At UN Headquarters, commemorative plaque joins ‘Tree of Peace and Unity’ marking end of World War II

2 September 2015

A ceremony to dedicate a commemorative plaque marking the end of the Second World War in Asia and the Pacific was organized at United Nations Headquarters today.

The plaque was placed by the Tree of Peace and Unity, a weeping cherry tree planted last May on international soil to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe.

Speaking at the event, UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said “the creation of the United Nations in 1945 was a bold step in a new direction […] after so much tragic human sacrifice from the worst side of humanity.”

“Since then, the United Nations has saved countless lives around the world,” he added.

Mr. Eliasson described the 193-member Organization as being “the midwife at the birth of many treaties,” such as those ending racism and discrimination against women.

He also highlighted the work of UN peacekeepers and humanitarian workers who sacrifice their safety and lives to bring stability and aid to others.

“Our work today is more important than ever,” he continued. “We have seven decades of proof at the United Nations that international cooperation makes us all stronger. We must continue to reform and work to make the United Nations better.”

At the end of his remarks, Mr. Eliasson said that the plaque dedicated today is as reminder of the past, but also an opportunity to “make a pledge for the future.”


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Honouring victims of World War II, Ban reaffirms UN's founding goals to ensure peace and dignity for all

Seventy years ago, in 1945, from the ashes of one of humanity's darkest moments, the United Nations was founded to lead the world "out of horror and into peace," declared Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today at a tree planting and ceremony to remember the countless victims who lost their lives in the Second World War.