First Sikh American Offers Prayers at the 67th United Nations General Assembly Opening Session

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First Sikh American Offers Prayers at the 67th United Nations General Assembly Opening Session!

Highlights:

  • Jatinder P. Singh, a Sikh American and an Associate Director, UNITED SIKHS, offers prayers at the 67th United Nations (UN) General Assembly opening session conducted in the General Assembly building of the UN.
  • Over 1500 attendees, including UN President H.E. Mr. Vuk Jeremic and leaders from various religious organizations across the globe, joined hands to promote messages of world peace.
  • UNITED SIKHS is the first Sikh UN-DPI affiliated organization and is recognized by the United Nations since December 2007.
  • Click here to see the prayer.

Mar 06, 2013
25th Phagun (Samvat 544 Nanakshahi
New York, USA
:Jatinder P. Singh, a Sikh American and Associate Director, UNITED SIKHS, offered prayers at the United Nations 67th General Assembly opening session. The event, ‘United for a Culture of Peace Through Interfaith Harmony’, was part of the annual World Interfaith Harmony Week. Organized by the Office of the President of the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and The Committee of Religious NGOs, this event was held at United Nations General Assembly Hall on February 14th, 2013.

Each participant was allotted a time of thirty seconds for their prayer. Jatinder P. Singh recited excerpts from the Mool Mantar accompanied by a musical piece played by Jon Blond on the flute. The following is an excerpt from Jatinder P. Singh’s prayer:

“Ik Onkaar, Satnaam… In this age of darkness this world is filled with maya, money, and weapons of mass destruction. The only answer to save this world is through prayers in the company of saints.”

Jatinder P. Singh also read the English translation of an excerpt from Sukhmani Sahib (Ashtpadi 7.3).

“In the company of saints all enemies become friends. In the company of saints, man becomes very pure…” He also added, “I truly hope one day, all the countries can get together at the United Nations and just pray for world peace.”

After delivering his prayer, Jatinder P. Singh was approached by members of the UN and other faith groups, who shared how they were moved by the positive and uplifting message of peace.

A flag ceremony followed the prayers. Flags of UN member nations were hoisted with a heart-warming welcome and blessing of peace upon each country.

The UN General Assembly is the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations. Comprising of 193 members of the United Nations, it provides a unique platform for multilateral discussions on the international issues covered by the UN Charter.

The event ended with closing statements from Ms. Monica Willard, President of the Committee of Religious NGO’s. There were over 1500 attendees from various organizations including Gail Bindley, UN General; Philippe Kridelka, Director of UNESCO; Ambassador Byrganym Aitimova,Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United Nations; Reverend Father Mark Arey, Director of Inter-Orthodox group; Ms. Kiran Bali, Chair of the United Religions Initiative Global Council, and H.E. Ambassador T. Hamid Al-Bayati, Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations.

Messages of world peace and prayers were offered by various religious organizations including:Tuwe Huni Kuin–Brazilian Amazon Huni Kuin community, Caroline Vasquez–Baha’i International community, Ven. Seong Won–Director, social affairs at Korean Zen Buddhism, Rev. Kathleen Stone–United Methodist Church, Swami Parameshananda–Bharat Sevashram Sangha, Lucy Schmitz–Ethical Culture Society, Apeksha Vora–Member, Anuvrat Global Organization, Rabbi Michael Weisser–Free Synagogue of Flushing, Imam Izak El M. Pasha–Masjid Malcolm Shabazz, and Nina Mistry–Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America.

UNITED SIKHS is humbled to partake in this event where representatives from various countries and religions were able to come together amidst international conflict and share common values of peace and pluralism.

Manmeet Singh
Staff Attorney, International Civil and Human Rights Advocacy (ICHRA)
UNITED SIKHS
Tel: (646) 315-3909
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8 Comments

  1. Gurpreet Singh says:

    Great work folks, you make us proud.

    Jatinder Singh, we are proud to have people like you who can provide leadership to the community. Your work is very much the need in the United States. God bless you and United Sikhs. Keep doing the great work .

    ~Gurpreet

  2. Gurlbarg Kaur says:

    Dear United Sikhs people,

    I am so proud of you. This post has really given us the strength that you will take the cause of the Kashmiri Sikhs and Hindus to the United Nations and speak on our behalf. Please don’t forget to also include the violations against the Sikh community during 1984.

    You may not know but your legal work is a relief to many minority groups in other parts of the country. There are a very few organisations that think about minorities. Don’t let anyone distract you.

    May Satguruji give you all the blessings and empower you with wisdom and strength to take on cases that no one else dares to take.

    Be in Chardi Kala.

    Gulbargh Kaur
    Ph.D, Political Science
    Kashmir

  3. OP Singh says:

    Bruhaa folks, great work.
    Sikh ideology looks at the question of war and peace at individual, social, state, and global levels. Genuine peace is not possible when there is pain and suffering in society. In that sense, Sikh thought agrees that peace is not necessarily the absence of war.
    In early 17th century, Bhai Gurdass wrote that Guru Nanak (1469 –1539), the founder of the Sikh religion “meditated and saw the whole world ablaze” (Vara(n) Bhai Gurdass). The world was at war at every level as a result of human greed, lust, violence, and lack of compassion.

    Guru Nanak’s approach to reconciliation between warring factions in religious, social and political spheres was to identify the root causes, and to show the way to a harmonious way of life, which accepted and respected diversity. He brought together the essence of the (apparently diverse) religious ideologies of his time. The Sikh Holy Scripture, Guru Granth Sahib, is the embodiment of that interfaith approach.

    OP Singh

  4. jasdev says:

    Wow, dude, this is cool. United Sikhs three cheers to you. You guys need to be congratulated for showcasing the Sikh community in the UN. Empowering a common man, where do we find this today….. A true embodiment of Panthic work.

    Do you have a chapter in Canada? I would like to connect and volunteer my time and hours.

    May the falcon bearer bless you and your team. Keep up the great legal work that you do.

    Jasdev Rai
    (Surrey)

  5. Chaddha Boy says:

    Looking at the video put me into an awe. Good work United Sikhs. This is the kind of coverage Sikhs need. The world can become familiar with the ambience of Sikhi through such participation.

    Wish our usa based advocacy organizations learn from your work, dedication and determination.

    Thanks to all those that made this happen.

    United Sikhs rocks.

    G Chaddha

  6. OP Singh says:

    Wonderful work. A little on the history, the Preamble to the United Nations Charter aims to regain faith in fundamental human rights, to respect obligation of sources of international law as well as to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security. And all treaties on international human rights law recall or consider “the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”. This is what Sikhi talks about. Bruhaaa United Sikhs!

    OP Singh

  7. After I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a remark is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any manner you can take away me from that service? Thanks!

  8. Wow that was really awesome.