Tuesday, 21 November 2017

UN in your language

United Nations reaches out to Europeans on UN Day

Elyx by YAK, #UNDay image

Staff from the United Nations Regional Information Centre in Brussels (UNRIC) fanned out across Western Europe working to support a wide range of events to mark the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, which is celebrated each year on October 24th.

Raising awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals was at the heart of UN Day activities supported by UNRIC, as was the Centre’s Back to School Initiative in which staff from across the UN system in Brussels spoke with students at a number of schools in various languages, including Dutch, English, French, Greek, Icelandic, Portuguese and Spanish.

In Brussels, where the United Nations Regional Information Centre is based, Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of the Belgians, in her role as a Sustainable Development Goals Advocate, joined senior Belgian and UN officials at a day-long youth event with one hundred high school students from Dutch and French speaking secondary schools.

Young people were also at the heart of UN Day events in Paris, where the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) opened its doors to students on a day devoted to engagement for ensuring the success of the Sustainable Development Goals. For UN day, French artist YAK, creator of Elyx, the UN’s first `digital ambassador’ created a special image conveying energy and positive emotion in honour of UN Day.

UN Day started early in the day in Greece with ceremonies at the Parthenon and Constitution Square in the capital Athens. In Italy, an event held by the UN Global Support Center (GCS) and the WFP’s Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) in Brindisi was attended by representatives from the Foreign and Defense ministries as well as national and local authorities, local schoolchildren and students, and civil society.

While UN Day is celebrated on October 24th, the day the UN Charter entered into force in 1945, UNRIC activities were taking place throughout the month.

Ahead of UN Day, UNRIC launched UN Cinema in the Swedish capital Stockholm to a full house with the screening of the ground-breaking documentary “To End A War” on the Colombian peace process, as an example of the importance of conflict resolution and reconciliation.

In Bonn, Germany, thousands of people visited UN displays in tents on the city’s main market square. This year’s UN Day celebrations showcased the work of 29 UN entities from across Germany with a special focus on climate change given the upcoming climate conference in Bonn in November.

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