United Nations Association UK celebrated UN Day on 24 October 2019 with a meeting of diverse stakeholders to reflect on pressing global challenges and the role of multilateralism at this turbulent time for the world, as well as priorities for the United Kingdom and the United Nations in the coming year, which marks the 75th anniversary of the Organization.
The event marked the launch of #UN75, a global conversation on how the UN will have to adapt to be able to address these global challenges.
The event took place at #TOGETHERBAND in Regent Street, London and Coventry Branch was represented by Committee Member Mohammed Aaqib.
The event included the presentation of the Sir Brian Urquhart Award – UNA-UK’s signature Award for Distinguished Service to the United Nations, named in honour of the second person recruited to the United Nations after the Secretary-General, and one of its most respected civil servants and thinkers.
The award recipient for 2019 was Mr. Andrew Gilmour, as a mark of UNA-UK’s deep appreciation for his three decades of service to the United Nations – including in some of the most challenging contexts – which serve as an exemplar of principled international civil service of the sort that Sir Brian embodied.
Mr. Gilmour is currently Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, heading OHCHR’s Office in New York. He has served the UN since 1989, including in Afghanistan-Pakistan, Kosovo, Palestine and West Africa. He was Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Iraq and South Sudan, and Representative of the Secretary-General in Belgrade. He was also Political Director in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General (2012-16), during which time Mr Gilmour was responsible for implementing the Human Rights Up Front initiative, which was launched in response to the UN’s failure to protect civilians in Sri Lanka.
UN Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the United Nations officially came into being. 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.
#TOGETHERBAND is a set of ethically made and sustainably sourced friendship bands. Each of the bands is a different colour to represent each of the 17 Global Goals. By choosing your Goal and wearing your #TOGETHERBAND, it brings you closer to the issue that you are championing as both a reminder and a call to action. The founders, British luxury sustainable brand BOTTLETOP, hope the bands will become a symbol of us all uniting to create a healthy planet. When you buy one band you get a second one to give to a friend and spread the message even further.