“In a world that is more connected, we must be more united. On United Nations Day, let us pledge to live up to our founding ideals and work together for peace, development and human rights.”
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24: Work toward Partnerships for Global Progress today, as UN member states commemorate the 68th anniversary of the day the United Nations Charter went into effect—otherwise known as United Nations Day. Though United Nations Day has been celebrated since 1948, it wasn’t until 1971 that the United Nations General Assembly recommended that the day be observed by members as a public holiday. Whether through volunteer services, a conference or an awareness campaign, make a difference today!
This year’s theme reflects Partnerships for Global Progress, illustrating that by working together, more can be achieved. (Get assistance for an event with the downloadable UN Day toolkit.)
The five permanent members of the UN Security Council and the majority of its signatories ratified the UN Charter on this date in 1945, and with that, the United Nations was created. The UN set out with a mission for its holiday: to “be devoted to making known to the peoples of the world the aims and achievements of the United Nations and to gaining their support.” (Wikipedia has details.)
THE UN: FROM UNICEF TO THE EARTH SUMMIT
Through the years, the United Nations has expanded from an organization that keeps global peace to one that works to improve the quality of life for the world’s citizens. In its history, the UN has been awarded two Nobel Peace prizes—one for UNICEF, the other for UN Peacekeeping—and has taken a head-on approach to the control of nuclear weapons.
The UN Environment Programme was established at the renowned 1972 UN Environment Conference, and the later Earth Summit claimed the title of “largest intergovernmental gathering in history.” In 2011, the UN admitted South Sudan as its 193rd Member State. (Access a detailed UN timeline here.)
Note: The UN’s World Development Information Day is also today, Oct. 24.