On the 24th October of each year, we celebrate United Nations Day; the anniversary of the Charter of the United Nations, which came into existence on 24th October 1945, after being ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, and by a majority of the other signatories.
By celebrating United Nations Day, we should not only be looking at all of the good the U.N. has accomplished so far, but also the individuals who have worked hard to make it happen. So many people have been involved in the growth and expansion of our knowledge and industries, that it is often easy to overlook them as being ‘insignificant’. However, even the smallest idea can help to make a huge change for the better, so we should celebrate them all as a whole.
There have been many famous speeches that have taken place since the founding of the United Nations, and below are just three that should be remembered.
Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, 1988
Gorbachev was a revolutionary leader for the USSR during the Cold War; he was the first to promote liberal reform and the inclusion of capitalist elements into the economy. The arms race between the Soviet Union and the United States was incredibly costly for both sides, as well as creating a horrible level of fear and tension across the rest of the world. Gorbachev is often seen as one of the first people to take the steps towards the end of the Cold War, and this was shown in his U.N. speech.
Mikhail Gorbachev addressed the United Nations General Assembly on December 7 1988. He spoke about the recent changes in the Soviet Union, and went on to surprise the global community as a whole; he announced he would be making drastic cuts in the Soviet military presence in Eastern Europe and along the Chinese border.
Augusto Lopez-Claros, 2008
In on 25 February 2008, Augusto Lopez-Claros addressed the United Nations General Assembly on the topic of “Financing for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women”. This was a huge step for the United Nations, and one that many have argued should have been made a lot sooner. Lopez-Claros’ speech at the U.N. really drove home the idea of equal responsibilities in our current society, and that men and women should thus be able to receive the same opportunities and level of pay. It has been a starting point for many of the recent changes in equal rights for both sexes.
Mary Robinson, 2010
After ending her tenure as Irish President, Mary Robinson went on to become the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997 to 2002. In June 2010 she delivered a speech at the one-day UNA-UK UN Forum in London entitled “Why people should centre the climate debate”. She argued that climate change was essentially a human rights threat because of the impact on future generations, and expressed concern over the general public perception in industrialized countries on climate change and the threat it posed.