Dhaka, 24 October 2011: In 1945, representatives of 50 countries met in San Francisco at the United Nations Conference on International Organization to draw up the United Nations Charter. The Charter was signed on 26 June 1945 by the representatives of the 50 countries. The United Nations officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, when the Charter had been ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and by a majority of other signatories.
24 October 1945 has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. It has traditionally been marked throughout the world by meetings, discussions and exhibits on the achievements and goals of the Organization. In 1971, the General Assembly recommended that all Member States observe it as a public celebration.
Observance of the UN day provides an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to the ideals of the United Nations. It is also a day to affirm our faith in the highest human aspirations – end violence, promote tolerance, ensure equality, protect human rights and alleviate poverty.
Traditionally, UN Day is marked by an international concert at the General Assembly. Sometimes, special events are arranged, electronically linking the UN with cities around the world. The Day is also notable for messages issued by the UN Secretary-General and the President of the General Assembly. A video taped message of the Secretary-General is often shown by national TV stations around the world. In addition, special briefings are arranged for non-governmental organizations on UN-related topics. Sometimes schools and civic groups arrange “peace marches” and other celebratory events.
As in the previous years, an afternoon event was organized by the UN System in Bangladesh staring at 15:00 hours at Radisson Blu Hotel for celebrating the 66th Anniversary of the United Nations. H.E. Mr. Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, the Honorable Minister, Ministry of Finance graced the celebration as Chief Guest where Ms. Rasheda K. Choudhury, Former Advisor to the Caretaker Government of Bangladesh joined as Guest of Honour and Ms. Sadia Muna Tasneem, DG UN, Ministry of Foreign Affairs was the Special Guest. Government officials, representatives from Armed Forces Division, Diplomatic Corps, CSOs, Academia, members of UN Youth Student Association of Bangladesh, students from different educational institutes, retired and current UN colleagues and UN Country Team also joined the celebration.
The event stared with welcome speech by Neal Walker, UN Resident Coordinator. In the welcome speech, the UN Resident Coordinator acknowledged the contributions of Bangladesh to the UN and reaffirmed the commitments of UN to Bangladesh. The UN Secretary General’s message was read out both in Bangla and English. One of the most highlighted programs of the event was the deliberation of thought by the youth about the UN. As a token of friendship and cooperation, the UN RC and Chair Person of UNDP/UNFPA/WFP Staff’s Association jointly presented ‘painting of the UN Day 2011’ by one of the country’s most influential artist of 60s- Mr. Monirul Islam, to the chief guest. In his speech, the chief guest expressed his hope that the United Nations would be able to overcome different global threats, including poverty, in the coming years. He mentioned, ‘I wish, in the coming years, we shall finally under the UN umbrella make every effort to overcome these threats…threats to our existence and threats to our descent way of living.’
At the end, a small cultural show was organized by keeping in mind of the 150th birth anniversary of Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore; UN staff sang a chorus Tagore song- “Aguner porosh moni choano praney”. The program was ended up by the enchanting performance by one of the country’s legendary artist of Tagore songs – Ms. Shama Rahman, whom UNESCO described as “one of the foremost Tagore singers” of Bangladesh.