United Nations Day 2021: A look at some of the global body's milestone achievements

United Nations Day 2021: A look at some of the global body's milestone achievements

United Nations Day 2021: A look at some of the global body's milestone achievements

United Nations Day, on 24 October, marks the anniversary of the day in 1945 when the UN Charter came into force. From 51 members when it was established, the UN has grown to accommodate 193 nations. This year marks the 76th anniversary of the UN’s establishment.

The day was announced to “be devoted to making known to the people of the world the aims and achievements of the United Nations and to gaining their support for” its work.

The UN aims to promote friendly relations between member nations through its various organs such as the UN Security Council (UNSC), the UN Secretariat, the International Court of Justice, and the Economic and Social Council. The term 'United Nations' was coined by Franklin D Roosevelt, the 32nd US President, and was first used on 1 January, 1942, in the Declaration of the United Nations.

UN Day was first observed on 24 October, 1948, and has been celebrated globally ever since.

Celebrations this year:

This year, the United Nations Day was marked with the UN annual concert under the theme “Building Back Together for Peace and Prosperity”. The concert was a combination of live and pre-recorded performances, with a small audience following social distancing norms.

Here's a look at some of the significant achievements of this global body since its formation:

Universal Declaration of Human Rights: The UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December 1948. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights articulates fundamental rights and freedoms for all.

World Food Programme: In 1961, the UN set up the programme to provide food to millions of vulnerable people. The WFP has provided food to vulnerable populations in several nations till date, including Afghanistan, Haiti, Syria, and Yemen. It received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2020 for its efforts.

Eradication of smallpox: In 1980, the World Health Organisation (WHO), a part of the UN, managed to eradicate smallpox, after a 13-year long effort.

Efforts to protect the ozone layer: The UN Environment Program sponsored a conference of 24 countries to take action against the deterioration of the ozone layer. The Montreal Protocol, a treaty about the reduction of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) emissions, as a result of the conference.

Saving over 90 million children: The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has worked for the rights of children since it was founded in 1946. Since 1990, the organisation has saved the lives of over 90 million children through its efforts.

While the UN has faced criticism over a variety of issues, these milestones are a testimony to the crucial role the organisation plays in the world.