The Permanent Mission of India in Geneva in collaboration with the United Nations Office at Geneva organised a special event in the historic Palais des Nations building (United Nations' Building) on June 19, 2016 as part of celebrations to mark the observance of the 2nd International Day of Yoga.
- H.E. Shri Ajit Kumar, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India, in his welcome remarks, highlighted about the soft power of Yoga and stated that through this soft power India is trying to spread the message ofpeace and harmony at individual and global level. He also highlighted about the recently concluded coopertation agreement between the Government of India and the World Health Organization (WHO) on setting up of standrads traditional and complementary medicine between WHO andMinistry on promotion of Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy(AYUSH).
- Director General of United Nations Office at Geneva H.E. Mr. Michael Moller, who graced the occasion as the chief guest, remarked that Yoga means 'to unite' and stressed the point that what better place to practice Yoga than at the United Nations. He thanked the Permanent Mission of India for holding the event together with the United Nations within the International Geneva. H.E. Shri D. B. Venkatesh Varma, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India to the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva delivered the formal Vote of Thanks.
- Indian Association Geneva, The Art of Living, Isha Foundation, Sahaj Yoga Association, Shri Chinmoy Centre, Sivananda Yoga Centre, Bikram Yoga, AOM Yoga, and Iyengar Yoga joined the Permanent Mission as partners in organizing the largest Yoga event ever in Geneva, which saw enthusiastic participation of more than 750 people, including Ambassadors/Permanent Representatives, officials from various UN organizations and other International organizations based in Geneva, yoga enthusiasts, local community and Indians living in Geneva. Mr.Christoph Glaser from the Art of Living conducted the Yoga practice session, in accordance with the Yoga Protocol, with the assistance of a number of Yoga guides.
- Permanent Mission of India partnered with UN, Geneva for Live Streaming of the event through Facebook Live!, Periscope and SnapChat. In addition, there were real time updates on the social media (Twitter and Facebook) about the event.
- In the run up to the event, to raise awareness about the International Day of Yoga as well as the benefits of practicing Yoga, the Permanent Mission organized a 'Yoga-Flash for Peace'in association with Isha Foundation at the iconicGeneral Assembly Hall of UN, Geneva, Red Cross Museum and the Ariana Park near the Mahatma Gandhi Statue.