2023 “Diwali Stamp – The Power of One Awards,” aka “Oscars of Diplomacy,” Remarks by H.E. Paula Narvaez Ojeda, P.R. of Chile and President of ECOSOC, ECOSOC Chamber, United Nations

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ECOSOC Chamber, United Nations

11 December 2023

Dear excellencies,

Let me thank my dear friend Ranju Batra for inviting me, once again, to this

celebration and giving me the unique opportunity and privilege to be part of probably one of the most important and beautiful festivals celebrated in India, Diwali.

The world is facing unprecedented and interlocking challenges to human rights. Hunger and poverty are increasing — an affront to the economic and social rights of hundreds of millions of people. 

In this complex context, yesterday, we commemorated the 75th anniversary of the

Universal Human Rights Declaration, which is the foundation for human dignity, and the cornerstone of peaceful, inclusive, fair, equal, and prosperous societies. The Declaration is a unifying force, reflecting the most fundamental thing we share, our common humanity.

There is a deep connection between the Declaration and Diwali, both embody a common language of our shared humanity, in which lies human dignity and the duty of care we owe each other as human beings. 

The celebration of the return of Rama and Sita to the city of Ayodhya after defeating the evil king Ravana has a universal and powerful moral message. Diwali signifies the triumph of good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, prosperity over poverty, hope over despair, and the joy of homecoming.

Diwali is a time when we celebrate the triumph of light over darkness, and it’s a reminder that goodness will always prevail. It’s a celebration that gives us hope, especially in light of the current humanitarian crisis.

Here at the United Nations, the Diwali message is central in our daily quest for a better future for all. Diwali reminds us that truth, light, and goodness must always prevail.

With all the ongoing crises, let’s take this Diwali as an opportunity of hope for people living through times of despair, let not forget that all darkness can be turned into light. I congratulate each of this year’s special Awardees, who richly deserve the Power of One Award, aka Oscars of Diplomacy.


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