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74 years of the Charter of the united nations

October 24 1945 marked the formation of the United Nations through the entry of the Charter, signed by member states, including five permanent members of the Security Council. As it puts 74 years behind it and moves swiftly into its 75th year of being, the UN has announced it will be launching the largest ever global conversation around the role of global cooperation and in shaping the future that we want to see.

Running under the hashtag of #UN75, this year-long campaign will see topics such as climate change, technology ethics and impacts and new patterns of violence will all dominate the conversation as the UN will encourage us to work together to tackle the biggest challenges facing younger generations.

"United Nations Day highlights the enduring ideals of the Charter, which entered into force on this date 74 years ago. Amid stormy global seas, the Charter remains our shared moral anchor." — UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

And it is also The United Nations Charter, which "reaffirmed faith in fundamental human rights, and dignity and worth of the human person" and committed all member states to promote "universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion".

Three years later, the UN proclaimed "The Universal Declaration of Human Rights", which we at FairPlanet and so many others reflect, promote and try to defend everyday.

As always, we're here to spark debate, to encourage everyone to read more about current affairs and to engage in positive change where they can.

The good

the united nations is always growing, and with it global dialogue

74 years ago today, October 24, the UN was formed with 45 nations. Today, it is made up of 183 out of the 195 countries around the world. As part of its many global initiatives, the UN Peacekeeping forces comprise 116,919 field forces from 123 countries.

Despite the current political climate – which has arguably remained as complex, tense and sensitive as it was since the very founding of the UN – the growth of the United Nations and its acceptance and participation by so many of the world's nation-states is proof that there is a global willingness to work in tandem and to put our forces together for a united greater good.

Together, with the help of 184 countries, the UN provides food to 90 million people and vaccinations for 58 percent of the world’s children.

The bad

the un cannot always operate alone

For decades, the Saharawi people of Western Sahara have been pushing for independence from Morocco, which refuses to relinquish control of the region. Last December, another failed round of talks between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Algerian-backed Polisario Front has left Western Saharans under grave uncertainty regarding their future.

While the United Nations maintains its presence in the area through MINURSO (the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara), it fails to oversee the humanitarian situation in the region and curb the numerous human rights violations taking place there— including gross violation of freedom of expression, movement, assembly, and the right to fair trial and freedom from torture.

Western Sahara Action Forum (WSAF) is a nonprofit working to pressure the UN Security council to establish a human rights monitoring mechanism in Western Sahara alongside the renewal of the MINURSO mandate— until a free and fair referendum takes place to determine the future of the region’s residents.


Urge UN to monitor and prevent human rights violations in Western Sahara

by Yair Oded

WSAF pressure the United Nations to establish a human rights monitoring mechanism in Western Sahara until a fair referendum takes place.
International Women's Day

U.S. guts UN resolution on combating rape in conflict zones

by Yair Oded

Pressured by the U.S., the UN removes granting of services to survivors of sexual violence from its resolution on rape in conflict zones.
germany migration

Germany may pull out of the Global Compact for Migration

by Gurmeet Singh

Unlike many other nations which have also committed atrocities, Germany tries to understand its past.
charter UN book

A Show of Global Solidarity – The UN and Human Rights

by Yuval Shany

This week mark the 73rd anniversary of the UN Charter. How successful has the United Nations been since then implementing this charter?
Country focus

The central European nation of Belgium shares its borders with the Netherlands, Germany, France and Luxembourg. While only having a population of 11.5 million citizens, the former colonial power plays an important role in the European Union with its headquarters in the capital Brussels.

Like many other European countries, Belgium's liberal democracy is facing far-right, anti-immigrant, anti-Islam and anti-African sentiments and political disruption.

In 2019, the United Nations has told Belgium to apologise for its colonial past turning the Congo into a slave state ruled by Leopold II, for more than a century. The king’s brutal regime killed millions (estimates of deaths in that period range from 10 million to 15 million Africans), ruthlessly plundered the region rich in natural resources. Congolese men were punished by hacking off their children’s hands and feet if they failed to gather the monthly quota of rubber.

However, Generations of Belgian schoolchildren were told of Leopold’s “civilising” mission – a humanitarian king who abolished slavery, built roads and schools and introduced Christianity and democracy to Congo.

A UN working group said that racism suffered by those of African origin in Belgium could be traced back to the country’s failure to address its past.