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Australian Catholic Vocations Directory
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2012 International Year of Sustainable Energy For All
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United Nations Day – 24 October
UN Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. With the ratification 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.
24 October has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. UN Day, 24 October 2012, marks the 67th anniversary of when the United Nations Charter went into effect.
The United Nations was established to foster global peace, prosperity and justice. It has succeeded in its fundamental mission of preventing a third world war and improving global quality of life. Over the last 60 years, the UN’s mission and membership have been broadened dramatically.
Some Great Moments in the UN’s History:
1945: United Nations Founded – President Harry Truman, along with representatives from 50 other countries, signed the UN Charter in San Francisco, California.
1948: Universal Declaration of Human Rights signed – First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt personally helped prepare the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
1960: 17 States join the UN – 17 newly independent States, 16 from Africa, join the UN – the biggest increase in membership in any one year.
1962: Cuban Missile Crisis resolved – UN Secretary-General U Thant is widely credited for having defused the Cuban Missile Crisis by interceding between US President John F Kennedy and Soviet General Secretary Nikita Khrushchev, thereby avoiding a nuclear war.
1965: UNICEF receives Nobel Peace Prize – UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
1968: GA approves Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons – General Assembly approves Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and calls for its ratification.
1972: First UN Environment Conference – The first UN Environment Conference is held in Stockholm, Sweden, leading to the establishment of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), headquartered in Nairobi.
1979: General Assembly adopts the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
1980: Smallpox eradicated - A 13-year effort by the UN’s World Health Organization resulted in the complete eradication of smallpox in 1980 — saving an estimated $1 billion a year in vaccination and monitoring.
1988: UN Peacekeeping receives Nobel Peace Prize – UN Peacekeeping operations awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, at the time there were seven peacekeeping or observer missions in operation.
1992: “Earth Summit” held – The UN Conference on Environment and Development, the “Earth Summit”, is held in Rio de Janeiro attended by leaders from over 100 countries, the largest intergovernmental gathering in history, resulting in Agenda 21, a plan of action for sustainable development.
1993: World Conference on Human Rights held – The World Conference on Human Rights is held in Vienna, which commemorated the International Year for the World’s Indigenous People (1993).
1996: General Assembly adopts Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty – This is a turning point in the history of efforts towards nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
2005: Humanitarian Response to the South Asian Tsunami led by UN – The United Nations was credited with coordinating and leading the historic international relief effort in 12 countries undertaken in response to the 2004 South Asian Tsunami.
2011: UN admits South Sudan as 193rd Member State – The UN General Assembly admitted the Republic of South Sudan as the 193rd member state, welcoming the newly independent country to the community of nations.
Click here for a Reflection and Prayer for UN Day prepared by the International Presentation Association.