2023 “Diwali Stamp – The Power of One Awards,” aka “Oscars of Diplomacy,” Remarks by H.E. Akan Rakhmetullin, P.R. of Kazakhstan

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United Nations, 11 December 2023

Our much esteemed friends Ranju and Ravi,

Distinguished colleagues, ladies and gentlemen.

Thank you for inviting me to represent Kazakhstan on this special day which has so much significance.

Firstly, we pay tribute to the incredible efforts of Ranju and Ravi to get the Divali stamp recognized as a “Forever” timeless stamp in US philately.

Secondly, today’s event also recognizes the “The Power of One” as an ennobling concept of the human spirit with indomitable courage that we have to become stewards of humanity and guardians of Mother Earth.


I warmly felicitate my dear colleagues who have been bestowed the 2023 Power of One awards for their noble undertakings that make a difference in this world. As we can see, the Power of One brings several generations of diplomats together through their commitment to the UN.


In this spirit, we each have the power to shape Agenda 2030, which embodies the concept of social justice on a global level, and the Secretary-General António Guterres’ “New Agenda for Peace” to lay the foundations for stability and development. 

It may interest you to know that my country, now described as “a new and just  Kazakhstan,” believes that every citizen has this “power” as an agent of change and transformation. Hence, President Kassym-Jomart has introduced reforms and measures so that all voices are heard loud and clear, in what he calls “a listening state.”  We in Kazakhstan bring together over 140 ethnic groups and followers of some 18 major religions of the world, living in peace and harmony. We therefore all the more appreciate the sentiments of the Diwali stamp that brings cultures together.

Thirdly, we reflect on the symbolism of Diwali, as in ancient traditional scriptures, and modern celebrations. This symbolism is indeed like a kaleidoscope with very deep significance.

1. The lighting of lamps stands for joy, prosperity, knowledge, and wisdom – the triumph of goodness over evil, truth over falsehood, and light over ignorance.   A physical lamp is just a symbol. The real lamp is us; it is we ourselves who should be always lit up – vibrant, joyful, and full of energy. This can only happen with the knowledge and awakening within us and not from material comforts or money.

2. Diwali means spreading knowledge and truth. So, we must all become beacons of light, “all walking together” so that there is light and happiness in everyone’s lives.

3. We do not really celebrate Diwali simply by lighting oil lamps. The real essence is that we too should shine with the radiance of love and compassion so that we can illuminate the path of others in our lives.

4. Diwali is a time to express gratitude. Wealth is transient, but what is more precious   are truth, charity, self-restraint, courage and righteousness.

During these turbulent times, let us pray that all people experience love, joy, and abundance in their lives.

I thank you.


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