United Nations Day

The United Nations (UN) officially came into existence on October 24, 1945, following World War II.

The UN is an intergovernmental organization that aims to:

  • Maintain international peace and security
  • Develop friendly relations among nations
  • Achieve international cooperation, and
  • Be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations.

It is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world.

The UN is headquartered on international territory in New York City, with its other main offices in Geneva, Nairobi, Vienna and The Hague.

At its founding, the UN had 51 member states. With the addition of South Sudan in 2011, membership is now at 193, representing almost all of the world’s sovereign states.

October 24 has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. In 1971, the UN General Assembly recommended that the day be observed by Member States as a public holiday.

Why do we celebrate United Nations Day?

United Nations Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the UN officially came into being.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the United Nations and its founding Charter. This anniversary comes in a time of great disruption for the world, compounded by an unprecedented global health crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with severe economic and social impacts. But it is also a reminder that times of struggle can become an opportunity for positive change and transformation.

To celebrate UN Day, an annual concert is usually held in the General Assembly Hall. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the concert was prerecorded and screened on Thursday, October 22.

The concert, sponsored by the Mission of Italy, included a performance by Roberto Bolle, accompanied by other world class stars, and the Orchestra of Teatro alla Scala (recorded at La Scala Theater in Milan). A number of classical, modern and reimagined dances, curated specifically for the UN Day Concert, were performed.

By connecting us and creating common understanding, art and culture create the fertile ground from which genuine solidarity can emerge. In this spirit, music and dance can help bring us together to reimagine a world “rebalanced,” to be designed and built together for present and future generations.

Written by Lynda Walz, Sales Executive