United Nations Celebrates Its 70 Year Anniversary
By admin October 23, 2015



The United Nations is turning 70 years old on Saturday, and it will celebrate by lighting up the world in its signature “UN blue” color. Starting in New Zealand on Friday, a wave of blue will move around the world as 250 sites, including the Great Wall of China; Petra, Jordan; the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt; and the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil, are lit. The United Nations headquarters in New York will be lit for two days, Friday and Saturday.

The UN Charter was signed on June 26, 1945 in San Francisco, and entered into force on October 24, a date which came to be called UN Day in 1948. The theme for the year is “Strong UN. Better World.” Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said in his message for UN Day: “National flags are a mark of pride and patriotism in every country around the world.  But there is only one flag that belongs to all of us. That blue flag of the United Nations was a banner of hope for me growing up in wartime Korea. Seven decades after its founding, the United Nations remains a beacon for all humanity.”

Celebrations of the anniversary year have included a June celebration in San Francisco to celebrate the charter signing, of the publication of “The United Nations at 70: Restoration and Renewal,” and a photo exhibition at UN headquarters. “Elyx,” the UN’s digital ambassador, has spent several months visiting every UN mission and office in the world. His journey has been documented and shared on social media (#UN70).

Two international conferences on the role of the UN in international law are also connected to the anniversary year. United Nations at 70: International Law and the Achievement of UN Aims  was held earlier in October in London, hosted by Chatham House, and the other, The Pre and Post UN Charter Order, will be held in November, by New York University’s School of Law.

Switzerland will hold “UN Open Day” on Saturday at the Palais des Nations. The event will bring together UN agencies, programs, organizations and NGOs to provide information to the public on the UN’s work. Russia is also joining in and held a special ballet performance on October 21st. UN headquarters will hold a concert on Friday, and artist Cristobal Gabarron will reveal a sculpture made up of a sphere and 70 spirals in New York’s Central Park. Many other countries will be holding special events for the anniversary.

The effectiveness of the UN today is questioned by some, as health threats like Ebola, and terrorism challenge its mandate. The UN is also a massive bureaucracy, made up of more than 85,000 staff and an annual budget of $40 billion. Nevertheless, the UN has survived for 70 years, and helped create a new kind of international system built on collaboration and peacefulness.  Join us as we celebrate this milestone!


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