Peacekeepers deployed in operations around the world joined in celebrations Saturday marking United Nations Day on the world body’s 64th birthday.
On October 24, 1945, the UN Charter entered into force, an achievement that is commemorated annually to remind the Organization of its commitment to preserving peace, providing security and helping those in need.
The joint UN-African Union peacekeeping mission in the western Sudanese region of Darfur, known as UNAMID, observed the Day with an official ceremony at its headquarters in the state of North Darfur.
UNAMID police and military paraded for an audience that included senior mission officials, UN Country Team representatives and North Darfur Government officials, as well as staff from the mission and UN agencies.
The celebration also included presentations of peace songs by school children from El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, and children from the Abu Shock camp for internally displaced persons. In addition, Gambian and Rwandan UNAMID contingents performed cultural displays, with the Filipino police unit performing martial arts exercise.
During the event, the acting Joint Special Representative for UNAMID Henry Anyidoh urged the civilian, military and police staff to continue their task in serving the cause of peace, stability and development in Darfur and for the Darfurians.
He also read a message from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released on Friday, calling on his UN colleagues to “redouble our efforts on behalf of the vulnerable, the powerless, the defenseless. Let us stand more united than ever — united in purpose and united in action to make the world a safer, better place.”
In his message for UN Day, Mr. Ban added that the Organization is “forging a new multilateralism that can deliver real results for all people, especially those most in need.”
Over the weekend in Timor-Leste, the UN mission helped organize a Model UN conference in the country’s capital to commemorate the occasion.
The conference re-created the historic Security Council session of October 1999, responding to the eruption of violence, in which up to 2,000 people were killed, in the aftermath of the UN-organized Popular Consultation that saw Timorese turn out in huge numbers to vote for independence over autonomy within Indonesia.
Watch the UN Birthday message from the Secretary-General: