CAIRO – 24 October 2017: October 24 marks the United Nations Day. This year, the U.N. celebrates the 72nd anniversary of the U.N. charter’s entry into force in 1945. Starting in 1971, the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA) recommended that the day be observed by member states as a public holiday to celebrate everything that the U.N. represents and has achieved since its establishment in 1945.
The United Nations Charter on the date of its signing - UN Photo, Rosenberg
In 2017, the organization announced it had provided food assistance to 80 million people around the world, vaccinated 45 percent of the world’s children, protected 65 million displaced people, tackled climate change, maintained peace with 117,000 peacekeepers, fought poverty, promoted human rights, prevented conflict through diplomacy and advocated for a more peaceful world.
U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres marked U.N. Day by delivering his first address as the U.N. chief. He called on all people around the world to overcome their differences and to address global challenges that go beyond national borders. He explained that the challenges faced by the world transcend borders, and therefore “everyone needs to transcend their differences to transform our future.”
Guterres said in his video message, “Our world faces many grave challenges – widening conflicts and inequality, extreme weather and deadly intolerance, [and] security threats, including nuclear weapons… We have the tools and wealth to overcome these challenges. All we need is the will.”
The U.N. chief also said, “When we achieve human rights and human dignity for all people, they will build a peaceful, sustainable and just world. On U.N. Day, let us make this vision a reality.”
Around the world each year, global networks, governments and U.N. offices mark this day by organizing various events, including ceremonies, seminars, panel discussions, rallies, film screenings, exhibitions, media campaigns and social media campaigns on the core pillars of the organization. These events aim to introduce to the world the achievements of the U.N.
This year, at the U.N. headquarters in New York, the U.N.’s Department of Public Information organized a concert featuring the Slovak national folklore ballet “Lúčnica” under the theme “Potential in Diversity”. Also, Deputy Secretary General Amina J. Mohammed presented the 2017 Secretary General Awards in categories that included innovation and creativity, implementing efficiencies, gender equality and champion of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
October 24 is also the U.N. World Development Information Day, established in 1972 to draw attention to world development problems and the urgency to strengthen international cooperation. Today, the U.N. General Assembly deemed improving the dissemination of information and the mobilization of public opinion, especially among youth, which is key to generating greater awareness of development problems and to promote efforts in the sphere of international cooperation for development.
To participate in discussions around peace, development and human rights, use the hashtag #UNDay.