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‘Amid stormy global seas, UN Charter remains our moral anchor’, says Guterres on United Nations Day

‘Amid stormy global seas, UN Charter remains our moral anchor’, says Guterres on United Nations Day

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 25 Oct 2019, 04:03 am

New York/IBNS: In his annual message for UN Day this Thursday, Secretary-General António Guterres issued a reminder of the role the Organization should be playing, focusing on the the real problems of real people, as a “shared moral anchor” amid “stormy global seas”.

The Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945, the founding document of the Organization, which, when ratified by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, officially brought the United Nations into being.

“We are working for a fair globalization and bold climate action”, said the UN chief. “We are pushing for human rights and gender equality – and saying ‘no’ to hatred of any kind. And we are striving to maintain peace – while bringing life-saving aid to millions caught up in armed conflict”.24 October has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. In 1971, the United Nations General Assembly recommended that the day be observed by Member States as a public holiday.

Traditional concert highlights 'shared humanity'

The Day is marked by celebrations at UN offices and missions around the world: a concert, live-streamed and available on demand at UN Web TV, took place at UN headquarters in New York, in the General Assembly Hall. The 2019 guest musicians are the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, with the participation of Dana Al Fardan, the country’s only female contemporary composer, pianist and composer Hala Al-Emadi, and singer Aisha.

The UN chief thanked Qatar for bringing the orchestra to UN Headquarters, describing the musical event as a traditional highlight, and  "an opportunity to remind ourselves, through music and art, of our shared humanity and the values we hold in common."

"At a time when inequality, discrimination and dehumanization are growing around the world", he added, "celebrating our diversity and recognizing how much we share with our fellow women and men is more important than ever."

Celebrations around the globe

This year, events were also scheduled to take place at the Paris headquarters of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), including a conference on sustainable cities.

In Lebanon, the UN Mission, UNIFIL, marked UN Day with a ceremony, involving high-ranking military personnel, including Force Commander Stefano del Col, to pay tribute to the more than 300 peacekeepers who have died whilst serving for peace in the south of the country.

And, in Bhutan, Natalie Kanem, head of the UN agency for family planning, UNFPA, took part in a tree-planting ceremony, which, she said, represented the planting of the seeds for a “future of rights & choices, health & dignity, peace & prosperity, for all”.

In his video message, Guterres looked ahead to next year’s 75th anniversary of the Organization, which he described as a milestone, and a “critical moment to shape our future, together”.

The commemoration of the 75 years will begin in January 2020, with dialogues held around the world, with the aim of involving the global public in a large and inclusive conversation, on the role of the UN in building a better future for all.

Photo caption and credit:

UNIFIL/Pasqual Gorriz
UNIFIL Malaysian peacekeeper, Major Syazwani, gives instructions to her fellow peacekeepers while patrolling in Rumaysh, south Lebanon in December 2017

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm