Seventieth anniversary of the United Nations

Next year, on 24 October 2015, the United Nations will turn 70.

Addressing the African Union Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea on 26 June 2014, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the start of the global celebration of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, which will aim to honour the historic breadth of the Organization’s development, security and human rights work, and ultimately, unite the international community in common cause to enable a strong UN to realize a better world.

The Secretary-General noted that on 26 June sixty-nine years ago, the UN Charter was signed in San Francisco.  “We the Peoples of the United Nations,” the opening words of the Charter, became a reality just four months after the signing of the Organization’s founding document, on 26 June 1945, which was held in the auditorium of the Veterans’ Memorial Hall in San Francisco.

Over the next 16 months, the Organization will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the UN’s founding.  The sixteen month commemoration will culminate on the 70th anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Charter – 24 October 2015 – the day now celebrated as United Nations Day.

According to the Secretary-General, “the year 2015 is a once-in-a generation opportunity. Our goal is

to put people at the centre and protect our one and only planet. Our duty is to end poverty, leave no one behind and build lives of dignity for all.”

The first in a series of celebratory events took place on 26 June 2014 at UN Headquarters with the International Youth Forum, jointly hosted by the United Nations Academic Impact and ELS Educational Services (see more in the UNAI Newsletter, July 2014).

UNAI invites its members to plan and organize special commemorative events and outreach activities to celebrate the historic event. Other planned programmes which will be related to UN70 include the DPI-NGO conference (27-29 August), the commemoration of the International day of Peace (21 September), and United Nations Day Concert on 24 October, featuring UN Messenger of Peace Lang Lang.

For UNAI members, UN70 is an opportunity to look back upon the UN’s history and its many remarkable successes, as well as a chance to look ahead, both to the promise of the post-2015 global development agenda and to the many individual areas of positive difference that the United Nations can make in the life of each human being.  UNAI is also encouraging its members to consider offering a UN70 scholarship to a deserving student with a research project on the United Nations.

To facilitate the observance of UN70, the United Nations has created the “UN70 Logo.”  Its use is encouraged for educational and public outreach projects advancing the goals laid down in the United Nations Charter.  The use of the logo is governed by a set of guidelines, which have been posted on the UNAI website and can be found here: http://bit.ly/1rTqpiT