2023 “Diwali Stamp – The Power of One” Awards, aka “Oscars of Diplomacy,” Remarks by Ravi Batra, Chair, National Advisory Council South Asian Affairs: The United Nations is the “Vatican of Hope,” Ranju’s Diwali Stamp-Journey is the Recipe of How To Wage Peace

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ECOSOC Chamber, United Nations

December 11, 2023

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Thank you dear Amb. Olof Skoog, King Gustav’s highest decorated diplomat, for all your love, the support of the EU Delegation, and thank you for championing the metaphor of Diwali because the world is becoming darker, not light. I thank Georgia’s Amb David Bakradze and India’s Amb. Ruchira Kamboj for their essential help today, as well as all Speakers, whose nations co-organized this important ceremony, as well as Amb. Valentin Rybakov.

SG Ban – as lovers who see each other after a long time – think how it feels. You have been missed terribly. Geopolitics has missed you terribly. Madam Ban can vouch for the fact that when you were here, the place had a rhythm and you have been missed. Of course, Mirsada Colakovic was always full of flair, when she’d whisk into the Security Council with her fur coat as Rosemary DiCarlo would see, as they were very much a tag team. Its wonderful to see you all together. 

I particularly want to emphasize and identify with great affection Riyad Mansour of Palestine. You really have a long pregnancy. I hope you deliver soon. But because this is Diwali, there is another reason why I can acknowledge – that is you, and your daughter Reem, was one of the PRs and daughter who signed the Diwali Stamp Petitions for Ranju; because almost every ambassador in the UN signed her petitions. Thank you. 

Before I start, I must take a Moment of Personal Privilege, as its been 16 years since I was Sworn-in on Capital Hill as Chairman of NACSAA by our dear family Member, Supreme Court Justice Francis A. Nicolai. He went down to DC to swear me in, even as then-D.A. Robert M. Morgenthau sent his Representative to support same. I’m deeply honored that despite his advanced “young” age he came. And I am glad I’m able to honor him. I also thank Rabbi Yitchok Waldman, we have been together forever. He also was there at the swearing-in, and whose hospital in Netanya, Israel, has always treated Palestinian and Israelis alike. Laniado Hospital. I acknowledge my brothers, each a milestone, Justice Milton A. Tingling and SDNY Senior Federal Judge George B. Daniels. Finally, I celebrate our brother, a man of justice, born in Puerto Rico, who is now the Chief Administrative Judge Joe Zayas. 

I’m eternally grateful, as Ranju mentioned, to H.E. Andrei Dapkiunas – out of the dinner dear Kaha Imnadze hosted on October 10, 2016 – that he took the initiative, an orthodox Christian, because he understood this wasn’t about religion. Next day he called and booked Trusteeship Council to honor the “Small Stamp” and Ranju’s “Journey.” That’s what the UN is about. It transcends borders. It transcends boundaries. It transcends pettiness, and it allows – it just requires a few people to lift themselves beyond what is norm. And, all of a sudden, just like Rosa Parks who changed the United States for the better and helped get rid of our Original Sin, just like that, Andrei Dapkiunas, a nobleman, started this tradition in 2016. I’m grateful to dear  Valentin Rybakov, who characterized Ranju’s selfless achievement as the “Power of One” and unexpectedly inspired the creation of these Awards, aka the “Oscars of Diplomacy.” And, then for admirably leading all of the Award ceremonies until Covid put the world on a “hold.” 

In diplomacy, the best things you achieve are secret. And the only things that become public are generally “noise,” and they don’t really mean much. So, the need to acknowledge excellence is critical generally, but in diplomacy, which is on life support in today’s world, it is essential. And, that’s how these Awards are “The Power of One,” and these awards are for world class diplomats who have changed the world by what they did. One person. 

Not every person can be a S.G. Ban, because S.G. of 193 nations is a heavy burden. But what each ambassador, of each country, to do what you do everyday in the UN is pretty impressive, and the need to acknowledge is essential. Among our Speakers today is dear Paula Narvaez of Chile, who is president of the ECOSOC and duly elected by the General Assembly, and we applaud you my dear. 

Dear Akan Rakhmetullin – what can I say – I have a goddaughter Ameilya who is in Kazakhstan. We are connected. And he is a dear brother, and behind him is Intizara. And I’m glad Laila is sitting in dear Omar Hilale’s seat, which is perfect. Kazakhstan is one of the countries we promised in 1994 in the Budapest Memorandum that we would protect. That they actually forsaked nuclear arms and became global champions of denuclearization is amazing. So, congratulations. 

Dear Sophia Tesfamariam is a little bit of a Joan of Arc. She is from the Horn of Africa: Eritrea. And she is one of those who pointed out to me that policies are being miscreated, and I discovered that even governments can have malpractice. And for dear Mohan Pieris, the exceptional P.R. of Sri Lanka, it’s always a special joy to have him and Pryanthi, and him to expound, as only he can, the origins, and benefits, of Diwali. 

This place here, the U.N. – and what better time to say it again, than with SG Ban Ki-moon present – is nothing short of the “Vatican of Hope” and each diplomat serving here is nothing short of an “Arch-Angel.”

Vatican of Hope & Arch-Angels

Last year, I had an epiphany that the UN is the Vatican of Hope, and the Diplomats who toil here every day are the Arch-Angels of Hope. This year, when I was invited to speak at Westminster, London, on a topic of “Russia, China and North Korea,” I urged that we need to replace “Public Insult” with “Public Respect” for our advesaries, and then Honor our “sacred word,” something Thomas Jefferson knows much about, given to allies and adversaries alike. Our word should mean exactly what we said. Whether we give it to our friends or our enemies. And we don’t do that. And we need to do that. So long as Honor is a “title,” rather than honoring our word, we will remain in a perpetual battle between Good and Evil, Light and Darkness. I take great pride that Ireland’s Senator Gerard Craughwell’s friends – Senator Aidan Davitt and MP Dr. Cathal Peter Barry. I know dear Gerard would be here if it wasn’t for his daughter Rebecca being in the hospital, and we wish her a speedy recovery. They flew in from Ireland to attend these ceremonies, and we are grateful to have you. And believe me, America is better thanks to the Irish. 

Dear Olof, S.G. Ban, Excellencies, my dearest Ranju, and friends all,

We need to excommunicate the painful Mirrors of History in favor of Mahatma Gandhi’s & Martin Luther King’s direct descendant, Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s Truth & Reconciliation paradigm.  I submit there is no other way. We cannot settle the books. We are not God. There is no other way. 

I thank each you – for all the warmth and love expressed in this Chamber – especially for Ranju and her immortal Achievement – which, frankly I was opposed to when she started; as I thought it could never be done. For today’s exceptional Power of One Awardees – each of you  have made our world better. I acknowledge the presence of prior “Power of One” Awardees:

H.E. Yuriy Sergevey, of Ukraine. And, through Miriam, I acknowledge H.E. Mohamed Khaled Khiari as well. H.E. Maged Abdelaziz, the Pharaoh and a prior Awardee, was committed to coming but is now in Marrakesh – as head of the Arab League in the UN – due to Gaza and the need to create a Sovereign Palestine, which is where dear Omar Hilale just left for after his remarks moments ago. By the way, we are still waiting for Oman’s Mohamad Al Hassan, as he speeds back from Wash. D.C.. When he arrives, I will yield the floor to him.

The United Nation – is humanity’s last best Hope. Diplomacy, then, tilts between life or death, Good or Evil. 

Diplomacy exists so even adversaries can talk. In 1945, General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Allied Commander in the Pacific,  personified Respect on the deck of the USS Missouri, even while receiving the Instrument of Surrender from Japan! It was done with full honors for the Japanese, when they signed the Instrument. That’s what we need to come back to. We need to find a way to embrace our adversaries; how else will we ever be friends? But Social Media has denigrated public discourse into a mud-fest of Insults that infects domestic politics, celebrating Division and inviting Sedition. Our rhetoric today, is hotter than the Volcanos of Hawaii; which is why we must freeze it! 

Let me be clear: Insults cause War; and only Respect converts Swords into Plough Shears! So, lets show real respect to our adversaries. As a great American P.R. – slightly before Rosemary DiCarlo’s time – Daniel Patrick Moynihan, an Irishman we are so proud of, said: 

“No one is innocent after the experience of governing. But not everyone is guilty.”

The Ideals of Diwali are the Ideals of the UN Charter! Ranju’s selfless journey honored these ideals with a secret ingredient, Respect, and she achieved an immortal stamp. Diwali is now a metaphor in the Vatican of Hope – the United Nations. 

Dear Minister Miguel Moratinos’ UN Alliance of Civilizations – who is in Doha right now for COP28 – is a selfless warrior for Peace and fully supports Pope Francis: that there should be respect for all religions. And Peace is Diwali, as the secret ingredient Ranju used is: Respect. 

Humanity has run out of time for silly egos, wars and empires, as we face existential threats from a Climate Crisis that will drown nations and wash away sovereignty, as freely as Hurricanes blow past our borders and rip the roofs right off our homes! 

So, I applaud all of the Co-Organizers and Co-Sponsors of these Power of One Awards – I see Boguslaw Winid is over there and Mher Margaryan right next to him –  as these brave Ambassadors and brave Nations dare to wage Peace, and outlaw War.

Awards Moderator

Now, I assume the moderator role. So, may I request all Speakers to come up on the stage, so when each Awardee is called up they will have a picture with you. I remind all Awardees, Speakers, PRs, HL UN Officials, etc., that at about 5:30 there will be a family picture. 

Power of One Awards, aka Oscars of Diplomacy

Finally, the moment we are all waiting for: to honor the best among us, who strive to give us a more perfect world.

Our 1st Awardee is H.E. Ban Ki-Moon, S.G. of the U.N., a Lifetime Achievement Award 

Here’s a man of history embedded in ROK’s top political power, but he gave it all up to become a Global Champion of Peace & Security, and to better deliver Justice to all. His achievements are way too many. But some are amazing: SDGs. But his singular achievement is the Paris Agreement! He is now among the global “Elders” to help Governments do better. Personally, we are grateful to SG Ban for not having a racist bone in his body and for all the support he gave us, including, engaging with me after the Lima Conference and before the Paris Agreement. 

He is a man that hears a lot, and speaks less. A wise man. He has made the Republic of Korea very proud. But I want you to tell every Korean to forget about their pride, because we are more proud of you than there are, and we think we own you! A true global leader inducted by history as an honest fiduciary. His Excellency, S.G. Ban Ki-moon.

So, the Diwali Foundation USA, supported by all Co-Organizers and Co-Sponsors, over 70 nations, is proud to bestow the Diwali Stamp – Power of One Award upon SG Ban Ki-Moon, as a Lifetime Achievement Award. The Podium is yours… 

Our next Awardee is the effervescent – if you just look at her she bubbles – H.E. Mirsada Čolaković of Bosnia and Herzegovina 

I see the current P.R. This is a very unusual place. You have Prime Ministers like dear Zlatko Lagumdzija become a P.R. like Teburoro Tito of Kiribati, who was president of the country and is now the P.R. So, this position of P.R. is pretty powerful. I want Zlatko to be up on the stage while Mirsada gets recognized. 

So, dear Mirsada is the former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bosnia & Herzegovina to the United Nations Security Council. She went on to represent her nation in many other countries, but as a lady ambassador in the UNSC – same time that Rosemary DiCarlo was there – the two of them had spines of steel. Not that you could see it, but it was there. And she got more done, than could be expected. Our mutual dear friend H. E. Rosemary DiCarlo, who served in the SC as America’s acting PR, and is now the UN’s “Secretary of State” to the world. I’m going to ask her also to join when Mirsada gets her award. If Caroline Zaide had been here, I would have asked her come on the stage. 

I must also tell you how amazing it is: when people talk about gender equality, hanging out with Mirsada or Rosemary, or Ranju, I don’t know what Gender Equality is, as I see it as Gender Superiority. Mirsada’s achievements are plentiful and notable. So, the Diwali Foundation USA, supported by all Co-Organizers and Co-Sponsors, over 70 nations, is proud to bestow the Diwali Stamp – Power of One Award upon dear Amb. Mirsada Čolaković.

Our next Awardee is H.E. Kim Sook of the Republic of Korea. 

I was going to have a lot more fun with him, if he was in the Hall. But there were some issues that he did not get to make the plane on time in Korea; and so he is not here. 

There has always been this little bit of tension – family tension – between Kim Sook and me, and Ban Ki-moon; because, I’ve always said, as I consider Sook a Brother: take a little bit of time away from the SG, and give it to me. The fact is that Kim Sook is a very, very special guy and a very distinguished global diplomat who has served in the UNSC with amazing distinction. Prior to coming here, he was ROK’s Deputy Director of Intelligence. Their CIA. 

Which is a perfect time to recall President Reagan’s “Trust, but Verify.” Dear Sook did that, in all things as a diplomat. Before he accepted something someone told him, he’d verify it. As I said to the Secretary General, the Republic of Korea is proud of you and proud of Kim Sook. But we are proud of him too. Maybe as much, maybe more. So, ROK created these multilateral giants, one as an ambassador and one as the 8th Secretary General. His achievements are plentiful and notable. So, the Diwali Foundation USA, supported by all Co-Organizers and Co-Sponsors, over 70 nations, is proud to bestow the Diwali Stamp – Power of One Award upon Amb. Kim Sook!

And how amazing that he should have his Award accepted by the S.G. Ban Ki-moon. I mean this is an award upon an award. I don’t know if he worked that out on purpose or not. But Sook dared to build bridges and see Humanity as one family. The floor is yours Excellency…

Our next and last Awardee is H.E. Miroslav Lajčák, PGA72

After serving as Slovakia’s FM, he was elected by the 193 Member States to be 72nd  President of the General Assembly. We also have with us Professor Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, now Nigeria’s P.R., who has previously served as the PGA. I want you to come up when dear ASG Miroslav Jenca comes up to accept the Award. 

That dear Miroslav has served with distinction in every role he had, is why now he is the European Union’s Special Representative for the “Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue and other Western Balkan regional issues.” Because the Western Balkan issues were never settled, they are festering. So, this is the guy who was selected – and Mirsada knows this well – to go into a “boiling pot.”  Not the Climate Crisis the SG was talking about, but the geopolitical mess that needs to be resolved. So, he has been given that difficult job. 


If Sir Thomas More was a Man for all Seasons, so is dear Miroslav Lajčák. We are lucky to have dear H.E. Miroslav Jenča, a mutual friend of the PGA and us, to accept the Award after his Video Message from Brussels. 

It’s now time for the “Family Picture.” 

Invited up to the stage are: Awardees & family, Co-Organizer-Speakers & family, Miracle Angela & Precious Neal, Valentin & Natalia Rybakov, Co-Sponsors, P.Rs, USGs & ASGs, sweet Amaya and Himayani Ramanan, and VIP guests.


Ravi Batra, Esq.
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Ravi Batra, starting September 11, 2021, is a publisher of The America Times Company Ltd., and since January 2022, is the Editor-in-Chief. He is a member of the National Press Club, in Washington D.C., and a member of its "Freedom of the Press" and "International Correspondents" Teams/Committees.

A member of the bar since 1981, he is the head of a boutique law firm in Manhattan, The Law Firm of Ravi Batra, P.C., that handles complex constitutional, sovereignty, torture, civil and criminal cases, representing governments, corporates and individuals, with landmark legal victories, including, libel in fiction, in “Batra v. Dick Wolf.” He is Chairman & CEO, Greenstar Global Energy Corp., King Danylo of Galicia International Ltd., Mars & Pax Advisors, Ltd., Chairman of National Advisory Council on South Asian Affairs, and since September 2021, Advisor for Legal and Humanitarian Affairs to the Permanent Mission of Georgia to the United Nations. He is invited by various governments to address High Level Ministerial events, including, on Counter-Terrorism, including, Astana (Nur-Sultan), Dushanbe, Minsk and Delhi. He has testified in Congress as an invitee of the Chair, U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, and interacted with U.S. Department of State from 1984 -1990, and then again, from 2006, during the tenures of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Rex Tillerson, Mike Pompeo and Antony Blinken.

He has served as Commissioner of New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE), Trustee on New York State IOLA Board, New York State Judicial Screening Committee for the Second Judicial Department, City Bar’s Judicial Committee, Vice-Chair of Kings County Democratic County Committee’s Independent Judicial Screening Committee for the then-2nd Judicial Department of Brooklyn and Staten Island, Chair of NYSTLA’ Judicial Independence Committee, with many more bar leadership roles, including, NYSBA’s House of Delegates for four years. He has served as Advisor for Legal & Human Rights Affairs to the Permanent Mission of Ukraine post-annexation of Crimea till 2021, and Legal Advisor to numerous nations’ permanent missions to the U. N. since 2009, including, India, Pakistan, Honduras and Malta. He has served: as Global Special Counsel to The Antonov Company in Ukraine, a state-owned company, and was registered with the Justice Dept pursuant to FARA; and as Special Global Advisor to Rector/President of both - National Aviation University of Ukraine and National Technical University of Ukraine/KPI. He remains involved in geopolitics and public policy since the mid-1980's, starting with being on House Speaker Tip O’Neill’s Speaker’s Club and appointed member of NACSAA during President Ronald Reagan’s tenure. In 1988, he was part of U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese’s Delegation to Japan to resolve bilateral trade imbalance. He regularly interacts with the multilateral diplomatic community, and during the High Level UNGA Debate, with heads of State/Government. He is sought for his views as a speaker and writer. 

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