U.N. Day Celebrated

October 24, 2013

Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon Celebrates U.N.’s 68th Birthday in NY’s Times Square

Current UN Secretary-Genral Ban Ki-moon was a popular man in Time Square on Thursday. (Yonhap)

Current UN Secretary-Genral Ban Ki-moon was a popular man in Times Square on Thursday. (Yonhap)

By Lee Kyutae

To celebrate the 68th birthday of the United Nations (UN), the eighth and current Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, walked through Times Square in New York to greet passersby and inform them of the day’s significance to the international body that he leads.

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

A group of visiting descendants of foreign soldiers who participated in the 1950-53 Korean War makes the phrase "WORLD PEACE' with their national flags at a square near the U.N. Memorial Park in South Korea's largest port city of Busan on the occasion of the 68th United Nations Day on Oct. 24, 2014. Soldiers from 16 nations fought for South Korea against invading North Korea under the U.N. flag during the war. (Yonhap)

A group of visiting descendants of foreign soldiers who participated in the 1950-53 Korean War makes the phrase “WORLD PEACE’ with their national flags at a square near the U.N. Memorial Park in South Korea’s largest port city of Busan on the occasion of the 68th United Nations Day on Oct. 24, 2014. Soldiers from 16 nations fought for South Korea against invading North Korea under the U.N. flag during the war. (Yonhap)

Secretary-General Ban personally reached out to New Yorkers and tourists on the street to remind them of UN Day, and those who recognized him ran over to shake his hand and take pictures. And when the UN Day message flashed on the NASDAQ screens in a timely manner, everyone cheered loudly. Secretary Ban said that this year again, the world witnessed the UN coming together on armed conflict, human rights, the environment and many other issues. “We continue to show what collective action can do and we can do even more. In a world that is more connected, we must be more united,” he stated.

He then went on to say that the fighting in Syria represents the biggest security challenge facing the UN today, while the most urgent development challenge is to make sustainability a reality. “The Millennium Development Goals have cut poverty in half,” he explained. “Now we must maintain the momentum, craft an equally inspiring post-2015 development agenda and reach an agreement on climate change.”

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