On October 24 the world will be painted blue

The 24th of October 2015 the world will be hit by a blue wave reaching all main monuments,
churches, archeological sites of almost 200 countries: blue, the official color of the United Nations that day celebrate its 70th birth anniversary.

The statue of the Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Pisa Tower, the Pyramids in Egypt, the Empire State Building in New York, the Hermitage Museum in Russia, all these monuments will remind us that 70 years ago, on that date, the Charter of the United Nations entered into force establishing the birth of this international organization created to maintain peace and international security, to peacefully solve conflicts and to promote the respect for human rights and sustainable development.

Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General thanked Member States for their enthusiasm in celebrating 70 years of United Nations in support of peace, development and human rights: “In illuminating the world with the UN blue for a day, we can illuminate the path towards a better future”.70 years is a good age…an age that means strength and overcoming difficulties, skills acquired through the managing of difficult situations, an age that helps to build upon experience and wisdom to transmit essential values and knowledge to coming generations.

The highlight of the celebrations will be this Saturday with the Open Day in Geneva, at Palais de Nations, the building of the UN. The whole day people will have the chance to freely move among the buildings, walk along the “flags avenue“, enter the different working rooms (especially the huge Meeting Room and Room XX of the Human Rights Council) to attend conferences, dances, documentaries and music performances. It´s a chance to get to know this important but often unknown world.

Is it the day where the UN celebrates itself or is it the day where the UN is celebrated because, despite all difficulties, it continues to promote development, peace and human rights?

If you ask about the UN, the answers are often vague and it seems that many people do not know about its origin, structure, work and main actors. In general, people have confused ideas about the UN.

Someone could ask if we really need the UN as it isn´t able to stop ongoing wars, terrorism, poverty, impunity and injustice in our world.It is true, but it is also true that thanks to this organization, the representatives of 193 countries have learned to discuss together to find solutions to ongoing conflicts. They could agree about common goals (Millennium Development Goals) that, despite the fact that they weren´t achieved in 2015, are still building a common ground for confrontation and representing sustainable and durable goals to aim for.

As Human Rights Office representing IIMA and VIDES at the United Nations, we can see the everyday efforts but also assist and contribute to the struggle for peace in our world.

We are also witness of a fundamental aspect that is often forgotten: at the United Nations, especially in Geneva, the civil society has a central role. It can be present and speak for those working on the field in order to share the actions undertaken by IIMA and VIDES all around the world.

Also for us, the 24th of October 2015 becomes a fest that reminds us of all the people of good will working for peace in the world.