As part of a global campaign to commemorate the UN Day and the international organization's 70th anniversary today, more than 160 iconic monuments, buildings, museums, bridges and other landmarks in nearly 50 countries around the world will be lit up blue. World famous landmarks from Australia's Sydney Opera House to the ancient city of Petra in Jordan, as well as the Empire state building will be part of the celebration and would turn to blue.
Blue, the official color of the UN, will be highlighted as part of a global campaign to commemorate UN Day and the 70th anniversary. On this occasion, the General Assembly adopted a resolution reaffirming the faith in the UN and unfailing commitment to the purposes and principles of the Charter, as well as its entirety.
The resolution that was submitted by President of the General Assembly (GA) Mogens Lykketoft stipulates that the Charter enshrines the members' common values as human beings, which unite all in diversity beyond differences of language, culture or religion, today as 70 years ago. The resolution pays tribute to the founders of the United Nations and the dedicated men and women who have contributed their work, and sometimes their life, to the ideals of the UN, and acknowledges the crucial role that the Organization has played in the past seven decades in the fields of peace, security, human rights, social and economic development.
Recognizing the important role played by the organization in the promotion of economic and social development in the past decades, and in this regard, the resolution recognizes that eradicating poverty, in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. The members resolved to further the pursuit of global development and win-win cooperation through their full support to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Bearing in mind the ongoing process of United Nations reforms in all their aspects, the members solemnly pledge to continue cooperate with a strong, legitimate and credible UN. On this occasion, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that for 70 years, this groundbreaking and visionary act of statecraft has guided nations in the pursuit for peace, social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom. Seven decades after its founding, the blue flag of the United Nations remains a banner of hope for all humanity, he said.
"We have brought freedom to millions, dismantling colonialism, defeating apartheid and defending human rights for all, regardless of race, religion, nationality, gender or sexual orientation," he added. Commemorating this occasion, the President of the GA Lykketoft said that they have taken great and revolutionary decisions by approving the 17 goals for sustainable development. "Never before has the UN been so much in the forefront - underlining the existential importance for our children and grandchildren, of ambitious global action now," he added.
The UN system, he said, has played a vital role in preventing or containing many conflicts. World famous landmarks being part of the "Turn the World UN Blue" campaign include the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Russia's Hermitage Museum, the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, Edinburgh Castle and Westminster Hall in the United Kingdom, Table Mountain in South Africa, Japan's SkyTree Tower and the Alhambra in Spain, among many others.