United Nations Day 2020
United Nations Day 2020

United Nations Day

It was created on 24 October 1945, out of the ashes of World War Two. Just 51 countries were there in the beginning, and many had just recently stopped fighting each other. This year marks the 75th anniversary of UN Day. To commemorate this landmark, Member States held a special event on September 21st in which they reaffirmed their commitment to multilateralism.

This is the historical day when the United Nations officially came into being following the ratification of this Charter from the world’s most important countries. The UN Charter is the founding document of the fantastic non-partisan establishment that’s been working towards international equality and peace.

The United Nations was founded immediately after the ending of World War II. It succeeded in the failed League of Nations with the aim of preventing additional wars. It’s an intergovernmental organization whose chief function is to preserve world peace and safety.

What is the Theme of UN Day 2020?

The pandemic has emerged as a frequent enemy of the world today. The theme for UN Day 2020 is ‘The Future We Want, the UN We Need: Reaffirming our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism’.

See all Important days in October: National and international

How India marks UN Day

India commemorates this special day each year by increasing the United Nations flag together with the tricolor atop all of the substantial buildings barring the Raj Bhawan and courts.

India Celebrates 75 Years Of United Nations Day released a Postage Stamp

On Friday, October 23 Central government released a commemorative postage stamp to mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. The stamp was launched at an event attended by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar since the main guest.

In the event, the EAM Jaishankar stated, “As a founding member of the United Nations, India has invested to United Nations ideals with heart and soul — right from the crafting of the principles of the UN charter to being in the forefront of keeping the peace.”
Jaishankar also is reported to have added that the United Nations was the planet’s largest and most significant deliberative organization and noticed that in the 75 decades of its existence it had served as a crucial platform for nations to come together.

The External Minister, in his final comment, said that we should all strive to make the United Nations how it could possibly be. Before last month, the United Nations hosted the 75th UN General Assembly. At a first, this year’s General Assembly was held virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. World leaders delivered pre-recorded messages which were played throughout the limited gathering in UNGA’s New York headquarters.

United Nations is 75. So are we observing?

Today most of us have no memory of a time with no UN, so the choice to make a body to stop conflict and tackle global challenges might appear obvious.

Back then, in a world dominated by nation states and fading empires, it was a radical movement, says Mohamed Mahmoud Mohamedou, Professor of International Relations in Geneva’s Graduate Institute.

“Seventy-five years ago the logic of setting up an international organization like the United Nations was not necessarily obvious,” he explains.

“The world was coming out of large-scale conflict, and the dynamics of multilateralism, the very concept of it, was not well known.

“But there was the realization that this was the moment, if ever, to imagine a different type of world… that you have one place where all nations with one equal vote can come together and debate the questions of the world.”

Multilateralism means countries working together to tackle shared crises or challenges, such as climate change or even the present pandemic. It also means joint action in areas such as gender equality and universal education.

Those present at the UN’s foundation spent enormous hope from the new body. US President Harry S. Truman described it as “a victory against war itself… a solid structure upon which we can build a better world”.

Britain’s ambassador to Washington, Lord Halifax, informed the gathered nations their approval of this new UN Charter was “as important [a decision] as any we shall ever vote in our lifetime”.

And now?

Quick forward 75 years and the world is facing precisely the sort of challenge that the UN was created to deal with: a pandemic. The World Health Organization, the UN’s health body, must be perfectly positioned to get us throughout Covid-19.

In reality, the WHO’s attempts to tackle the pandemic have been marred by bitter criticism from one powerful member, the United States.

Washington claims the WHO failed to communicate the risks of the disease quickly enough. The WHO disputes this, pointing out that it announced that an international public health emergency way back in January.

But the US, unconvinced, has begun the practice of departing the WHO, taking millions of dollars in donations with it.

That, taken together with the US withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council, from the Paris Climate Accord, and its abandonment of this UN-backed Iran nuclear arrangement, is an existential threat to the UN and multilateralism.

How do the UN respond? It will remain dependent on its 193 member states: for funding, as well as for political and moral support. There will always be tension with federal governments uneasy at UN evaluation, in particular by UN human rights teams.

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, former UN Human Rights Commissioner, believes timidity is the wrong reaction. The man who famously called Europe’s populist leaders “demagogues”, also suggested Donald Trump would be a risky president, believes the UN needs to reassert its moral authority.

“The problem is that we have too much of the UN that seeks just to please governments,” he says.

“Rather than the UN worry about how governments may react to UN statements, governments ought to worry about what the UN might be saying about them. It’s a question of speaking with authority. Seventy-five years of experience in these fields – the UN needs to be reckoned with.”

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