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NOTE 5687
19 October 2001

CONCERT IN OBSERVANCE OF UNITED NATIONS DAY TO BE HELD IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY HALL, 24 OCTOBER

19/10/2001
Press Release
NOTE 5687


                                                            Note No. 5687

                                                            19 October 2001


Note to Correspondents


CONCERT IN OBSERVANCE OF UNITED NATIONS DAY TO BE HELD


IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY HALL, 24 OCTOBER


South Asian Rock Bands Euphoria and Junoon

And World's Greatest Mime Artist Marcel Marceau to Perform


In observance of United Nations Day, a concert of rock music from India and Pakistan and a performance by Marcel Marceau, the internationally acclaimed mime, will be held on Wednesday, 24 October 2001 at 7 p.m. in the General Assembly Hall.


The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, and the President of the General Assembly Han Seung-Soo (Republic of Korea), will make opening remarks.  Mme. Nane Annan, wife of the Secretary-General, will also attend.  This year’s event is a special effort by the Organization to bring together the diverse people and culture of the world, and takes on a special significance at a time when the United Nations and the Secretary-General have been honoured with the Nobel Peace Prize.


The concert programme consists of performances by Marcel Marceau, Euphoria, an Indian “Hindrock” band, and Junoon, a Pakistani folk-rock band.


Marcel Marceau, universally acclaimed as the world’s greatest mime, has been delighting audiences for over 50 years through the art of mime.  Born in France, Mr. Marceau was inspired by silent screen artists such as Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd and began studying mime in 1944 under the mime master Etienne Decroux.  In 1947, he created the character Bip, who has become his alter-ego and is likened to Don Quixote, and his struggle against the windmills of life.  He has received the highest honours from the French Government, including Officier de la Légion d’Honneur and Grand Officier de l’Ordre National du Mérite, and has received two Emmy Awards.  He has been named as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Second World Assembly on Ageing.


Euphoria is a six-member band from India that sets music to Hindi and Urdu lyrics.  The band aims to keep alive the purity of rock while drawing on the natural rhythm and melody of Indian music.  Their first album, Dhoom, sold thousands of copies and the band has had three chart-topping hits:  Dhoom, Tum and Sha-na-na.  In May 2000, they became the first Indian band to participate in the prestigious annual Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, Tennessee, United States. 

                                    - 2 -                         Note No. 5687

                                                                  19 October 2001


Junoon, which means “passion” in Urdu, is South Asia’s most popular rock band.  Their music combines traditional Sindhi and Punjabi folk music with Western hard rock.  In 1998, they won the Best International Group title at the pan-Asian Channel V Music Awards and in the same year starred at the BBC Mega Mela, an annual South Asian cultural event.  They have been honoured by a wide variety of sources, including the BBC, for their contribution towards Asian culture, by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for their achievements towards peace in South Asia, and by fans, with worldwide recognition and platinum album sales.  The band leader, Salman Ahmad, is the current United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Pakistan in the fight against HIV/AIDS.


The concert at the United Nations is organized by the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) and is sponsored by the Governments of France, Kuwait and Norway, with the support of Kuwait Airways.


United Nations Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force of the United Nations Charter on 24 October 1945.


Accredited correspondents who wish to attend the concert should call (212) 963-6934.  For further information, please call Graciela Hall, (212) 963-6923; for media accreditation, (212) 963-6934; for United Nations television coverage, (212) 963-7650.


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For information media. Not an official record.