October 24 marks the anniversary of the United Nations Charter, first established in 1945. With the approval 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 on this day 70 years ago.
For 70 years, the United Nations has been a force for peace and progress in the world. October 24, UN Day, is a moment to come together to support the UN and the life-changing and life-saving work it performs around the globe and to rally support for the new SDGs which provide a roadmap for the next 15 years.
We are especially excited about UN Day this year in light of the recent passing of the Sustainable Development Goals last month. The new global goals represent a comprehensive and ambitious plan to end inequities and tackle climate change by 2030.
A Day for Women to Push the Global Goals
Women and girls make up more than half of the world’s population, and they are deeply impacted by all the issues the global goals address – from poverty to climate change to food shortage to lack of healthcare to global economic crises. Women’s contributions and leadership are central to finding solutions.
This year UN Day is an opportunity for all of us, particularly women, to rally around these important goals and make them known near and far.
Our Role in the Push
While all the goals are relevant to women, goal #5 – gender equality – specifically focuses on women’s equality and empowerment. In many countries, gender discrimination is still woven through legal and social norms. Women make 24 percent less than men and hold fewer seats in political offices, and violence against women continues.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted the importance of goal five, emphasizing, “we cannot achieve our 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development without full and equal rights for half of the world’s population, in law and in practice.”
We must be advocates for our rights, and for women around the world.
Take Action Challenge
On and around October 24, many activities will be organized by all parts of the UN, particularly in the main offices in New York, The Hague, Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi. These include concerts, lighting important buildings UN blue, flying the UN flag on important buildings, debates on the relevance of the work of the UN in modern times, and proclamations by state heads and other leaders. It will be a time to celebrate all that women have achieved. Check out what’s going on in your area, attend and be vocal about the issues that are important to you.
Photo credit: UN Photo | Democratic Republic of Congo | Sylvain Lietchti