Marking its 65th anniversary, the United Nations has reaffirmed its commitment to promote peace, development and human rights, pledging enhanced action to achieve its global mission.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says the Day is an occasion to reassert the “universal values of tolerance, mutual respect and human dignity,” as well as progress made jointly in the areas of literacy, life expectancy, the spread of technology and advances in democracy and the rule of law.
“But above all, UN Day is a day on which we resolve to do more, more to protect those caught up in armed conflict, to fight climate change and avert nuclear catastrophe; more to expand opportunities for women and girls, and to combat injustice and impunity.”
Mr. Ban also calls for sustained efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the set of poverty reduction and social development targets with a 2015 deadline.
Last month’s MDG summit bringing together scores of world leaders in New York generated political momentum and fresh financial commitments for global anti-poverty efforts, despite the hard economic times the world is going through, he says.
“I am determined to press ahead as the 2015 deadline approaches,” Mr. Ban declares. “Despite our problems, despite polarization and distrust, our interconnected world has opened up vast new possibilities for common progress. Let us commit to do even more to realize the great vision set out in the UN Charter.”
In his message, General Assembly President Joseph Deiss recalls the adoption of the MDGs in 2000, when the world came together to express solidarity with the most vulnerable members of the global community.
“We demonstrated that all the peoples of the United Nations form a single community and that no one has the right to remain indifferent to abject poverty and the suffering of others,” he says.
“We gave great hope to millions of men and women. We now have to unite our efforts to meet these expectations and to keep our promise. This is our moral duty. In so doing, we will make a significant contribution to global peace, security and prosperity, the primary mission of the United Nations,” Mr. Deiss says in his message, which he will deliver this evening at a UN Day concert in the General Assembly Hall featuring the Korean Broadcast System Symphony Orchestra, the Westminster Symphonic Choir and violinist Sarah Chang.
He also stresses that international solidarity, like musicians performing in an orchestra, remains the element that will continue to spur the movement towards achieving the MDGs.
“Music brings us together across cultures and borders to promote peace and harmony. The one who sings does not argue, the one who plays an instrument does not carry a weapon,” the President says.
“To use Plato’s words, we should now let music give soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”