[Dateline: Posted: Friday, 23 October 2009, New York | Author: iSeek]
"On this UN Day, let us resolve to redouble our efforts on behalf of the vulnerable, the powerless, the defenceless. Let us stand more united than ever – united in purpose and united in action to make the world a safer, better place," said Secretary-General BAN Ki-moon in his message on the occasion of United Nations Day. [SG video message]
The anniversary of the entry into force of the Charter of the United Nations on 24 October 1945 has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. It has traditionally been marked throughout the world by meetings, discussions and exhibits on the achievements and goals of the Organization.
From a breakfast in Buenos Aires to a reception in Yerevan; from a 24 October UN Day parade, flag-raising and photo exhibition in Accra to a 29 October screening of the documentary film Planet UN in Vienna; and from a guided tour and screening of United Nations: It's Your World for residents of foster homes and students in Baku to a reception and musical performance for UN staff and civil society in New Delhi, UN offices around the world are celebrating UN Day.
UN staff have been out in force around the globe already this past week bringing the United Nations to students and schools as part of the second annual UN4U programme.
Following is just a sample of activities set to take place and already happening worldwide in celebration of United Nations Day, 24 October 2009.
Staff are invited to a flag raising ceremony on Saturday, 24 October, at 9:45 a.m. in front of the UN Conference Centre. USG and ECA Executive Secretary Abdoulie Janneh will present the UN day address on behalf of the Secretary-General.
A joint exhibition by 19 UN entities opened on Thursday, 22 October in CentralWorld, the biggest shopping complex in Bangkok. The four-day event takes as its theme "60 years of the UN in Thailand," because ESCAP – at the time ECAFE – moved to Bangkok from Shanghai in 1949.
The exhibition illustrates the diverse ways in which the UN works to improve the lives of people in the region. One of the exhibitions features a slide show which mixes historic photos of UN work in the region with current ones to show how the UN presence has evolved over time in both Thailand and the Asia-Pacific region.
"The work of the United Nations covers all aspects of human life, as you will see by a variety of exhibitions presented by many UN entities," said Shigeru Mochida, Deputy Executive Secretary of ESCAP in his address at the opening. "I hope that over the coming four days, the people who pass through this exhibition site will be able to get a glimpse of various ways the UN family has been able to touch their lives."
The official UN Day ceremony will take place at the UN Conference Centre on Monday, 26 October.
The ceremony will be attended by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, and will include a flag-raising and performances by an award-winning school marching band, a renowned classical pianist and composer in Thailand, children from the American School, and UN staff members.
On the occasion of the 64th anniversary of the entry into force of the United Nations Charter, the Geneva International Model United Nations (GIMUN) and the Non-Governmental Liaison Office of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) are holding a conference called "Comprehensive Human Security – from Theory to Practice" on Friday, 23 October, room XVI at the Palais des Nations, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sergei A. Ordzhonikidze, Director-General of UNOG, will open the ceremony and deliver remarks, as will a number of other prominent speakers.
All tickets have already been distributed for the Friday, 23 October UN Day concert at Headquarters, announced previously on iSeek. For the first time since its inception, the annual UN Day concert will have a theme: "A Tribute to Peacekeeping." During the concert, the film on UN peacekeeping titled The War against War and directed by Fisher Stevens of the United States will be premiered. A link to the film will be provided on iSeek after the premiere.
The United Nations Staff Recreation Council is collaborating with the New York Historical Society in a commemoration of UN Day on Saturday, 24 October from 2:00pm to 3:00pm, entitled A Salute to the United Nations.
The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) will hold a ceremony on Friday, 23 October at 11:00 a.m. at its Headquarters in Santiago, presided over by ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena, and with the participation of Chile's Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Resident Coordinator of the UN system in Chile, Enrique Ganuza, will read a message sent by the Secretary-General. Attending the event will be members of the diplomatic corps in Chile, UN agency staff in Chile, academics and members of civil society.
The Director of UNIS Vienna, Maher Nasser, along with the Austrian Ministers for Education and for European and International Affairs marked United Nations Day with the launch on 20 October of the publication Together Strong - Die Vereinten Nationen. The launch also recognized Austria's Presidency of the Security Council in November 2009 and the 30th anniversary of the Vienna International Centre this year.
Together Strong is a set of German-language teaching materials on the United Nations, 4,000 copies of which are to be distributed to secondary schools around Austria. An on-line version is available on the UNIS web site at: http://www.unis.unvienna.org/unis/de/together_strong.html.
In addition, UNIS Vienna will participate with an information stand at the open house event of the Austrian Ministry of European and International Affairs to be held on 26 October to mark the Austrian National Day and UN Day. Material on the work of the United Nations, the Vienna-based organizations, as well as the tour and lecture programmes offered by the Vienna Visitors Service will be presented to the public.