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UN Day commemorated with calls for more reforms

Oct 26, 2011, 1:16 PM

The United Nations System in The Gambia Monday joined various UN offices and missions around the world to mark the 66th anniversary of the United Nations, widely known as UN Day.

In 1947, the United Nations General Assembly declared 24 October the anniversary of the Charter of the United Nations, as a day which “shall be devoted to making known to the peoples of the world the aims and achievements of the United Nations and to gaining their support for its work”.

The day, commemorated in the form of a cocktail reception, held at the Ocean Bay hotel in Cape Point, brought together officials of the United Nations System in The Gambia, senior government officials, among others.

In a statement read on his behalf by Ms Chinwe M. Dike, UN resident coordinator in The Gambia, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said, days from now, the human family will welcome its seven billionth member.

“Some say our planet is too crowded. I say we are seven billion strong. The world has made remarkable progress since the United Nations was born 66 years ago today. We are living longer. More of our children survive. More and more of us live at peace, under democratic rule of law,” he added.

According to the UN boss, as we have seen in this dramatic year, people everywhere are standing up for their rights and human freedoms and yet … all this progress is under threat; from economic crisis; rising joblessness, inequality and climate change.

He stated that around the world, too many people live in fear and too many people believe their governments and the global economy can no longer deliver for them.

“In these turbulent times, there is only one answer: unity of purpose. Global problems demand global solutions. They compel all nations to unite in action on an agenda for the world’s people,” he said.

He added that this was the very mission of the United Nations.

“To build a better world; to leave no one behind and to stand for the poorest and most vulnerable in the name of global peace and social justice,” he noted.

He called on everyone on this special day to recognize that never has the United Nations been so needed.

“In our increasingly interconnected world, we all have something to give and something to gain by working together.  Let us unite, seven billion strong, in the name of the global common good,” he stated further.

Lamin Kaba Bajo, the minister of Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly Matters, who deputized the minister of Foreign Affairs, said as we commemorate another United Nations day today, we are also celebrating life and humanity.

“We will soon be living a world of 7 billion people, which is significant. This number should remind us of the increased responsibility each of us has towards one another as we are constantly faced with new global challenges, which require that we close ranks in a continually globalizing world,” Bajo said.

According to him, we need to combine our efforts at all levels to make sure that the 7 billion people not only survive but live fulfilling lives by providing them with standard living conditions, the dignity of decent work and decent remunerations, the guarantee of their political and social rights and a safe and secure environment.

He stated that freedom from fear and freedom from want should be our primary objectives in our quest for human development, as our numbers grow.

Noting that the efforts of the UN during the past 66 years are laudable, its achievement towards human development is great and that a great deal has been achieved, Bajo opined that there is more to be done with the necessary reforms, particularly of the Security Council.

For him, the UN will be in a position to achieve greater tests, especially in the quest for global peace and security.

Bajo also reiterated the Gambia governmen’s continued support and goodwill to the United Nations System, while expressing government’s willingness to strengthen its relations for the achievement of both national, international and global objectives.