October 24th is one of the most important milestones in the history of the United Nations as it marks the entry into force in 1945 of the Foundational Charter. The celebration of United Nations Day took place this year in the Retiro Park in Madrid and was co-organized by the representation of the UN system in Spain, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Spain and the Madrid City Council.

The meeting to celebrate the United Nations Day in Spain brought together around 200 assistants from civil society organizations as well as diplomatic delegations. The date of October 24th is one of the key milestones in the history of the entity, since it marks the beginning of its operations 72 years ago.

“Today, the United Nations agencies are sharing our achievements with societies around the world, but also our concerns and requirements to continue building a better world together”, said Taleb Rifai, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) general secretary. The only one of the 15 agencies of the system that is based in Spain.

The meeting was focused on emphasizing the relevance of this date, as well as reflecting on the achievements and challenges of the bodies that make up the system and bring their work closer to the societies of the entire planet..

On behalf of the Global Compact, her general manager, Isabel Garro, , different members of the Office, as well as the following representatives of the committee attended: Calidad Pascual, Endesa, Grupo Antolín and Repsol.

The United Nations Day is a unique opportunity to remember the mission that each of us individually and collectively, and to the extent of its capabilities, has: to make the world a better place. Today, the principles of the Charter of the United Nations – social progress, peace and human rights – are more alive than ever and also guide the Roadmap of all those who try to contribute each day to the 2030 Agenda and the 17 Development Goals Sustainable”, says Taleb Rifai, secretary general of the World Tourism Organization, the only agency in the system based in Spain. Secretary Rifai acts as dean of international organizations in Spain.

“The 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals constitute the best road map to face the challenges we face today and strengthen cooperation among the various agencies of the system, as well as with civil society organizations and the private sector”, Rifai said.

At the United Nations Day message, Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General,  commented that “the problems of the world transcend frontiers. We must transcend our differences to transform our future. Achieving human rights and human dignity for all will allow us to build a peaceful, sustainable and just world. On this United Nations Day, we, the people, join forces to realize this ideal”.

Guterres added: “our world faces an infinity of serious challenges. The increase of conflicts and inequality. Extreme weather and lethal intolerance. Threats to security, especially nuclear weapons. We have the necessary tools and wealth to overcome these challenges. All we need is the willingness to do it”.

The event concluded with the performance of the Joaquín Turina´s orchestra and the soprano Pilar Jurado.

Fourteen organizations of the United Nations system are represented in Spain: