United Nations Day 2018 — October 24

To celebrate today, we have to think big. We have to think about 70 years of history, struggle, and accomplishment. We have to think globally. Because today, on United Nations Day, we celebrate the anniversary of the UN Charter of 1945. But today isn’t only a day of looking back at history — it’s a day for taking note at what the UN is doing presently to build a better world, and how it plans to continue this well into the future. While United Nations Day celebrates the ratification of the 1945 Charter, it wasn’t until 1948 that October 24th was named the official holiday. Then in 1971, the United Nations General Assembly recommended that any country that makes up the UN should recognize it as a public holiday. Today marks the 72nd United Nations Day, which UN leaders say is meant to highlight the grave importance of sustainable development. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has ensured that the organization has put together 17 goals it plans to meet by 2030, all in the name of creating a better life for everyone on the planet. So take a moment today to consider the incredible impact the United Nations has had in every corner of the globe for more than 70 years.

How to Observe United Nations Day

1. Take a guided tour of the UN headquarters
The United Nations Visitors Centre offers guided tours, in both the New York headquarters and the Geneva facilities, giving you access to see where all the action takes place. In a little under an hour, you can walk through General Assembly Hall, the Security Council Chamber, the Trusteeship Council Chamber, and the Economic and Social Council Chamber. You’ll also have the chance to get in-depth information about all of the UN’s biggest achievements and its celebrated Millennial Development Goals.

2. Take action
There are innumerable ways you can help the UN bring its global visions to life. For starters, take a look through all the specialized agencies that are a part of the UN, and see if there is any particular cause that tugs at your heart. Whether it’s advancing medicine around the world (World Health Organization), improving the lives of children (UNICEF) or even developing sustainable tourism plans (UN World Tourism Organization), you’ll likely find a cause you’re eager to support through donations or volunteer work.

3. Take it to social media
If you’ve learn anything about the UN in your research today, share it on social media. Quick statistics are a great way to catch people’s attention, or you can link out to especially inspiring or important work the UN is doing. However you do it, today is the perfect day to help spread the global message of better living the UN has supported for decades.

Why United Nations Day is Important

A. The UN eliminated polio
Poliomyelitis, or polio, was once a disease that left millions of children paralyzed all over the world. But thanks to the organization’s Global Polio Eradication Initiative, the devastating disease has been eliminated from nearly every country. Some estimates put the number of children who are polio-free because of this initiative at an astounding 5 million, spread across 125 countries.

B. The UN is on a mission to end hunger
In the wake of the global food price crisis of 2008, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the European Union teamed up to implement the EU Food Facility. Through the program, the groups spent $1 billion to fight hunger in 50 different countries, ultimately helping 59 million people. And this is only one of several initiatives put forth by the UN and its partners to cut in half the number of people suffering from hunger.

C. The UN has given women a voice
The rise of women in public office and private companies all over the world in the last half century has been a positive shift in global cultures and economies, and the UN has supported it throughout it all. In 1995, the UN held the World Women Conference, where 189 countries came together to set an agenda for promoting and advancing women’s rights and equally.

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