Category Archives: UN Activities

From the United Nations – International Day of NowRuz

Remarks by Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin at the celebration of International Day of Nowruz at the United Nations on March 21, 2016
Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, Mr. Deputy Secretary General
Excellencies, friends and other guests of today’s auspicious gathering!
It is my pleasure to be among your midst as we celebrate the International Day of Nowruz at the United Nations today.
Like in the past years since the International Day of Nowruz was proclaimed in 2010 by the General Assembly, as a proud co sponsor, we have joined the Permanent Missions of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in co-hosting this ceremony at the UN.
Excellencies & Friends
You are all aware that Nowruz marks the beginning of the New Year in large parts of the world, including mine. Later today you will witness a short film portraying the special celebrations of Nowruz in India particularly by the Parsi community.
Legend has it that when the first migrants of the Parsi community landed on the western coast of India and sought permission to stay from a local ruler in Gujarat, he denied them permission by pointing out that his land was like a vessel of milk filled to the brim.
It was only when he was told by the Parsis that they were like a pinch of sugar that would add sweetness to the milk without resulting in the milk overflowing the vessel that he relented, gave them refuge and permitted them to practice their traditions.
Today the Parsi community is woven integrally into the cultural fabric of India. The contribution of the Parsi community who follow Zorastrianism, towards building and strengthening modern India is immense.  The apocryphal legend of the beginning of the small Parsi community in India has a lesson as we formulate our responses to those seeking a refuge in distant lands in these troubling times.
Together with the Parsis and others, who refer to Nowruz as ‘Jamshed-E-Navroz’, our country celebrates the glorious tradition of Nowruz.
In India, where still a large majority of people are engaged in agriculture, this day is also of special importance in many ways. It marks the advent of the spring and harbinger of peace and prosperity.  Holi, the festival of colors also coincides with the Nowruz celebrations and the whole season represents vibrancy and abundance.
Excellencies & Friends,
The primary consideration, among others, while the General Assembly recognized Nowruz, is the ‘orientation of Nowruz towards the affirmation of life in harmony with nature’.   This central message of Nowruz is also one of the key messages of the International Day of Yoga as underscored in the Yoga Day resolution namely ‘building better individual lifestyles devoid of any kind of excesses’. While the International Day of Nowruz is the day of vernal equinox, the International Day of Yoga is the day of summer solstice.
These similarities only reaffirm, here I quote from the International day of Nowruz resolution, that ‘civilizational achievements constitute the collective heritage of mankind, providing a source of inspiration and progress for humanity at large’.
Excellencies & Friends,
The celebrations this year is of further significance as  at the current  70th session of GA  we adopted the agenda 2030 for sustainable development. The central message of Nowruz viz. ‘harmony with nature’ is indispensable for achieving the transformative agenda and the goals we have set for ourselves towards sustainable development.
On the other hand, the international community also faces a number of challenges of peace and security, rise of extremism and the like. Celebrations like Nowruz will help us in facing these challenges by fostering mutual understanding and respect for each other’s culture, traditions and beliefs.
Excellencies & Friends,
Let us therefore recall the sprit and significance of Nowruz and embrace its message. I wish you all ‘Nowruz Mubarak’
Thank you!

Petition for the establishment of a Religious Arm of the UN

Join Us to Help United Nations “To Maintain International Peace and Security”

To Honorable Secretary General, United Nations:
It is our human right to live in a better and more peaceful world. This is the right of every Human Being and this is the goal of the UN. Many conflicts resulting in human tragedies are increasing daily, driven by clash of Faiths and one’s belief, manipulated by a few.

Times have changed since the UN was established. To keep the goal intact, the UN should respond accordingly.

A petition was initiated by Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America (FEZANA) and Sikh community leaders at the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions October 15-19 supporting the formation of a belief-based arm of the UN to respond to the necessity of our times and to ensure that the right of every human being to a peaceful living is respected, preserved and protected.
Therefore We, the undersigned, respectfully request the UN to support this critical initiative of our time.

Please click here

2016 Winter Youth Assembly at the United Nations

Transforming Our World:
The Role of Youth in the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Save the Date: February 1718, 2016
As the world embarks on a new set of development goals for the next 15 years, today’s youth generation is placed in a crucial moment in history to help turn these goals into reality.
This coming February, join us at the 2016 Winter Youth Assembly at the United Nations, where young leaders and professionals, UN high officials and staff, private sector, and civil society gather to discuss and examine the important role of youth in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
If you are a young leader or professional (age 16-28) interested in global development issues, now is your chance to partake in meaningful exchanges with development key players from different fields and sectors.
Early-Bird Registration
Early-bird registration is now open from October 1 to November 30, 2015.
In addition to admission to the two-day conference, accepted delegates who register during this period will be able to:
  • Join delegation who will visit a Permanent Mission to the United Nations
  • Receive a printed version of the Youth Assembly Completion Certificate
  • Receive a Youth Assembly limited edition souvenir
Applicants who need to apply for visa are encouraged to do the early-bird registration. Applications are evaluated and processed on a first-come, first-served basis. To learn more about the registration process, visit the website or
It will be your vision, it will be your energy that carries [the Sustainable Development Goals] forward in the next 15 years.”
– Amina J. Mohammed, United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning, Winter 2015
“You don’t have to carry the UN badge to work for the UN, it’s very much about carrying the UN values and the UN Charter in your heart.”

 – Ahmad Alhendawi, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Winter 2015
Keep yourself up-to-date with announcements by visiting our website or by following us on social media!
Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter     View on Instagram

A Project of  Friendship Ambassadors Foundation, Inc. (FAF)
FAF is a not-for-profit, tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization that creates the platforms upon which transformative, intercultural exchanges, youth leadership, and volunteer service projects take place. We are associated with UN DPI, and hold UNESCO Consultative Status and ECOSOC Special Consultative Status. We are also a member of IATAN, International Federation of Choral Music, and American Choral Directors Association. Visit our website at

Rhythms of One World International Festival – 2016

The 2016
 Rhythms of One World International Festival         
  • New York City, USA – June 20 to 26, 2016
  • Geneva, Switzerland – June 27 to July 3, 2016
  • Sydney, Australia – July 3 to 10, 2016
In 2016, come join us in a global celebration commemorating the signing of the UN Charter, “We the Peoples”.
Since 2012, the festival has brought together choral groups from around the world to share, celebrate, and participate in a life-changing music experience.
This year’s festival was held at the United Nations General Assembly Hall  and Lincoln Center in New York City and celebrated the signing of the UN Charter, “We the Peoples”, in honor of its 70th anniversary.
With the festival becoming an international spectacle, choristers and aficionados across the globe highly anticipate the event every year. If you are a music director, a choral, orchestral, band or dance ensemble who share our mission, we’d love to hear from you!
Application deadline: October 16, 2015
To apply, please contact Festival Founder, Yin-Chu Jou at 1-800-526-2908 or


“Turn the World UN Blue”

Marking the United Nations at 70
What is the Turn the World UN Blue initiative about?
To help mark the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, iconic monuments, buildings,
landscapes, museums, bridges, and other landmarks across the globe will be lit up blue
– the official colour of the United Nations – on UN Day, 24 October 2015. Join us in the
global celebration and choose blue on 24 October by lighting up a landmark in your
As part of this international event, images and videos of the lighted structures will be
part of press and social media outreach, and will be seen by millions of people around
the world. Citizens are also asked to get involved and take action by sharing their
“choose blue” images using the hashtag #UN70.
Why Participate?
Participating in the Turn the World UN Blue campaign offers the unique opportunity to
help unite global citizens, promote the message of peace, development and human
rights, and showcase your commitment to the ideals and principles of dignity and
prosperity for all.
How to get involved?
For information on this initiative and how to get involved, please contact the DPI/NGO
Resource Centre at, (212) 963 7234.
Click to see more ways the world is celebrating the 70th
anniversary of the United Nations.

Jamsetji Tata’s residence wins Unesco honour

“A good conservation job is like a root canal,“ says architect Vikas Dilawari.“It does not happen quickly and requires many sittings.“Recently , one such root canal took Dilawari 10 years. His hair went from black to grey as he healed the Esplanade House, the opulent home of industrialist Jamsetji Tata built in 1885.

Dilawari’s decade-long repair and restoration work paid off when the project received an Honourable Mention at the 2014 Unesco Asia PacificAwards last year for Cultural Heritage Conservation. And on Monday, surely this structural dentist won’t complain on hearing the word `plaque’.

On March 23, Shigeru Aoyagi, director and UNESCO representative to India, will not only present a plaque to the trustees of R D Sethna Scholarship Fund, which owns Esplanade House, but also certificates to all those who contributed to its restoration.“It is a good pat on the back,“ says Dilawari, who carried out work on this tenanted, threestorey edifice in three stages. Located opposite Bombay Gymkhana, this listed heritage building’s upper storeys have been leased out to private companies.

“Repair work was carried out without dislodging or dislocating the tenants,“ says Farrokh M Rustomji, CEO of R D Sethna Scholarship Fund, adding that the rental income was ploughed back into the maintenance of the building.

As funds slowly trickled in over the span a decade, the dilapidated 127-year-old building grew younger.

One of the rare buildings in the city that has wooden floors and a surviving example from late 19th century Mumbai, “its interiors looked like a film set“, says Dilawari. “But it was ill-maintained. I didn’t know where to start.“

Original photographs from Tata’s archives helped the architect, who had to redo the zinc curvilinear awnings, terracotta urns and decorative railing in new materials. Besides, rectifying structural problems like the separation of walls in the rear annexe and redoing the balconies were the other challenges. “I decayed while fixing the decay ,“ says Dilawari, laughing.

Sharmila Ganesan

epaper, The Times of India (Bombay), Mar 22 2015, Page 6 :

Special Briefing with 2014 Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi – Tuesday, 17 March, 2015


Department of Public Information / Non-Governmental Organization (DPI/NGO) of the United Nations

 Special Briefing with 2014 Nobel Laureate with Kailash Satyarthi

 When: 17 March 2015

 Venue: ECOSOC Chamber , United Nations, New York, New York.

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (EDT)




<strong>Zarathushtis interested in promoting  the mission and vision of the  United Nations can contact</strong>

<strong>Co-Chairs, of FEZANA UN-NGO committee:</strong>

<strong> Afreed Mistry afreed.mistry ( @ ) <a href=""></a&gt; and Behram Pastakia, bpastakia ( @ ) <a href=""></a></strong&gt;


FEZANA is a Non-Government Organization in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the UNO   

Zarathushti Workshop and Panel Discussion at the United Nations

FEZANA UN-NGO : Press Release – CSW 59
The attached press release for your review,  as we prepare to present the Zarathushti Workshop and Panel Discussion at the United Nations on 16 March 2015 from FEZANA at the  59th Commission on the Status of Women in New York.
The content from this press release is also posted  for easy access on the Fezana website:
We need help in sharing this news with your local newspapers and media outlets in North America and elsewhere,  (implementation of  FEZANA’s strategic goal of telling others who we are), and more importantly  in sharing the message:  “Womens’ Rights are Human Rights” with the civil society where we live.
To illustrate, an example of such a media report  from the  The Sun News and Myrtle Beach Times, which came from efforts by Freyaz Shroff actively intereacting with the newsmedia after an earlier   FEZANA UN-NGO press release,  is appended hereunder for your perusal::
Thanks to all for your continued co-operation in sharing news from the FEZANA UN-NGO committee and specially in supporting our Zarathushti youth as they make thier presentations on Global Fora, and learn to engage and network as global citizens.
Behram Pastakia
Metopolitan Washington DC
15 February 2015

Special Pre-Youth Assembly Session

Apply to Attend: Special Pre-Youth Assembly Session
10 February 2015
9:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Led by and with support from
Microsoft YouthSpark 
A small, select group of youth are now being selected to meet:
Director of Global Programs,
Microsoft Corporate Citizenship and Public Affairs
Yvonne Thomas
UN Secretary General’s Envoy for Youth
Ahmad Alhendawi
Youth Assembly Project Director and FAF Executive Director
Patrick Sciarratta
Leaders from The Open JC, Keela.Org, Hectare Ventures, CYFI
and more
2 Workshops
Computer science as a Means to Solve 21st Century Problems, and
Making Technology Relevant to Global Development Needs
Lunch included
Who should apply?
Application to join the free event is open to all youth, who are either tech-savvy and working in the field, or even interested in learning more about in STEM, new technology, software/app development, and related fields. All Resolution Social Venture Challenge contestants and Youth Assembly delegates are urged to apply and will receive first consideration. Other non-registered youth, particularly young women and girls, who are interested in the role of STEM and new technologies as contributors to the success of the SDGs and the UN’s Post 2015 Agenda for Development are urged to apply today!
UN venue to be announced to participating invitees, only.
RSVP now
Competition for the few remaining free places is on.
Approximately 20 remaining spots remain.
Contact Friendship Ambassadors Foundation today and tell us why we should select you to join this very special, pre-YA@UN Event.
Request the application form now:
NOTE: If you are not yet registered for the Youth Assembly at the United Nations and are accepted, you just got luckier! Your Youth Assembly basic registration fee is included, sponsored by a generous gift from Microsoft to the YA@UN.
What guarantees admission?
Apply today to participate in the competition for the remaining twenty places. Preference will be given to the following:
  • Youth involved in STEM, new technology, hackathons, app creation, and related fields, studying at high school or university
  • Youth working with any of the YA@UN’s partners
  • Young women/girls (Microsoft YouthSpark has taken the lead in seeking more gender equality throughout all  STEM fields.)
Will you be there?
This winter, the YA@UN theme will be
It is going to be one of the most compelling and exciting YAs in memory
and will take place on 11 and 12 February 2015,
at United Nations Headquarters in New York City.
Lead Endorser & Host of the 2015 Winter Youth Assembly at the United Nations:
The Permanent Mission of Romania
and H.E. Ambassador Simona Miculescu
In cooperation with:
Microsoft | UN Office of Partnerships | UN Foundation | UNA-USA 
« Older Entries Recent Entries »