From Australia to Azerbaijan, Indonesia to Iraq, Saudi Arabia to South Sudan, some 300 sites around the world were lit in ‘UN blue’ on Friday 23 October as part of the global celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations.
The celebration kicked off in New Zealand and from there a wave of blue – the official colour of the UN – moved across countries and continents as monuments around the world took part in the event to commemorate UN Day.
The UN headquarters in New York was lit up for two nights, beginning 23 October when the annual UN Day concert will be held, and concluding on 24 October, which has been celebrated as UN Day since 1948.
The Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the Organization officially came into being.
“The timeless values of the UN Charter must remain our guide. Our shared duty is to ‘unite our strength’ to serve ‘we the peoples,’” secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said in his message for the Day.
“To mark this anniversary, monuments and buildings across the world are being illuminated in UN blue. As we shine a light on this milestone anniversary, let us reaffirm our commitment to a better and brighter future for all.”
Among the famous landmarks taking part in the ‘Turn the World UN Blue’ campaign were the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, the Great Wall of China, Russia’s Hermitage Museum, and the ancient city of Petra in Jordan.
Five iconic landmarks in the UAE were among those lit up, namely Etihad Towers, Qasr Al Hosn, Mubadala (Almamoora), Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium and the Abu Dhabi Global Market Building. In Bahrain, the University of Bahrain’s Central Library Premises and the Bu Maher Fort were part of the celebration.
Photo: Office of UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Jordan/Chris Herwig