This October 24th marks the 69th celebration of United Nations Day, the day the founding Charter of the United Nations entered into force and a day to reaffirm our commitment to the UN’s founding principles of peace, cooperation, and collective action. Since October 24, 1945 we have seen countless examples of how the United Nations and its affiliated agencies are invaluable and indispensable when it comes to addressing shared challenges -- and more importantly, when it comes to advancing U.S. national interests.
With robust U.S. support, the United Nations is providing food to tens of millions in need around the world, assisting millions of refugees and displaced people fleeing from war, famine or persecution, and is keeping the peace in regions wracked by conflict. This UN Day we pause to recognize that over the last seven decades, this irreplaceable, if imperfect, international system has grown to respond to the world’s expanding aspirations and to address its growing challenges.
So, while we take note of the UN’s growth and accomplishments since 1945, we must not lose sight of the burning issues we are asking it to tackle today. Those issues include the Ebola epidemic, the humanitarian crisis in Syria, advancing the human rights of LGBT individuals, charting a course for the Post-2015 Development Agenda, and much more.
On this UN Day, we encourage you to add your voice to the conversation about the important issues of the day. You don’t need to be a diplomat to get involved, you only need be a global citizen. Here are several ways you can get started:
- Join the discussion online
Wish the UN a Happy Birthday, and follow the global conversation on Twitter using #UNDay and #HappyBirthdayUN!
Every year, UNA-USA Chapters hold events across the country on October 24th to commemorate the 1945 signing of the United Nations Charter. Find a UNA-USA event near you on this calendar.
MY World is a United Nations global survey for citizens. Working with partners aimed at capturing people’s voices, priorities and views, so world leaders can be informed as they begin the process of defining the next set of global goals to end poverty. You can also join the global conversation and post-2015 debate here.
- Participate in Model UN or Host a Model UN Simulation
Without needing any previous knowledge of the UN or Model UN, students can become UN delegates and hone leadership, problem-solving, and public speaking skills in a 60-minute lesson plan. Check out the State Department’s new Model UN web page to download the app and for other resources.
- #WatchHungerStop: Free Tees and Donated Meals
Michael Kors partnered with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to launch Watch Hunger Stop, an initiative to help fight global hunger. Michael Kors announced that he’ll personally donate 100 meals to children in need for each person who posts a picture in their Watch Hunger Stop tee on social media using the hashtag #WatchHungerStop.
Free & Equal is an unprecedented United Nations global public education campaign for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality. If you believe that all people are born free and equal regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, take the pledge and encourage your friends to join you. Free & Equal recently celebrated its first year, during which the campaign's message of acceptance and equality reached more than a billion people. Watch the short video One Billion Rising to learn more about the campaign's work and impact to date.
Developed by Plan International, the UN’s Global Education First Initiative and A World at School with support from UNICEF and the UN’s Girls Education Initiative, see ways youth can mobilize to achieve universal education with the Global Education Advocacy Toolkit.
About the Author: Ashli Savoy serves as a Public Affairs Specialist in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs.