SunOct 24

United Nations Day – October 24, 2021

What is United Nations Day?

On October 24, United Nations Day, we celebrate the anniversary of the UN Charter of 1945. To celebrate today, we have to think about 75 years of history, struggle, and accomplishment. So take a moment today to consider the incredible impact the United Nations has had in every corner of the globe.

United Nations Day Related Holidays

Observed every year on his birthday, July 18, the world comes together to celebrate Nelson Mandela International Day. A human rights lawyer, an international peacemaker, and an activist who was forced to serve 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela did much more than become South Africa’s first democratically elected president. His fight for equality pre and post apartheid effected everyone around the world.

Observed the third Saturday of every May, National Armed Forces Day is holiday made to show appreciation to the people who dedicate their lives to fight for the United States. The holiday was established in 1949 by President Harry S. Truman and celebrates all five branches of the U.S. military.

Juneteenth, celebrated annually on June 19, is the official day which marks the end of slavery in the United States. Though Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, Texas didn’t comply with the abolition of slavery until June 19, 1865. On this day, many African Americans around the country celebrate their freedom and independence.

History of United Nations Day

 In 1945, after the turmoil and destruction of World War II, the United Nations were established in order to prevent future devastating wars. 50 governments gathered in San Francisco on April 25 and began drafting the UN Charter, which was adopted June 25 and then officially took effect on the 24 of October. The UN’s objectives include protecting human rights, maintaining international peace and security, providing humanitarian aid, upholding international law, and promoting sustainable development. 
However, their mission to conserve world peace was made difficult early on by the commencement of the Cold War between America and the Soviet Union. Post Cold War, between 1988 and 2000, the number of Security Council resolutions more than doubled and the peacekeeping budget expanded tremendously. However, with new members came new difficulties. In the 1990s, the UN faced multiple crises with Somalia, Haiti, Mozambique, and Yugoslavia. Their mission in Somalia was a failure after the U.S. departed, following casualties in the Battle of Mogadishu and their mission for Bosnia faced ridicule for its indecisiveness in the face of ethnic cleansing. 
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 U.N. 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 every living person

United Nations Day timeline


The United Nations were established after the events of World War II.

It's Official

October 24 is officially named United Nations Day.

Proof it works

A study by the RAND Corporation found the UN to be successful in two out of three peacekeeping efforts.

Rights for all

The UN passed its first resolution recognizing the rights of LGBT+ people.

United Nations Day FAQs

Why do we celebrate United Nations Day?

United Nations Day is celebrated to commemorate the day that 51 countries came together to promote peace throughout the world post World War II. 

How is UN Day celebrated?

Every year the global network of UN Information Centers organizes multiple events to mark the day. 

What is the main purpose of the United Nations?

The main purpose of the United Nations is to maintain world peace and security as well as foster cooperation between nations to solve economic, social, cultural, and/or humanitarian international problems. 

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

United Nations Day dates

2021October 24Sunday
2022October 24Monday
2023October 24Tuesday
2024October 24Thursday
2025October 24Friday

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.