Commemoration ceremony of the centenary of World War I

When :

from Thursday 11 December, 2014
to Thursday 11 December, 2014

Type of event :

Специальное мероприятие

Where :

UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France

Contact :

In the Framework of the 70th anniversary of UNESCO .

Organized by the Permanent Delegation of India with the support of the Permanent Delegations to UNESCO Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, by the time the First World War ended in November 1918, more than a million Indian personnel had been sent overseas and over 60,000 troops had sacrificed their lives.

As far as the western front is concerned, 138,000 soldiers from India were sent to Europe during the First World War. Most of these soldiers were deployed at Ypres (Belgium) and at nearby Neue Chapelle in France during the period 1914-15. A very large number lost their lives in the campaign to halt the German advance and in the counter-attacks that followed the first chemical weapons attacks in early 1915.

The supreme sacrifice of Indian soldiers in Europe is recorded in the major World War I memorial at Menin Gate, in Ypres, Belgium, and at the memorial for Indian soldiers in near-by Neue Chappelle in France.

After the war, India participated in the Peace Conference held at Versailles to establish the world’s first inter-governmental organization, the League of Nations. As a signatory of the Treaty of Versailles, India became a founder-member of the League of Nations, the precursor of today’s United Nations. In 1945, when the conference to establish the United Nations was held at San Francisco, India again participated and signed the Charter becoming a founding member of the United Nations. Indeed, India’s contribution to WWI and acceptance as a member of the global polity ensured that India became one of the founding members of other UN bodies such as UNESCO even before Independence.


* French Last Post (Sonnerie aux morts)

* Welcome remarks by H. E. Ms Ruchira Kamboj,
Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of India to UNESCO

* Remarks by Mr. Eric Falt, Assistant Director-General of UNESCO

* Message of Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO

* Remarks by H. E. Mr Yves Haesendonck,
Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Belgium to UNESCO

*Remarks by H. E. Mr Jean-Pierre Blackburn,
Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Canada to UNESCO

* Remarks by H. E. Mr Philippe Lalliot,
Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of France to UNESCO

* Remarks by H. E. Mr Michael Worbs
Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Germany to UNESCO

* Remarks by Ms Susannah Gordon,
Permanent Delegate of New Zealand to UNESCO

* Remarks by H. E. Mr Matthew Sudders,
Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to UNESCO

* Presentation by Indian expert Sq. Ldr. Rana Chhina on
“India and the Great War: An Overview”

* Presentation by French expert Mr Yves Le Maner on
“The colonial troops of the French and British Empires during WWI”

* Closing remarks by H. E. Ms Ruchira Kamboj,
Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of India to UNESCO
Commonwealth Last Post