New Delhi: United Nations Resident Coordinator in India, Shombi Sharp said here that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be leading the session of Yoga at the United Nations Secretariat in New York on June 21 this year.

He said that it will be a very big deal adding that everybody in the world was quick to understand the importance of Yoga once International Yoga Day came into force.

"International Yoga Day which came into force, I believe in 2015 was supported by 175 countries very - very quickly. Everybody I think in the world got on the board and understood, what an important and joyful day that is when we look at the international calendar. Yoga under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi who has really been pushing for international recognition of Yoga and supported the International Day, so the honourable Prime Minister will be leading this session of Yoga at the United Nations Secretariat on 21st June. I think it will be a big deal", said Shombi Sharp in an interview with ANI.

"I think it will be a very very big day and also the message is there. It is about mindfulness, it is about supporting the mental health, it is about mind and body and being healthy", he added.

The International Day of Yoga aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga. The draft resolution establishing the International Day of Yoga was proposed by India and endorsed by a record 175 member states. The proposal was first introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address during the opening of the 69th session of the General Assembly, in which he said: "Yoga is an invaluable gift from our ancient tradition. Yoga embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action ... a holistic approach [that] is valuable to our health and well-being. Yoga is not just about exercise; it is a way to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and nature."

Shombi Sharp also spoke on the International Day of UN Peacekeepers which is observed on May 29 every year to honour the professionalism, dedication & courage of those serving in UN peacekeeping operations and remember those who have laid down their lives in the cause of peace.

Speaking on the role of India, Shombi said that India's role has been central which has been the largest supporter.

"India's role has been absolutely central as mentioned that India has been the largest supporter, providing the most peacekeeping troops since the beginning. India has been behind many of the milestones", said Shombi Sharp.

"India has provided other types of support for example during the Covid pandemic, India provided hundreds of thousands of vaccines to peacekeeping troops across the world. India is supporting the ability of peacekeeping troops to remain ahead in terms of changes in the nature of threats and technologies through the peace keeping centres", he added.

India has a rich legacy of contribution to UN Peacekeeping operations and is one of the largest contributors of troops. It has contributed approximately 2,75,000 troops to peacekeeping missions so far, with around 5,900 troops currently deployed in 12 UN Missions.

Indian Army personnel have operated under demanding conditions in challenging terrains and have displayed exemplary professionalism, humane approach, courage and valour, to the extent of making the supreme sacrifice to defend the UN mandates.