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Thousands attend kickoff of UN Week

Scott Crowson
Calgary Herald

Sunday, October 20, 2002

Local celebrations of United Nations Week kicked off Saturday with speeches, dancing, music and displays at the Devonian Gardens.

Organizers said over 4,000 people attended the event.

"After the turmoil of Sept. 11, people have become more aware of the principles that the United Nations has been trying to propagate," said local representative Omkar Nath Channan. "There is no other forum in the world that can do anything to bring peace in the world."

Twenty performers from Calgary's ethnic communities performed at the event. Students from local schools created posters and drew national flags, which decorated the walls. The celebration included 30 exhibitors, ranging from the Baha'i faith to the Red Cross.

"We invited people from various cultures and various nations to celebrate here," said Channan, president of the Calgary chapter of the United Nations Association of Canada.

"The United Nations is critical for the promotion of goodwill and global cohesion, especially in these uncertain times," Channan told the gathering.

"We need to come together globally to find solutions to problems. The UN can be instrumental for global problem-solving."

Former prime minister Joe Clark, currently MP for Calgary Centre and leader of the Progressive Conservative party, was the keynote speaker at the event.

This was the fourth annual celebration of UN Week in Calgary.

©Copyright 2002, Calgary Herald (Canada)

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