The month of October is known for many things: pumpkins, breast cancer awareness, the beginning of fall, domestic violence awareness, Halloween… the list goes on. But did you know it also celebrates the greatest global union in history?
That’s right; October 24th is international United Nations Day, part of United Nations Week, which runs from October 20th-26th. UN Day marks the anniversary of the United Nations charter coming into force in 1945, and has been celebrated since 1948.
Here’s a few reasons to celebrate this momentous anniversary of United Nations Day, and how you can use it to promote altruism within your own life.
History of the United Nations
The idea of a “League of Nations” first came about at the end of World War I with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919. However, after World War II broke out, founders soon realized the league needed to take on a different form.
The foundations for the UN developed toward the end of World War II, at the UN Conference on International Organization in San Francisco on April 25, 1945. The United Nations as we know it was officially created with their charter ratification on October 24th of that same year.
What the United Nations Does
The United Nations is an international organization made up of 193 member states. Their main offices are in New York, United States; Hague, Netherlands; Geneva, Switzerland; Vienna, Austria; and Nairobi, Kenya. The UN is an altruistic organization committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations, encouraging social progress and promoting better living standards and human rights around the world.
The United Nations uses its powers to take action on a range of issues, working towards their primary eight goals: (1) eradicate extreme poverty; (2) achieve universal primary education; (3) promote gender equality and empower women; (4) reduce child mortality; (5) improve maternal health; (6) combat HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases; (7) ensure environmental sustainability; (8) develop a global partnership for development.
How to Celebrate United Nations Day
Around the world today, countries everywhere are celebrating United Nations Day. Food festivals showcase food from different cultures, concerts highlight national music and art is unveiled to promote world peace.
If you and your family want to get involved, try focusing the day on learning about something from a different culture. Go to a local restaurant and try new food, check out cultural fairs within your community or learn more about the United Nations and the global unity it promotes. Find out how your home state is celebrating UN Day and see if you can get in on the action!
No matter your nationality, culture or language, happy United Nations Day / Día de las Naciones Unidas / يوم الأمم المتحدة / 유엔의 날 / Tag der Vereinten Nationen.
As Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated, “The United Nations works for the entire human family of seven billion people, and cares for the earth, our one and only home.” Celebrate today by caring for our global family and living the best life you can.