50 nations back Modi's call for International Yoga Day

Wednesday 17th December 2014 09:22 EST

One of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first global imprints could come soon with the fruition of his proposal - which he announced in his United Nation's speech - for an International Day of Yoga. As many as 50 countries - US, Canada and China most recently - have signed up for co-sponsorship of a draft resolution which India's UN mission is preparing for declaring June 21 as International Yoga Day.
The resolution will be submitted soon to the UN secretariat with the government looking to aggressively push for its adoption before the end of this year. Perhaps India's most significant export to the world, the ancient art of Yoga is fast taking centre-stage in Modi's soft power push. The list of co-sponsors includes Asian heavyweights China, Japan, Indonesia and South Korea and also South Africa and Nigeria in Africa. Neighbours such as Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka were amongst the earliest to sign on. Latin American giants Brazil and Argentina too have committed support. With USA and Canada joining recently, the EU members are expected to also join as co-sponsors soon in what, according to official sources, is turning out to be a broad-based coalition of support that has countries as disparate as Iran and Cuba on board.
Following Modi's call for an International Yoga Day in New York on September 26, the Indian Mission to UN has gone about seeking support for the PM's proposal in an exercise being directly monitored by foreign minister Sushma Swaraj.
The resolution, couched in terms of building better and healthier lifestyle patterns, is expected to be submitted to the UN Secretariat soon.
"The goal is to then step up outreach efforts to other countries in November so as to garner overwhelming support for adoption before the end of the year, signalling that delivery is an important ingredient of PM's foreign policy announcements," said a source. Yoga has invariably found mention in Modi's exchanges with important world leaders including with US President Obama. He explained the benefits of Yoga to Obama over their White House dinner, which saw Modi sipping only on warm water as he was fasting, as the president expressed admiration for Modi's "energy and vigour".

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