Senator Timothy E. Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation, today issued the following statement commemorating the official founding of the United Nations on October 24, 1945, otherwise known as United Nations Day:
“For the last 60 years, the United Nations has helped bring the international community together to discuss major international crises and successes, keeping the world free of another catastrophic world war. On this United Nations Day, we honor the United Nations as a trusted and important partner of the United States and for its role in keeping the peace, fostering democracy, ensuring human rights, and fighting global poverty.
“For the next 60 years and beyond, the UN must adapt to the new challenges of the 21st century. At the 2005 World Summit, the UN took important steps towards this goal, enacting many new reform initiatives. The United States needs to encourage these reforms and also keep up our end of the bargain to pay our UN dues in-full and on-time.”
On Monday, to commemorate United Nations Day in Washington, D.C., the UN Foundation will distribute blue bracelets inscribed with the word “peace” in the six official languages of the UN to Members of Congress. The bracelets are a reminder of the UN’s successful role in securing world peace. An attached card reads, “The UN was founded 60 years ago today. Much has changed, but the UN’s mission is as relevant—and important—now as it was in 1945.”
On October 20, 2005, President Bush declared October 24, 2005, United Nations Day and called on leaders throughout the U.S. to observe the day with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.” Bush commended the organization saying since it’s founding the, “the United Nations has worked to solve problems and harness the best instincts of humankind,” and noted the important role the UN has played most recently in addressing the difficult challenges presented in the aftermath of last year’s tsunami in the Indian Ocean region and this month’s earthquake in South Asia.
Members of Congress also celebrated the UN’s 60th Anniversary this year. In June, 2005, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) introduced a resolution to the House of Representatives acknowledging the successes of the UN and called on President Bush to recognize the anniversary. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) released a statement in September in celebration of the anniversary. She applauded the UN for maintaining peace, combating the spread of diseases, and raising the female literacy rate in developing countries saying, “a strong United Nations is more important than ever.”
The United Nations officially came into existence on October 24, 1945, when the Charter was ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, and by a majority of other signatories. United Nations Day is celebrated on October 24 each year.
The UN Foundation was created in 1998 with businessman and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support United Nations’ causes. The UN Foundation promotes a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world through the support of the UN. Through its grant making and by building new and innovative public-private partnerships, the UN Foundation acts to meet the most pressing health, humanitarian, socioeconomic, and environmental challenges of the 21st century. (www.unfoundation.org)