October 24th – United Nations Day
compiled by Elaine Gallagher United Nations Day was established by Presidential Proclamation to commemorate the establishment of the United Nations in 1945. United Nations Day […]
United Nations Day was established by Presidential Proclamation to commemorate the establishment of the United Nations in 1945.
United Nations Day is celebrated by all 189 countries which are members of the United Nations. The day is used for informing the world as to the aims, purposes, and achievements of the United Nations Organization.
The name “United Nations” was devised by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the “Declaration by the United Nations” of January 1, 1942, during the Second World War, when representatives of 26 nations pledged their countries to continue fighting together against the Axis Powers.
The representatives of 50 countries at the United Nations Conference drew up the United Nations Charter of International Organization. They met in San Francisco from April 25 to June 26, 1945. Delegates deliberated on the basis of proposals worked out by representatives of China, France, the Soviet Union, United Kingdom, and United States, from August to October 1944. The representatives of the 50 countries signed the Charter on June 26, 1945. Poland, which was not repre4sented in the Conference, signed it later and became one of the original 51 member States.
The United Nations officially came into existence on October 24, 1945, when the Charter was ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, United Kingdom, United States, and a majority of other signatories. United Nations Day is celebrated on October 24th of each year.
On April 25, 1945, delegates from fifty countries drove through the rain to meet for the United Nations Conference on International Organization at the Flag-bedecked War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco.
Although the delegates came from nations, “small, weak, and strong, and in different stages of political and social development,” these earnest individuals were “determined to set up an organization which should preserve peace, advance justice, and constitute a permanent structure for international cooperation.” For nine weeks (from April 26th to June 26th) the conference worked on the Charter.
Its preamble is considered to be one of the fines expressions of purpose ever set forth in any language. By October 24, 1945, the majority of thesignatory nations had ratified the charter, and had sent formal notes to the State Department in Washington, D.C. The signers included China, France, the Soviet Union, United Kingdom, United States, and many others.
On October 24, 1945, with flags of fifty nations flying together, the United Nations came into being. In order to stress the charter´s importance, in 1947 the General Assembly of the UN passed a resolution: that October 24th shall hereafter be officially called United Nations Day, and shall be devoted to making known to the people of the world the aims and .achievements the United Nations, and to gaining their support for the work of the United Nations.
It was apparent, and also important, that the general public should be informed about the content and purpose of the United Nations. Therefore, an entire week –United Nations Week– was set aside in October, with its chief observance on United Nations Day, October 24th.
By 1956, the American committee for the United Nations promoted the celebration of the United Nations Week.
The official American Association for the United Nations sent out information and suggestions for programs with this advice:
“This is United Nations Week, The success of the United Nations in building world peace depends on all of us –on our own understanding and support; know how it works and what is doing. Help the United Nations help all of us to a peaceful feature.”
An important part of the United Nations Week is setting up of information centers where various types of literature on the work of the United Nations may be obtained.
In some towns public rallies are held, usually at the City Hall, with the flag of the U.S.A. displayed alongside the United Nation’s flag. Speakers at these rallies stress the accomplishments of the organization and shop windows feature products and clothing from other lands. Throughout the week there are forums and panel discussions. One town may put an “International Festival”, complete with songs and dances from various countries represented in the United Nations Organization.
Agencies of the United Nations include:
- UNICEF . International Children’s Emergency Fund,
- UNESCO – U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and
- WHO – World Health Organization
They continue their efforts to aid unprivileged areas.