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.”