UN Day - peace, development, human rights, and opportunity for all

View of the General Assembly Hall. Photo UN/Cia Pak

24 October 2021

UN day is observed on October 24, every year since 1948. This day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter,  the founding document of this great non-partisan institution that has been working towards global peace and equality. 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.

Secretary-General António Guterres' message (2021)

Seventy-six years ago, the United Nations was created as a vehicle of hope for a world emerging from the shadow of catastrophic conflict.

Today, the women and men of the UN carry this hope forward around the globe.

COVID-19, conflicts, hunger, poverty and the climate emergency remind us that our world is far from perfect.

But they also make clear that solidarity is the only way forward.

We need to come together to tackle great challenges and advance the Sustainable Development Goals.

By ensuring that every person, everywhere, has access to COVID-19 vaccines sooner rather than later.

By securing and upholding the rights and dignity of all people — especially the poorest and most disadvantaged, girls and women, and children and young people.

By seeking an end to the conflicts that scar our world.

By making bold climate commitments to save our planet — and living up to them.

And by building global governance that is more inclusive, networked and effective — as detailed in my recent report, Our Common Agenda.

The values that have powered the UN Charter for the last 76 years — peace, development, human rights, and opportunity for all — have no expiry date.

As we mark UN Day, let’s unite behind these ideals, and live up to the full promise, potential and hope of the United Nations.


History of the UN

The United Nations officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, when the Charter had been ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, and by a majority of other signatories. The name "United Nations" was coined by the United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt and was first used in the Declaration by United Nations on 1 January 1942, during Second World War.

The Charter was signed on 26 June 1945 by the representatives of the 50 countries. Poland, which was not represented at the Conference, signed it later and became one of the original 51 Member States. It is currently made up of 193 Member States. Each of the 193 Member States of the United Nations is a member of the General Assembly.