Acceptance of the 2023 “Diwali Stamp – The Power of One Award” by Mirsada Čolaković, ECOSOC Chamber, United Nations

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11 December 2023

Ladies and Gentlemen, Excellencies and dear Friends, and to me its more important that I said “dear friends,” because I see so many friends, dearest Colleagues with whom I worked. Not just Secretary General Ban, but also the ambassadors – all too many to mention. My colleagues from Albania, Palestine, Ukraine, Rosemary DiCarlo of US at that time.

I stand before you today with a profound sense of gratitude, pride and humility as the recipient of this distinguished diplomatic award. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the Diwali Foundation for recognizing the tireless efforts of diplomats, acknowledging the commitment and dedication that goes into our work.

I would like to express my deep appreciation to the founders of the Diwali Foundation / Diwali Stamp Project – Mrs. Ranju Batra (and her supporter, Ravi Batra) – whose vision and commitment have paved the way for this prestigious recognition. They deserve our sincere acknowledgment and gratitude.

It is truly an honor to share this platform with esteemed individuals, including the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, and the distinguished Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, who has worn many hats in his distinguished career and to my respectful colleague Ambassador Kim Sook. Standing among such distinguished dignitaries is a testament to the collective impact diplomats can have on the world stage.

I am particularly touched to be recognized for my work at the BiH Mission to the United Nations, an organization that has weathered many storms successfully, in spite of much criticism. I have been here for 10 very interesting and challenging years, first serving as DPR and after that as PR. Coming from a small, but beautiful, country, it was a great privilege and responsibility for me to serve at the UN Security Council, especially because we were on the SC agenda. Unfortunately we still are. During that period UN was mainly led by Mr. Ban Ki-Moon. In that period, Secretary Gen. Ban visited my country, which was the first and only visit by a UN SG to the region.

For me, the UN remains the single forum, the only one that can uniquely transcend global divisions, bringing nations of all sizes to the table in order to create a positive change. It is a beacon of hope, illustrating that collaboration and dialogue can indeed make a difference in our interconnected world.

In closing, I extend my deepest appreciation to the organizers and co-organizers of this event and sponsors of this esteemed Award. Their commitment to recognizing diplomatic efforts is not only commendable, but essential in fostering a world of understanding and cooperation. I wish the Diwali Foundation continued success in its noble endeavors.

Thank you, and may this recognition inspire us all to strive for a more harmonious and united world. 


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