Background

On 2 March 2010, by resolution 64/257, the General Assembly invited all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system, non-governmental organizations and individuals to observe 8-9 May in an appropriate manner to pay tribute to all victims of the Second World War. A special solemn meeting of the General Assembly in commemoration of all victims of the war was held in the second week of May 2010, marking the sixty-fifth anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

During the commemoration, the Secretary-General called the Second World War “one of the most epic struggles for freedom and liberation in history,” adding that “its cost was beyond calculation, beyond comprehension: 40 million civilians dead; 20 million soldiers, nearly half of those in the Soviet Union alone.”

In resolution 69/267, the General Assembly recalled that the Second World War “brought untold sorrow to humankind, particularly in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Pacific and other parts of the world.” It underlined “the progress made since the end of the Second World War in overcoming its legacy and promoting reconciliation, international and regional cooperation and democratic values, human rights and fundamental freedoms, in particular through the United Nations, and the establishment of regional and subregional organizations and other appropriate frameworks.”

A special solemn meeting, marking seventieth anniversary of the Second World War, was held on 5 May 2015.