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United Nations celebrates 75th anniversary

Above image:The Pyramids & Sphinx in Giza, Egypt (UN in Egypt) were lit up on UN Day to commemorate the 75th anniversary. UN Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC) launched an initiative to “Turn Europe UN Blue” to commemorate the day. 

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the United Nations (UN) and its founding charter.

“The 75th anniversary of the United Nations falls in the middle of a global pandemic. Our founding mission is more critical than ever. On this anniversary, I ask people everywhere to join together. The United Nations not only stands with you, The United Nations belongs to you and is you: ‘we the peoples,'” stated UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

Petra, Jordan (UN/ Masaadeh) Image courtesy of UN Instagram.

In January 2020, the Secretary General launched a global conversation asking people through surveys and dialogues about their hopes and fears for the future, along with their priorities for international cooperation.

The findings have been taken into account by world leaders and resulted in the adoption of a forward-looking political declaration during the high-level event of the 75th-anniversary celebrations.

The name “United Nations” was coined by then United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt and first used in the Declaration by the UN of January 1, 1942, during the Second World War.

Guterres added, “People are thinking big – they are also expressing an intense yearning for international cooperation and global solidarity. Now is the time to respond to these aspirations and realize these aims. In this 75th anniversary year, we face our own 1945 moment. We must meet that moment. We must show unity like never before to overcome today’s emergency, get the world moving and working and prospering again, and uphold the vision of the Charter.”

Ponte Prinipessa Isabella, Turin, Italy (UN Staff System College). Image courtesy UN Instagram.

The Charter was signed on 26 June 1945 in San Francisco by a representative from each of the 50 countries. Poland, which was not represented at the conference, but signed it later and became one of the original 51 Member States. Canada signed on June 26, 1945, with the deposit of ratification on November 9, 1945.

The UN officially came to fruition on October 24, 1945, when the Charter had been ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, and by a majority of other signatories.

The name “United Nations” was coined by then United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt and first used in the Declaration by the UN of January 1, 1942, during the Second World War.

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the organization, the UN Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC) launched an initiative to “Turn Europe UN Blue” with the support of Fabrizio Hochschild, special adviser to the secretary-general on the Commemoration of the United Nations 75th anniversary.

October 24 has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. In 1971, the United Nations General Assembly recommended that Member States observe the day as a public holiday.

Earlier this year, Member States agreed to hold a high-level event on September 21, 2020, to mark the UN’s 75th anniversary, and to adopt a forward-looking political declaration which will be negotiated through an intergovernmental process on, “The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism.”

On September 26, an opening segment included an opening statement by H.E. Volkan Bozkir, president of the General Assembly, and H.E. Mr. António Guterres secretary-general’s statements, the president of the security council and the president of the economic and social council.

Following that up, a charter signing commemoration involving a PGA presentation of the poster of the symbolic recommitment signatures to the United Nations Charter and short remarks.

Shortly after, there was an interactive panel segment with a panel discussion reflecting on perspectives of the UN’s work and the future of the organization.

Hadrian’s Wall, UK (UNESCO UK). Image courtesy UN Instagram.

To celebrate UN Day, an annual concert is usually held in the General Assembly Hall. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the concert was prerecorded and screened in the GA Hall on October 22, 2020.

The concert, sponsored by the Mission of Italy under the theme “Reimagine, Rebalance, Restart: recovering together for our shared humanity,” included a performance featuring Roberto Bolle, accompanied by other world-class etoiles as well as the Orchestra of Teatro alla Scala, all recorded at La Scala Theater in Milan. A number of classical, modern, and reimagined dances, curated specifically for the UN Day Concert, were performed.

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the organization, the UN Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC) launched an initiative to “Turn Europe UN Blue” with the support of Fabrizio Hochschild, special adviser to the secretary-general on the Commemoration of the United Nations 75th anniversary.

For this pan-European campaign, in a continent where many of the UN’s founding members are located, more than 180 of Europe’s iconic buildings, monuments, bridges, museums, and other landmarks, were lit up blue, the official colour of the United Nations, on October 24, 2020.

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Julia Lennips

Julia is a journalist who is an avid reader and an artist. She is living in North Bay, ON pursing her passion for reporting.

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