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United Nations Day, 24 October

Secretary-General's Message for 2015


National flags are a mark of pride and patriotism in every country around the world.  But there is only one flag that belongs to all of us.

That blue flag of the United Nations was a banner of hope for me growing up in wartime Korea.  

Seven decades after its founding, the United Nations remains a beacon for all humanity.

Every day, the United Nations feeds the hungry and shelters those driven from their homes.

The United Nations vaccinates children who would otherwise die from preventable diseases.

The United Nations defends human rights for all, regardless of race, religion, nationality, gender or sexual orientation.

Our peacekeepers are on the frontlines of conflict; our mediators bring warriors to the peace table; our relief workers brave treacherous environments to deliver life-saving assistance.

The United Nations works for the entire human family of seven billion people, and cares for the earth, our one and only home.

And it is the diverse and talented staff of the United Nations who help bring the Charter to life. 

The 70th anniversary is a moment to recognize their dedication – and to honour the many who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

The world faces many crises, and the limits of collective international action are painfully clear.  Yet no single country or organization can address today’s challenges alone. 

The timeless values of the UN Charter must remain our guide.  Our shared duty is to “unite our strength” to serve “we the peoples”. 

To mark this anniversary, monuments and buildings across the world are being illuminated in UN blue.  As we shine a light on this milestone anniversary, let us reaffirm our commitment to a better and brighter future for all.

Ban Ki-moon

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