United Nations Day
24 October is United Nations Day; that is because the United Nations Charter became effective on that day back in 1945. President Franklin D. Roosevelt is considered to be the father of the United Nations. Every year UN Day is celebrated at UN headquarters in New York City and throughout the world. This year will be the 65th anniversary of the UN.
What are the purposes of the UN? The main purposes are to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, to recognize the dignity and worth of the human person, to acknowledge the equal rights of men and women in nations large and small, and to promote respect for international law and social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.
In order to achieve these ends, UN member states should practice tolerance and live together in peace as good neighbors. They should employ international machinery for promoting the economic and social advancement of all peoples. The should unite their strength to maintain international peace and security and ensure that armed force will only be used in the common interest. The UN seeks to develop friendly relations among nations based on the principles of equal rights and self-determination of all peoples. It also seeks to promote international cooperation and to be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations.
The UN is a noble experiment. Despite all the criticism of the organization, the UN has been a success. It has prevented another world war, promoted social progress, and is in the process of realizing its purposes and principles. It is also in the process of reforming itself.
To truly eliminate the scourge of war, the UN needs to create its own effective system of collective security to keep the peace. Until then, world peace will remain an unfulfilled dream. An UN Day, every UN member state and person should resolve to translate the ideals of the UN into reality in our troubled, interdependent world.
David Slive, Slive is the UN Envoy for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Amherst
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