San Francisco Celebrates 70th Anniversary of the Signing of the United Nations Charter

UN Secretary-General Marks Occasion In San Francisco

Washington, D.C.

June 26, 2015


Megan Rabbitt

Exactly 70 years ago today — June 26, 1945 — the United Nations Charter, the treaty that established the UN, was signed in San Francisco, and delegations from countries around the world celebrated the beginning of a new era of global cooperation. Today, San Francisco and the United Nations Foundation mark that momentous occasion, hosting UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for a series of events celebrating the city’s role in the formation of the UN, and looking ahead at how San Franciscans can be involved in the UN’s work in the years to come.

Today’s celebrations include a commemorative ceremony at City Hall, featuring Secretary-General Ban and local, state, and national leaders, as well as a dinner at the Fairmont Hotel, one of the sites where delegates met in 1945. The dinner will celebrate UN champions – supporters who help ensure the UN is able to fulfill its work.

The dinner is made possible by the support of Airbnb; Dell Inc.; Kaiser Permanente; The Parker Foundation; Nancy Pfund and Phil Polakoff; Salesforce Foundation; and Tom Steyer.

“The 70th Anniversary of the United Nations is a time to reflect on the unique role that San Francisco played in the formation of the UN, and a chance to look forward to ways in which the Bay Area can continue to help the UN innovate in its work to help people around the world,” remarked UN Foundation President & CEO, Kathy Calvin. “The participation of Mayor Edwin Lee, Governor Jerry Brown, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in today’s commemorations shows their leadership on global issues and the strong connection between the UN, California, and San Francisco.”

Connected events in the Bay Area include meetings of the Secretary-General with business leaders and entrepreneurs; the unveiling of a Zio Ziegler mural in Oakland that celebrates the UN’s 70th anniversary and which was inspired by the new global goals, known as the Sustainable Development Goals; and the presentation of the Harvey Milk Medal — seen as one of most significant recognitions from the LGBT global human rights community — to the UN Secretary-General by members of the Harvey Milk Foundation Board, Stuart Milk and Anette Trettenbergstuen.

Additional opportunities to celebrate and support the UN at the time of this 70th anniversary include:

  • #UNdiscovered – a social media initiative inviting people to post photos to social media showing their connections to the UN and UN causes. Photos included in the social media effort could include everything from sites in San Francisco related to the origins of the UN, to a symbol of human rights, to activists working to alleviate poverty.
  • The Eleanor Roosevelt Fund – a new way to donate to advance the future of the UN’s vital work on human rights, children’s health, gender equity, the environment, and the Sustainable Development Goals.

About the United Nations Foundation

The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. Learn more at: