MONDAY, OCTOBER 24: Take some time to appreciate global peace today! It’s been 66 years since the formation of the United Nations. Although the world is far from perfect, the UN’s member nations continue to strive collectively toward peaceful relations, a better plan to combat climate change, better health for those in struggling nations—and much more.
The UN was formed on this day in 1945. Two years after its formation, the UN General Assembly declared Oct. 24 to be a day “devoted to making known to the peoples of the world the aims and achievements of the United Nations.” Officially, UN Week runs Oct. 20-26, but today is the focal point of awareness. (Access a map here of UN Day events in the U.S.)
As a new organization, the UN began with the central aim of fostering global peace, prosperity and justice. (Wikipedia has details.) In its history, the UN created the first modern Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948; helped to defuse the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962; and helped to eradicate Smallpox worldwide in 1980—just to name a few of its achievements.
This year, the UN faces a new world record—and obstacle—coming up on Oct. 31: In just a few days, the world’s population will reach an eye-popping 7 billion. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently announced this year’s UN Day message as “Let us unite, 7 billion strong, in the name of the global good.” (Learn more at UN.org.) Although 7 billion means more people at risk for poverty, disease and an equal portion of natural resources, it also means more people to help—and that’s exactly what the UN is counting on. A new campaign known as “7 Billion Actions” has been launched with the hope of inspiring positive change. (Read stories of those who have made a positive change here.)