27 June 2005
UNIS Vienna Commemorates 60th Anniversary of Signing of United Nations Charter
VIENNA, 27 June (UN Information Service) -- We the Peoples is the theme of a series of events being organized by the United Nations across the globe, to mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter on 26 June 1945. On this occasion, the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna held a ceremony in the Rotunda of the Vienna International Centre (VIC) today.
University and school students gathered at the VIC at the invitation of UNIS Vienna to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Charter. Welcoming the large crowd, Nasra Hassan, Director, UNIS Vienna, stated: “It is wonderful that so many young people are here today. You are the future of the United Nations.” She urged the students to familiarize themselves with the ideals and principles of the Charter, and to be aware of it as both a framework for Member States, and as a promise to the world’s peoples.
Dressed in their national costumes, tour guides of the UNIS Visitors Service in Vienna read segments from the Preamble to the Charter in the six official languages of the United Nations: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
The reading was followed by four students of a bilingual class of the Institut Sacre Coeur, a secondary school in Vienna, who performed a short piece on the United Nations, written by themselves. These four young girls – Elisabeth Boeck, Alisa Gusterer, Katharina Ladstaetter and Katharina Zawodsky -- enacted the past, present and future of the United Nations, from the dreams that the founders of the Organization had in 1945, to the progress achieved since by the United Nations, to the commitment of world leaders to realize those dreams by fulfilling the objectives of the Millennium Declaration and achieving the Millennium Development Goals by the year 2015. Their piece was built around the following:
“In 1945, you had a dream that we can live together in peace and freedom…there are many UN projects all over the world: projects for peacekeeping and disarmament…in 2005, we have a dream that no child will be killed by landmines anymore…by the year 2015, we will meet this goal….In 1945, you had a dream of human rights for all…there are many UN projects all over the world: projects for human rights and refugees, projects against child labour and child soldiers…in 2005 we have a dream that child labour will no longer be necessary because we have realized that humans are more important than economic exploitation… by the year 2015 we will meet this goal….In 1945 you had a dream of equal rights of men and women and children…there are many UN projects all over the world: projects for primary education for all and projects for women’s basic rights…in 2005 we have a dream that all children have the chance to go to school… by the year 2015 we will meet this goal…. In 1945 you had a dream of social progress… there are many UN projects all over the world: projects against worldwide poverty and drugs…in 2005 we have a dream that no child will suffer from hunger anymore… by the year 2015 we will meet this goal…. In 1945 you had a dream of better standards of life… there are many UN projects all over the world: projects against HIV/AIDS and other major diseases and projects for conservation of the environment… in 2005 we have a dream of safe drinking water for all… by the year 2015 we will meet this goal…. We have a dream that our world is a good home for all of us.”
The ceremony was opened and closed by the VIC Choir, which performed the “Song for Peace” and “Ode to Joy”. The choir was accompanied on the piano and by two soloists.
The event was attended by members of permanent missions, staff of the VIC-based organizations, NGO representatives, and the media, as well as a representative of the Mayor’s office of the City of Vienna, which hosts one of the four headquarters of the United Nations Secretariat.
“We the Peoples” are the first words of the preamble of the Charter, which is the constituting instrument of the United Nations. In 1945, representatives of 50 countries met in San Francisco, United States, at the United Nations Conference on International Organization to draw up the United Nations Charter. Those delegates deliberated on the basis of proposals worked out by the representatives of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States, at Dumbarton Oaks, United States, from August to October 1944. The Charter was signed on 26 June 1945 by representatives of the 50 countries.
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