The United Nations marks its 70th year on October 24 with U.N. Day, highlighting past achievements and focusing on the future.
You can take part and spread awareness about the U.N.’s work by wishing it a happy birthday in your own language with the hashtag #UN70.
In keeping with tradition, this year’s commemoration will center on a theme — Strong U.N., Better World — and highlights three key areas:
- Development — Nearly 40 percent of the developing world’s population lived in poverty only two decades ago. Since then, the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals have helped guide successful efforts to halve extreme poverty. The U.N.’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development aims to end poverty and hunger, empower women and girls, and take “urgent action” to combat climate change, among other goals.
- Peace and security — Over a million people have served as U.N. peacekeepers since 1948. Today, there are 16 peacekeeping operations deployed, staffed by personnel from nearly every country in the world. U.N. peacekeepers also support diplomacy and mediation, help organize elections, and work to counter violent extremism.
- Human rights — In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights highlighted the importance of human rights in international law. Today, the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights investigates human rights violations, issues reports, and supports rights components of peacekeeping missions. This is just one of the many ways the U.N. promotes and protects human rights around the world.
President Obama said at the 2015 United Nations General Assembly that the U.N. has helped to create an international order that advances liberty and prosperity.
“This progress is real. It can be documented in lives saved, and agreements forged, and diseases conquered, and in mouths fed,” Obama said.
Learn how the United States works with the world community at the United Nations by following U.S. Permanent Representative to the U.N. Samantha Power on Twitter @AmbassadorPower.