UN Day: Chapters Speak Up for the World Body

July 20, 2011|By Liuba Grechen
October 24 is the most important day of the year for UNA-USA. As an organization, we use UN Day to focus national attention on the work of the United Nations and to highlight its significance to our country and the world on the anniversary of its founding.

In the spring of 1945, representatives of 50 nations gathered in San Francisco to put the final touches on a document of far-reaching consequences — the Charter of the United Nations. Enthusiastically supported by the United States, the UN Charter went into effect on October 24, 1945. Two years later, the UN General Assembly adopted a U.S.-sponsored resolution declaring that day United Nations Day, to be commemorated annually by all member countries of the UN.


In the U.S., each president, beginning with Harry S. Truman, has issued a proclamation asking citizens to observe UN Day and to reflect upon the importance of the United Nations to our national interest and to each American individually.

UNA-USA's 2011 UN Day theme is The United Nations – in Everyone's Interest. During a time when some of our elected leaders doubt the value of the UN, we must use UN Day to demonstrate all that the UN does!


Every day, the UN and its family of agencies work to improve people’s lives throughout the world. With little fanfare or media attention, the UN delivers everything from emergency relief to vaccinations to counterterrorism training. It resolves conflicts and keeps the peace in the world’s most dangerous places, and it supports elections and new institutions that build democracy.


The UN Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) has more than 120,000 troops and personnel deployed to 15 peacekeeping missions that prevent the collapse of weak states by supporting peace agreements, demobilizing combatants, facilitating humanitarian efforts, training police and creating conditions for political reconciliation and elections.


The UN Development Program (UNDP) works in 176 countries to help eradicate extreme poverty and achieve equitable economic development, by attracting and helping those countries to effectively use aid and develop capacity.


The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) supplies vaccines to more than 40 percent of the world’s children; and with the World Health Organization (WHO) has been responsible for increasing the rate of vaccination of preventable diseases to 75 percent worldwide.

UNA-USA chapters organize many UN Day celebrations across the country, from film festivals, concerts and award ceremonies to gala receptions, Model UN simulations, speaker series and serious debates. There are many different ways for UNA-USA members to commemorate the founding of the UN in their communities. Working with the UNA national staff, chapter leaders and members nationwide can bring a lot of creativity in the design of UN Day events.


UNA-USA has sent letters to numerous governors requesting that they appoint Honorary UN Day Chairs in their home states and has provided them with a sample UN Day Proclamation.


National research conducted from April 27 to May 2 by Public Opinion Strategies and Hart Research, on behalf of the UN Foundation, shows that 85 percent of American voters believe the UN is an important organization in which the U.S. needs to maintain an active role.  The survey showed that Americans continue to view the UN as an important global forum and organization. Those who perpetuate myths about negative American perceptions of the UN are ignoring the data.


UN Day is the most important day for Americans to stand up with our elected representatives to make known our overwhelming support for this critical organization!


We hope that you will join us in organizing UN Day events in your community!


For more information and to start planning your UN Day event, please visit www.unausa.org/unday and email Tanisha Dyall, Coordinator, UNA Programs and Events.


Liuba Grechen is the Director of Membership for UNA-USA.



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