On 24 October, the United Nations (UN) and Greek flags will fly along-side each other on the Acropolis of Athens. Representatives of the United Nations, of the Hellenic Authorities and of the Region of Attica will gather in the cradle of democracy to watch the flag raising ceremony. The flag hoisting ceremony will be followed by a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Syntagma Square. The wreath will be laid by Gaetano Leone, the Head of the UN lead agency in Greece, UN Environment.
Celebrated every year on 24 October, UN Day marks the day on which the UN Charter entered into force in 1945. With the ratification of this founding document, the UN was officially formed.
The Preamble of the Charter lays out the UN's core aims: "We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war... to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small... and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom... do hereby establish an international organization to be known as the United Nations".
Greece is one of the 50 founding members of the UN. In 1945, Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Ioannis Sofianopoulos signed the charter on behalf of the Government, declaring that “Greece, which for no less than three and a half years with courage endured the sufferings of war…, hails today with joy this great historic event”.
In his official 2018 UN Day address, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, “United Nations Day marks the birthday of our founding Charter – the landmark document that embodies the hopes, dreams and aspirations of “we the peoples”. Every day, the women and men of the United Nations work to give practical meaning to that Charter. Despite the odds and the obstacles, we never give up. Extreme poverty is being reduced but we see inequality growing. Yet we don’t give up because we know by reducing inequality we increase hope and opportunity and peace around the world. Climate change is moving faster than we are, but we don’t give up because we know that climate action is the only path. Human rights are being violated in so many places. But we don’t give up because we know respect for human rights and human dignity is a basic condition for peace. Conflicts are multiplying - people are suffering. But we don’t give up because we know every man, woman and child deserves a life of peace. On United Nations Day, let us reaffirm our commitment. To repair broken trust. To heal our planet. To leave no one behind. To uphold dignity for one and all, as united nations.”