The World Tinted in Blue
The World Tinted in Blue
Geneva (Switzerland). On October 24, the World was inundated with a wave of blue on the principle monuments, churches, museums, and representative sites of about 200 nations. Blue is the official colour of the United Nations, which on that day celebrated the 70th Anniversary of its birth.
The Statue of Christ Redeemer of Rio de Janeiro, the Eiffel Tower of Paris, the Tower of Pisa, reminded everyone that on that day, seventy years ago, the Charter of the United Nations entered into vigour. It provided for the birth of this world organization entrusted with maintaining international peace and security, peacefully resolving conflicts, promoting respect for human rights and sustainable development.
Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the UN, thanked the member states for the enthusiasm shown in celebrating the 70 years of the United Nations in supporting peace, development, and human rights. “Lighting up the world in UN blue for a day, we can brighten the journey toward a better tomorrow”. 70 years is a good age...an age that speaks of robustness and difficulties overcome; of the capacity acquired in knowing how to manage difficult situations. It is an age that allows it to treasure past experiences and wisdom in the desire to transmit what is essential to those who come after.
The festivities ended that day at Geneva at the Palace of the Nations, by launching the “open doors” program. For the whole day, the public had the possibility of freely entering into its structure, walking through the avenue of the flags, entering into the meeting rooms, and in particular, the Assembly Hall, the Hall of the Council of Human Rights, to assist at conferences, dances, documentaries, and musical shows. It was an occasion to see close up something of this meaningful but little known world.
Is it the day in which the UN celebrates itself or is it celebrated because, in spite of everything, it continues its activity of the promotion of development, peace, and human rights?
If one asks what the UN is, one obtains vague answers and becomes aware that the reason for which it exists is not always known or its structure or what it accomplishes or who are the principle actors. One could also ask if we can do without the UN since its activity does not always succeed putting an end to the series of wars taking place, to terrorism, to poverty, to the impunity of those who have been found guilty, to the injustices existing in our world. All this is true, but it is also true that, thanks to this structure, the representatives of 193 countries have learned to dialogue and to seek how to resolve conflicts. They have succeeded in agreeing on common objectives that, even if they have not been reached in 2015 – the development objectives of the millennium – still they present themselves as common objectives to face and to tend toward as sustainable and enduring objectives.
At the Office of Human Rights, which represents both the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and VIDES International at the United Nations, we see these efforts almost daily and we give our contribution in this search for world peace.
There is a fundamental aspect that is not always evident, but of which we are witnesses. At the United Nations, and especially at the seat in Geneva, civil society has an important place. It not only can be present, but it can also make present those who work on the earth, thus making known from close up the concrete efforts that as Institute and as VIDES we carry out in the world. For us as well, the Blue Day of October 24th became a feast to remember all the workers of good will involved in the activity of peace.
(From the Office of Human Rights in Geneva)