March 14, 2011 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New York (March 14, 2011): As per information provided by a press release sent by EcoSikh organization, Olav Kjorven, Assistant Secretary-General and Director of UNDP, the UN Development Programme has sent greetings to Sikh community worldwide on the celebration of the Sikh Environment Day. In his message to EcoSikh, Mr. Kjorven said, ” In honour of the Seventh Sikh Guru I am sending my most reverent wishes and congratulations for the events planned to celebrate Sikh Environment day on March 14th.”
Olav Kjorven as head of UNDP, worked with many world religions develop their own plans to combat global warming and to work to save environment and he was present when Sikh leaders launched EcoSikh and a five year Sikh plan in 2009, This plan was then presented to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in Windsor Castle in UK in November 2009. Many major Sikh organizations including SGPC have come forward to plant trees worldwide in celebration of this day. Olav Kjorven was a minister in the Norway government before senior appointment at the United Nations.
Addressing Sikhs, Olav Kjorven said, “I am thrilled to see that the plans launched in Windsor two years ago are being implemented and have sparked support for successful initiatives, including the one you are about to celebrate.”
He hailed the Sikh activism on behalf of environment and said, “I deeply admire the work undertaken across the faiths since Windsor and have watched your struggles to enact the far-reaching proactive changes that are necessary to address climate change, provide environmental protection and ensure the regeneration that our living planet so urgently needs.
While encouraging Sikhs on this initiative, He said, “I encourage you to continue to build on the history of ties between the United Nations and Civil Society in addition to the faith community’s long standing track record of significant contributions towards stewardship of the environment. I have no doubts that your efforts on this can deliver tangible projects and results.
As high official of UN, he assured support of Sikh efforts on behalf of environment and said, “Allow me to assure you of our continued support to your efforts in improving the environment and I hope you will accept my best wishes to EcoSikh for a bright and happy celebration.”
Dr. Rajwant Singh, Convener of EcoSikh, welcomed comments by Olab Kjorven and said, “We are encouraged by the leadership of the United Nations on the Sikh Environment Day. Sikh community is committed in making significant contribution to save Mother earth’s environment. There is widespread enthusiasm amongst Sikhs on this issue and it will continue to inspire youngsters as well.”
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