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United Nations Day 24 October 2011

Background

History of the Day

UN Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the United Nations officially came into being.

24 October has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. In 1971, the United Nations General Assembly recommended that the day be observed by Member States as a public holiday.

2011 UN Day Concert theme: Celebrating Cultural Diversity

The UN Day concert is a traditional part of the celebration of the day at UN Headquarters. This year's concert is sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Mongolia to the United Nations and is dedicated to celebrating cultural diversity. It features the traditional “longsong” and throat-singing, the unique Mongolian forms of
singing which have been included, along with the Mongolian horse-head fiddle on UNESCO’s list of the
Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
.

male and female dancersCultural diversity is a driving force of development, not only with respect to economic growth, but also as a means of leading a more fulfilling intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual life.

Cultural diversity is thus an asset that is indispensable for poverty reduction and the achievement of sustainable development. At the same time, acceptance and recognition of cultural diversity – in particular through innovative use of media and ICTs – are conducive to dialogue among civilizations and cultures, respect and mutual understanding.

The promotion of cultural diversity – the "common humanity heritage" according to the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, 2001 – and its corollary dialogue, has become one of the most pressing contemporary issues and, for this reason, is central to UNESCO’s mandate.