceleration in carbon pollution, sea-level rise, warming global temperatures, and shrinking ice sheets.

The report says the average global temperature for the period of 2015 through the end of 2019 is on pace to be the “warmest of any equivalent period on record” at 1.1 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, which has been ratified by 186 nations, calls for actions to prevent global temperatures from surpassing 2 degrees, and ideally remain within 1.5 degrees by cutting greenhouse gas emissions.  One of the world’s biggest emitters – the United States – announced under President Trump that it would leave the pact. The U.S. decision has not stopped climate action at the state, local and private sector levels.

The report warns that in order to achieve the 2 degree target, “the level of ambition needs to be tripled.”

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Other global issues such as tensions between the United States and Iran; conflicts in Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, and Kashmir; rising in equality and intolerance all figure to be themes as the U.N. General Assembly session begins Tuesday. (VOA)