In his annual message for UN Day (Thursday, 24 October), Secretary-General António Guterres issued a reminder of the role the world body should be playing, focusing on real problems of real people, as a “shared moral anchor” amid “stormy global seas”.
The Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945, the founding document of the organisation, which when ratified by the majority of signatories, including five permanent members of the Security Council, officially brought the United Nations into being.
24 October has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. In 1971, the United Nations General Assembly recommended the day be observed by member states as a public holiday.
“We are working for fair globalisation and bold climate action. We are pushing for human rights and gender equality – and saying ‘no’ to hatred of any kind. And we strive to maintain peace – while bringing lifesaving aid to millions caught up in armed conflict,” Guterres said.
The day will be marked at UN Headquarters with a concert at the General Assembly Hall, which will be screened live and available on demand, on UN Web TV. Events are scheduled for the Paris headquarters of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), including a conference on sustainable cities.
In his video message, Guterres looked ahead to next year’s 75th anniversary of the UN, which he called a milestone and a “critical moment to shape our future, together”.
The commemoration of the 75 years begins in January next year, with dialogues around the world, with the aim of involving the global public in a large and inclusive conversation on the role of the UN in building a better future for all.