• World Harmony Run

    World's Largest Torch Relay
    World Harmony Run

  • 1,000,000 Participants

    Across 6 Continents
    1,000,000 Participants

  • Dreaming of a more harmonious world

    100 countries
    Dreaming of Harmony

  • Schools And Kids

    Make a Wish for Peace
    Schools And Kids

  • Sri Chinmoy: World Harmony Run Founder

    World Harmony Run Founder
    Sri Chinmoy

  • Carl Lewis: World Harmony Run Spokesman

    World Harmony Run Spokesman
    Carl Lewis

  • New York, USA

    New York

  • London, Great Britain

    Great Britain

  • Shakhovskaya, Russia


  • Around Australia

    15,000 kms, 100 days
    Around Australia

  • Around Ireland

    14 Days, 1500km
    Around Ireland

  • Wanaka, New Zealand

    New Zealand

  • Arjang, Norway


  • Rekjavik, Iceland


  • Beijing, China


  • Prague, Czech Republic

    Czech Republic

  • Belgrade, Serbia


  • Lake Biwa, Japan

    Lake Biwa

  • Kapsait, Ethiopia


  • Pangkor Island, Malaysia

    Pangkor Island

  • Bali, Indonesia


  • The All Blacks, New Zealand

    The All Blacks
    New Zealand

Kazakhstan 25 July Astana, EAST Team (start New Zealand) meets WEST (start Portugal)

Draft 02 of 25 July event - to be updated

Amazing Astana 

  • Welcomes the Peace and World Harmony International Torch Relay Runs and
  • Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of Kazakhstan joining the United Nations.

Very early in 2012 teams started:

in New Zealand ( Aotea Square, the central public space of Auckland city and the site of numerous peace and other important events in New Zealand history.) More>

and Another team in Portugal, ( starting in Figueira da Foz / (more) which will cover 24.000 km in Europe )


both teams shared the aspiration to pass the torch through many countries in their regions

and then join these many months later in Astana the new Capital of Kazakhstan.

Baiterek Tower is a symbol of Astana and the surrounding plaza of the main event today. For the many runners and participants this symbol now would mark the 2012 meeting of the (Oceania-Asia-Pacific with the European) Peace and Harmony Torch Relay Runs .

Some Recent Regional History (2010 East Meets West):

The last time the two teams had come together was in Moscow (more)

2010 was designated "International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures" (IYRC) by the United Nations and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and was supported by the World Harmony Run (note the logo on the banner) .The goals of the special IYRC year were spoken about in many  key events around the world.

The years celebration of cultural diversity and exchanges between cultures fits very well with the ongoing multi-year efforts of the World Harmony and Peace Runs. Appropriately the final day in 2010 began at the UN Information centre in Moscow where they were welcomed by the Director. (more)

The President of the General Conference of UNESCO,  sent a special message and a question to Moscow, as to how the participants would keep alive in the years ahead what had been already accomplished. The representative of the UN in Moscow was certain the Run participants and supporters would “go further and just do more and more”. This is in keeping with increasing the experience of "oneness" encouraged by the founder: Sri Chinmoy (1931 – 2007)  (More). www.worldharmonyrun.org/russia/news/2010/0927

The bringing together and sharing of the best of each Culture is something that is also proudly celebrated by the Kazakhstan government and people. Therefore, it seems most fitting for the International Peace and Harmnoy torch relay and related events to be here for their 25th Anniversary and the 20th Anniversary of Kazakhstan joining the United Nations.

 Today Running

But today, 25 July, 2012,  the runners still had miles to run before the ceremony:

Встреча двух веток.


And people to share the torch with on the way

Монгольские бегуны.



They passed by many interesting buildings


with the Palace of Peace, Accord and Harmony in background (visited by some later -see below)


Финиш в Астане! 



Anxiously and enthusiastically waiting along the route

Programme in the Baiterek Plaza

Meanwhile, The gathering in the Baiterek square was growing with the guests eagerly awaiting the runners.

To help share the experience of the runners in many countires, on the big screen, to the left of stage, the video message from Davidson Hepburn for the 25th Aniversary of the World Harmony Run was shown.

Video message with Russian subtitles



Links to Subtitles in more than 25 languages MORE>.  Today in Astana, the Russian Subtitles were displayed.

There was also time for those waiting to review the displays of related events around the world. Of special interest were the Oceania, Asia and Europe displays, which represent the many areas these two teams had passed through on their way to meeting together in Astana..

The announcers were going over their prepartaions

Much earlier that morning, some had come to the Astana International Airport at 5 am to welcome special guests.

Arriving for the day including from the Bahamas and New York.

They runners even suprised the first time visitors with a song that immediately touched their hearts

and served as a wonderful sweet introduction

to the events to follow later in the day.

WHR ceremony "East Meets West" and 20th Anniversary of Kazakhstan joining the UN "


The programme began in Baiterek  plaza with much fanfare.

The stage was set by the announcers highlighting again the 2 regional starts early 2012 in New Zealand and Portugal .

The international component was further strengthened with remembrance of the event in New York in April 2012

where runners from many countries took part in the "Global Launch" across for the United Nations Headquarters at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza.

After the runners joined the programme in April, Delegates from many Countries missions to the UN and Consulates came to the stage, shared torches and offered words of encouragement.

representative of Kazakhstan greeted all the runners and guests, invited everyone to look forward to the event and the runners coming to Astana.  "I know that the road (of the Asia-Pacific meets European Run) is ending in the capital of Kazakhstan, in Astana (25 July). And so, I say welcome to everyone to our new capital."


Then with great enthusiansm the wonderful announcers said: And now, many months later: "A symbol of peace, friendship, intercultural exchange and promotion of healthy lifestyles.

--- Today the torch has been deliver to Astana, The very heart highest? of Eurasia"


A musician added to the festive

mood in Baiterek plaza

The run enters






Amid a media frenzy


and a riot of colors and many sizes of flags 

The two torches come to the stage to share their light 

Joining with The East team Captain lighting the big torch on stage from the east and west torches

The first speaker for the day was:

Bringing Greetings of the people of Astana and the mayor's office.

Джанабергенов Кайрат Мырзаханович

первый заместитель председателя Астанинского городского филиала Народно-Демократической Партии «Нур Отан».

(English : Dzhanabergenov Kairat Myrzahanovich

First Deputy Chairman of the Astana City Branch of the People's Democratic Party "Nur Otan"

insert text and link

The second speaker is Mr. Shashanka Michael Karlen, Deputy head of  the World Harmony Run.

Excerpt:  “it is an immense effort and aspiration that we mark here. We are celebrating the culmination of the Europe, Asia and Pacific Runs. We can try to imagine all the people who have held the torch leading up to this day.

•    The runners who started in New Zealand, and then came through Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, China, Mongolia on one side. 

•    And from the other side, the runners who started from the West from Europe where the World Harmony Run started in Portugal, crossing Europe before entering Russia and finally Kazakhstan

"Thousands and thousands of runners and especially children have held the torch; each one with his own hopes, dreams and longing for peace. And all this hopes and dreams for peace are cumulating here today. It is wonderful moment.

Let us celebrate the countless seeds of Peace that have been sown in the hearts of millions of people over the last 25 years. I am convinced and personally believe that all these individual dream seeds come together, germinate and help to build a force which will lead us slowly and steadily to the world that we all are striving for.

Sri Chinmoy, started this initiative twenty five years ago. He had a vision and sowed the first seeds. I will read a poem which illustrates his peace philosophy. Sri Chinmoy left this earth in 2007 but his spirit and example continue to inspire the Harmony run.

I quote: “Lasting peace must begin
Within the depths of the individual
And from there spread - In ever-widening circles
As a dynamic force - For world change.”

Iconclude with the invitation to you all:  Let us strengthen this dream of peace in each one of us -  and then let us take many, many more bold ,very bold steps to make the dream a reality.

Here in Astana and everywhere in the world.  Every step counts!
Link to full text of S.M. Karlin 

This year marks the 20th Anniversary of Kazakhstan's membership in the United Nations and the 2012  Peace and World Harmony Global Torch Relay events in Kazakhstan are also dedicated to celebrating this anniversary..

The main Speaker of today: Dr. Davidson Lincoln Hepburn.

Dr Davidson Hepburn, former President of the General Conference of United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 2009 –2011. Ambassador Hepburn, from the Bahamas, served for many years as as his country's Permanent Representative to the UN and is a recipient of:

  • the Order of the British Empire (OBE) from the United Kingdom;
  • title of "Chevalier De La Legion D'Honneur" from the French Government;
  • the Paul Harris Award of Rotary International; and of
  • The Torch-Bearer Award for his work towards international friendship and understanding.
Fluent in English, French and Spanish Dr. Hepburn has excelled as a negotiator, writer and public speaker. An advocate of multicultural appreciation as well as expresions of interfaith cooperation and "oneness", Dr. Hepburn has also encouraged the Peace and World Harmony runs for a number of years.

"My purpose here is to celebrate two very important events.
•    The 25th Anniversary of the Peace and harmony torch relay runs and
•    the 20th Anniversary of Kazakhstan’s membership to the United Nations

"I  had the pleasure of meeting Sri Chinmoy (many times), the founder of the run who was a great philosopher, a poet, an artist and a musician. Many, many great leaders of the world met with him and benefited from his wisdom. He was an athlete,  in every sense of the world and he has influenced many outstanding athletes to excel in a number of Olympic sports. And infew Days I will be in London where the Olympics for 2012 are taking place along with a special program of “Art for Olympics” and “a Moment of Peace” (some at todays event will also go to participate after the Astana Ceremonies. More> worldharmonyrun.org/great_britain/news/2012/0728)


"I must comment on the participants from so many countries;  on their dedication and singleness of purpose … they show to the world that peacecan be achieved in many different ways.

I have a philosophy and I speak of it often:  as human being we should let our difference work for us and not against us,  I repeat we should let our differences work for us and not against us.

"I have noted your dedication to interfaith harmony which is so very important to the peaceful development of our common future. I am so happy that right after this event we will be able to proceed to your “Palace of Peace and Accord or Harmony” (also known as “Pyramid of Peace” where important interfaith meetings have been held in Astana.)

"Kazakhstan … should be proud of its Relationship  with the United Nations,  - first 20 years ago   - and today.

"I was very privileged to be able to serve for more than a decade as my countries permanent representative to the United Nations and I saw firsthad the benefit many countries receive by meeting together,  sharing their ideas and aspirations. …, 

"We all know that he world is not a perfect place. But were it not for the United Nations that included in its charter, the  clause: “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”  – this world would be in worse shape.

"In the same vein, UNESCO, a specialized agency of the United Nations  where I had the privilege to serve , has for  its mandate for the preservation of Peace and Harmony in the World. Its motto is very special: “Since wars begin the minds of men,  it is the minds of men that the defences of peace should be constructed.

So you see, … how the international torch runs for peace and world harmony  are linked to … strengthening of the cooperative spirit of the international community. 

"I take this occasion to extend warm congratulations to the government and peoples of Kazakhstan on the 20th anniversary and to the participants of the international torch runs for Peace and World Harmony.

I truly admire your dedication and commitment  to keeping the torch burning.

Link to full tet of D.L.Hepburn

Капитаны Восточной и Западной веток. 

В центре - Дэвидсон Хэпберн, президент генеральной конференции ЮНЕСКО. (2009 - 2011)



Runners East Meets West:



Team Captians symbolically Exchanging torches from the two runs



Runners crossed the stage and announced a country that had been passed through

this year on the Asia-Pacific and European runs

Runners Singing 

Singers form both East and West regional teams joined together to Perform the World Harmony Theme song:


in English,


дружбе и единству во всём мире  Вместе мы стремимся в нашей мечте.
Мы начинаем Бег в новый рассвет  Дружбы на Земле!
Мы понесем в сердцах этот прекрасный свет  От страны к стране!


Друж- ба И е - ДИН- СТВО во всём МИ ре,  вмес - те мы стре - мим - ся к'на - шей ме чте.

Мы на - чи - на - ем Бег В'НО вый рас свет Друж - бы на Зем ле!  Мы по - не - сём в'серд - цах  э - тот пре - крае - ный свет  от стра ны  к'стра не! 

and Kazakhstan.

Some members of Diplomatic missions present ware introduced:

Representativse from four diplomatic missions present spoke.

1. Japan - The run started in the rerion in March and passed through Japan in May.

"They ran in areas that gave great hope to the people trying to recover from the earthquake and the Tsunami. I want to thank all the runners and all those participating in other ways in the initiative of the World harmony Run.



"3. Indonesia" -

3. Indonesia embassy offered thanks to the organizers of the event and to the People of Kazakhstan, Some of the people of Indonesia are now going to the Olympics .

4. Russia




The Secretary General of the Kazakhstan National Committee for UNESCO spoke.

UNESCO – Kazakhstan National Committee, (www.unesco.org/nac/geoportal.php?country=KZ&language=E)

Ms. Assel Utegenova; Secretary-General, Kazakhstan National Committee for UNESCO .www.unesco.org/en/kazakhstan/natcom

I wish all the participants and organizers of this initiative good health and success, in your noble mission, contributing to peace and harmony to all our global family. "


" Thank you very much and we are with you in our hearts."

Longer quote if available form russian text - or link to add

Torch Bearer Awards

Honouring renowned sportsmen, public figures and luminaries of Kazakhstan with the World Harmony Run medals..

The Torch Bearer Award was presented to four individuals present

Награждение выдающихся людей Казахстана медалью "The Torch Bearer Award".





Performances by youth arts bands and national cultural centers.

a. The first singer involved the recent Torch bearer Award recipients

in her wonderful performance. It felt like we were all on stage together in one big family

b. A young child performed an animated song

c. There was a sensitive and dynamic presentation of martial arts


d. A beautiful singer led us to feel the aspiration and special qualities of Astana

Her voice, was matched by her friendly smile

and expressions 


The final section was Dedicated to the aspiration of the Earth to Oneness and Harmony and opening of the London Olympics

Preparing for releasing balloons with flags ...

Touching the balloon and sending their prayers, hopes, dreams and wishes


symbolizing goodwill, aspiration to oneness represented by events such as Olympics and the World Harmony Run.

And then a balloon with many coutries flags attached


was symbolically released

After the main events

Many of the audience were very happy

to have a chance to hold the torch

and share a moment with the guest speakers,

Torch Bearer Award recipients


and friends

Hello Friend " in different languages. 

Art for Peace and Harmony created

by Children

and part of exhibit:

This one showed the dress of various coultures from different regions - sharing the peace and harmony torch.

After the main event many walked through the beautiful garden together to the Tower that overlooked the Plaza


View from the Top with many of the runners from the East and West Regions .


Many enjoyed being together at the top of Baitraek Tower Monument

Here they are at Panoramic Hall, in the center of which is installed the wooden globe with 17 petals signed by the representatives of world religions.


Dr. Davidson Hepburn was often surrounded by happy participants and visitors 



Peace Palace of Accord and Harmony

Later that day, some went on to visit the "Palace of Peace" mentioned in the Programme http://www.astana-piramida.kz/MenuItems/view/32

The structure was created by the world-renowned architect, Norman Foster, for the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. The pyramid has conference rooms, exhibition areas, galleries, and other facilities. The largest hall there is the Cheops Atrium, the area of over 2 thousand square meters accommodating the enormous “General Development Plan Astana until 2030.”

At the very top of the Palace of Peace and Accord is located the “Cradle” hall, where conference of the leaders of world religions was held. Around the hall stretches the “Winter Garden”, a delightful variety of flora from around the world. The large glass dome, depicting 130 doves symbolizing the peoples of Kazakhstan, crowns the pyramid. At night, the dome shines like a beacon showing the way to the symbol of unity of different religions, cultures and peoples.

The four sides of our Palace are oriented to the four sides of the world. In some sense this construction embodies independent Kazakhstan that friendly embraces all people of all nations and practicing different religions»
N.A. Nazarbayev

2 Excerpts from local Press:

See also http://caspionet.kz/eng/general/World_Harmony_Run_finishes_in_Astana_1343275275.html

  • World Harmony Run finishes in Astana ---The World Harmony Run international torch relay has finished in the Kazakh capital at three o'clock Astana time.It started at the UN headquarters in New York in early April of this year. The relay is divided into two parts and passes through all continents. Participants of the first phase of the event crossed the Kazakh border on July 2. In Kazakhstan, the relay is dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the accession of Kazakhstan to the United Nations. Participants in the race covered a total of 23.5 thousand kilometers through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus with 5.5 thousand kilometres covered in the Kazakhstan. The World Harmony Run torch relay is held in the Olympic style, which can be joined by everyone, who shares the ideals of peace and harmony. Passing the torch from hand to hand, heart to heart, from city to city and from country to country, the relay members all around the world spread the message of friendship and peace. This campaign has been underway since 1987 and is going to celebrate celebrates its 25th anniversary. Since its establishment, more than 5 million people took part in the relay and the torch has visited 140 countries.

PRE-EVENT : World Harmony Run to finish in Astana  (http://www.inform.kz/eng/article/2480844)

  •  ASTANA. July 20. KAZINFORM A press conference dedicated to the upcoming end of the World Harmony Run global relay on July 25, 2012 in Astana took place at the International Media Center Baiterek on Thursday (July 19) in the capital of Kazakhstan.
  • "Kazakhstani and final part of the international World Harmony Run is dated to 20 years since Kazakhstan joined the UN," Baltabek Nurakhmetov, Chairman of the International Steering Committee of relay run in Kazakhstan, told the press conference.
  • "The grand closing ceremony of the World Harmony Run will be held on July 25, 2012 in Astana near Baiterek monument where participants of two routes of the run - western and eastern will meet," B. Nurakhmetov added. The example of routes in Kazakhstan:
  • Western route: 1. from Europe to Kostanay (July 17) - Kokshetau (July 21) - Shchuchinsk (July 23); 2. Aktobe (July 16) - Lisakovsk (July 19) - Yessil (July 21) - Atbassar (July 22).
  • Eastern route: 1. Asian and Pacific part - Pavlodar (July 21) - Ekibastuz (July 23); 2. Central Asian part - Almaty (July 2) - Taldykorgan (July 6) - Ust-Kamenogorsk (July 12) - Semey (July 15) - Karaganda (July 21). "These routes will converge in the capital of Kazakhstan on July 25," B. Nurakhmetov added.

July 26th

The following day some of our guest espeakers and organizers had a

chance to visit the museum of the first President of Kazakhstan

And then there was a pleasent lunch with representatives of UNESCO and some WHR participants where ideas, experiences and hopes for the future were shared.

the Unesco National Committee Secretary General graciously presented some paintings by Kazakhstan artists

In the evening - meeting with the local supporters and participants of WHR run and other visiting or local students and friends of Sri Chinmoy.

Short performances

  • Bahamas motto by young boys.
  •  Music – Grand Bahamas
  • Initial Slides form the 25th Jul event
  • Looking at the Peace and Harmony run displays of events from around the world

Davidson Hepburn Shares his impressions and an exchange of questions and answers with the run participants.


Dr, Hepburn with some of the children who had performed his Country, the Bahamas, Motto earlier to begin the evening performance.

there was time to look at some of the panels

that had illustrated the runs


in various regions





– team-effort

Team Members:
International and Local runners (Many regions and countries joint effort)

< Kazakhstan 24 July