By Lara Palmisano

On Friday 26 June 2015 in San Francisco, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, commemorated the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Charter, which he said “symbolizes the hope and aspirations that we can bring the world as it is a little closer to the world as it should be.”

The Charter, which begins with the words, “We the peoples of the United Nations,” created an organization where governments, businesses, civil society groups, and individuals can come together and work on the causes of peace, development, and human rights.

Its work is as important today as it was 70 years ago.

From responding to crises from Syria to South Sudan to working with world leaders on a global agenda to promote opportunity for all and protect the planet, the UN is on the frontlines of today’s challenges and tomorrow’s opportunities.

“Every day, we defend human rights for all, regardless of race, religion, nationality, gender or sexual orientation,” said Ban Ki-moon, and in that regard, he welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court of the USA that ruled gay couples nationwide have a right to marry.

“Yet tragedy has also been with us every step of the way. Forces of division are on the march, peddling the false promise of isolation in ever more interdependent world. And the planet itself is at risk,” he said, declaring: “We have big work ahead.”

In September, world leaders will adopt an inspiring new development agenda to end global poverty. In December, the international community has committed to reach a bold climate change agreement to place the world on more sustainable footing.

Be informed, be active in this conversation: this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to set the path for a world where everyone has opportunity and dignity and no one is left behind.

70th anniversary of the UN Charter

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