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Despite the odds and the obstacles, we never give up, says Guterres in UN Day message

The United Nations family in the Ethiopia on Wednesday joined the rest of the world in celebrating UN Day, which marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter.

With the ratification of this landmark document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the United Nations officially came into being.

UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Ethiopia, Mr. Aeneas Chapinga Chuma, led the UN family, diplomats and other invited guests in celebrating the day which he described as special.

There was much pomp and fanfare as they celebrated the anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Charter, the foundational treaty of the United Nations.

Key activities for the day, included a UN flag raising ceremony, performances by the Ethiopian police band, Youth Dance for Peace, an Ethiopian youth group whose central theme was peace in the minds of the African youth, and speeches.

“Every day, the women and men of the United Nations work to give practical meaning to the Charter,” said Mr. Chuma on behalf of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

“Despite the odds and the obstacles, we never give up. Extreme poverty is being reduced but we see inequality growing. Yet we don’t give up because we know by reducing inequality we increase hope and opportunity and peace around the world.”

Climate change, he said, was moving fast and the only path to follow was climate action.

“Human rights are being violated in so many places. But we don’t give up because we know respect for human rights and human dignity is a basic condition for peace. Conflicts are multiplying. People are suffering but we don’t give up because we know every man, woman and child deserves a life of peace,” Mr. Guterres.

He reaffirmed the UN’s commitment to repair broken trust, heal the planet, leave no one behind and to uphold the dignity for one and all.

Ms. Hirut Zemene, Ethiopia’s Minister of State in the Foreign Affairs Ministry, hailed the UN for the support it continues to give Addis Ababa, in particular towards the achievement of the sustainable development goals.

She said as a current non-permanent member of the Security Council, Ethiopia was playing her part in global peace and security matters as well as ensuring Africa’s voice is heard.

“Ethiopia as a member of the UN and currently the seat of 28 UN agencies, including the Economic Commission for Africa, has always attached great importance to the role of the UN in the world,” said Ms. Zemene.

“So as we celebrate this important day, let us hold high the spirit of partnerships amongst communities of the world nations and multilateralism as a viable approach for global humanity.”

For his part, African Union Commission Deputy Chairperson, Ambassador Thomas Kwesi Quartey said UN Day was a momentous day that should always be celebrated.

“The United Nations has been the guarantee for sustainable peace and development as well as shared prosperity,” he said, adding it remained the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most universal intergovernmental organization in the world. 

Ambassador Quartey said it was dismaying to note ‘recent developments in some parts of the civilized world appear to put a strain on the authority of both the UN and its specialized agencies’.

“The global order as projected by multilateralism is being challenged by some great and mightier nations,” he said, adding Africa was committed to the maintenance of a rules-based international order, which advances a relatively level playing field for all.

The AUC Deputy Chief said Africa believed a reformed UN system remained the guarantee for sustainable peace and development.

He also talked about the important synergies and coherence between the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the AU’s Agenda 2063.

Mr. Chuma, Ambassador Quartey, Ms. Zemene and ECA Deputy Executive Secretary, Giovanie Biha, planted four trees in the UN compound to mark the special day that the United Nations General Assembly recommended be observed by Member States as a public holiday.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).