Happy UN Day 2013! Do you ♥ the UN?

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Celebrated on 24 October each year, UN Day - the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter - provides a moment to consider the unique role this global organisation has played over the last 68 years.

This year, UNA-UK is commemorating UN Day in a number of ways.

Looking ahead to future challenges facing the Organisation, we will be launching our new publication, Global Development Goals: Leaving No one behind, at an event for policy makers, development experts and members of the diplomatic community in London. At the event, we will honour a UK citizen who has made an outstanding contribution to the work of the UN with our Sir Brian Urquhart Award. Watch this space to find out who this year’s recipient is.

UN Day also marks the release of our special double issue of New World, our flagship magazine, which is accompanied this year by a campaign to increase support for the UN in the UK through UNA-UK membership.

In the magazine, we make a bold and simple claim: “I ♥ the UN”. Is this expression a little too simplistic? Perhaps. The truth is that people in the UK, even those who are already members of UNA-UK, have a complex intellectual and emotional relationship with the UN. At UNA-UK, we are under no illusions about the UN's limitations and shortcomings. Indeed, our UN Day article is entitled: Flawed but indispensable.

However, we feel that sometimes it is necessary for us to say unequivocally that we believe an effective UN is necessary to solve the inter-connected challenges facing the world. We ♥ the UN because it alone has the reach, remit and legitimacy to tackle these issues.  We ♥ the UN because it has the potential to go beyond the short-termism of domestic politics. We ♥ the dogged tenacity with which it approaches seemingly intractable problems, year after year. We ♥ the role it has played in improving the lives of millions of people around the world, including in this country.

For this reason, we decided to ask people to show their support for the United Nations by joining UNA-UK, the people’s movement for the UN. Membership is now available from just £1 per month and joining is quick and simple to do. If you’re already a member, why not give gift membership to someone you know who cares about global issues?

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's message for UN Day 2013 states: in a world that is more connected, we must be more united. So whether you’re just curious about the United Nations or a longstanding member, make joining UNA-UK or giving gift membership your action for UN Day.

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