8 interesting facts about the UN: United Nations Day 2016
Every year 24th October is observed as the United Nations Day to celebrate the anniversary of the formation of the Charter almost 71 years ago. And to celebrate it our way, we have with us 8 interesting facts about the United Nations.
United Nations – History
After the end of World War II in 1945, 51 countries came forward to sign a document in San Francisco to spread peace and eradicate the growing violence in the world. The Charter signed was a document that created a new organisation, United Nations. The purpose of the United Nations was to maintain international peace and security. In 1948, the UN declared 24th October to be the United Nations Day which is devoted to make it known to the people of the United Nation’s goals and achievements so far. With over 193 member in the United Nations Assembly, 71 years later, the UN is providing humanitarian support to those in need, maintaining peace in the world and moving towards finding solutions for the growing problems today, climate change.
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8 Interesting facts about the United Nations:
1. The name “United Nations” was suggested by the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1942 during World War II, to his close friend, Winston Churchill, the then Prime Minister of United Kingdom. It is said that Churchill was in Washington D.C. visiting and was having a bath in the bathtub when FDR was wheeled in and suggested this name. Both of them thought the name made more sense in wake of the organisation than “Alliances”.
2. India, to this date, holds the record for delivering the longest speech at United Nations Assembly in 1957. V.K. Krishna Menon delivered the passionate speech on India’s stand on Kashmir, the disputed territory between India and Pakistan. The speech went on for 8 long hours and ended only when V.K. Krishna collapsed out of exhaustion and had to be hospitalised. He later came in the assembly next day to continue his speech and completed another hour with a doctor monitoring his blood pressure beside him. Menon’s dedication towards his country and his speech is known as the epic filibuster (Wikipedia), because it closed Pakistan’s argument on Kashmir once and for all and gave the then Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Jawaharlal Nehru time to move successfully and consolidate Indian power in Kashmir.
3. Kofi Annan, who was the Secretary General at the time in 2001, was the only SG to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in equal proportion with the United Nations organisation.
4. Indonesia is the only member state of the United Nations that withdrew its membership from the UN but later rejoined after a year.
5. Dag Hammarskjold was the only UN Secretary General who died mysteriously in a plane crash and while in office. It is rumoured that his death was because of a British MI5, the CIA and the South African Intelligence. He is also the only UN Secretary General to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize posthumously.
6. The UN Headquarter in New York, USA, is international territory and does not meet all of New York City’s fire safety and building codes. The UN also has its own Post Office and postage stamps to send mails. Even though they are used more often for collectibles, the U.N. stamps are still used for mailing letters across the world and can be found from UN premises namely New York, Vienna and Geneva.
7. Today, UN being the biggest peacekeeping organisation of the world, it is responsible for :
- Providing food to 90 million people across 75 countries
- Assisting 34 million refugees
- Helping 140 countries to combat climate change
- Vaccinating 58% of the world’s population
- Maintaining peace with over 120,000 peace keepers in 4 continents and carrying out the biggest peacekeeping operation in the world.
- Assisting about 50 countries per year in conducting elections.
8. The newest member of the United Nations is South Sudan which joined the organisation in 2011 therefore taking the count of member states associated with the UN up to 193.
United Nations Day – The Concert
A concert will be held to commemorate the 71st year of the United Nations with Hungarian State Opera performances, where soprano Andrea Rost and other artists will be seen performing. The concert will have artists from around the world including Australia, Denmark, Republic of Korea and other countries performing Classical music. In accord with UN’s continuous efforts towards human Rights promotion and adherence, this year’s concert theme is Freedom First.
The concert will be held in the United Nations General assembly Hall
24th October, 2016
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM