UN marks poignant birthday as staff deaths mount in Gaza

UN Photo/Mark Garten | The UN Flag flies at the Organization’s Headquarters, in New York.

United Nations, 23 October 2023

Tuesday’s annual observance marking the official creation of the United Nations was overshadowed by the rising toll of suffering and sacrifice in Gaza, where 35 staff members with Palestine refugee agency UNRWA have now lost their lives.

UN Day on 24 October marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter – the day the Organization officially came into being.  

‘We grieve, and we remember’

The dead in Gaza include many teachers, the agency noted in a tweet on Monday. “We grieve and we remember. These are not just numbers. These are our friends and colleagues…UNRWA mourns this huge loss.”

The 13,000-strong agency which operates across the Palestine Occupied Territory has been working tirelessly with other UN humanitarians inside Gaza and across the region, to aid stricken civilians, often at great personal risk.

Determined to forge peace

Through the UN Charter, countries united in their resolve to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.”

Secretary-General António Guterres recalled that the Charter “is rooted in a determination” to build peace.

“On this United Nations Day, let us commit with hope and determination to build the better world of our aspirations,” he said.

Education void

The UN chief called on all nations to commit to a future that lives up to the name of the indispensable organization.  

“We are a divided world. We can and must be united nations,” he urged.

Commemorative events planned on Tuesday include a concert at UN Headquarters in New York, on the theme of The Frontlines of Climate Action, reinforcing one of the UN chief’s key priorities, ahead of the crucial COP28 summit in Dubai next month.

The original article appeared here.

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