October 24th marks United Nations Day.
Every year, the United Nations celebrates this day to mark the anniversary of its founding. This year, in Tehran, the event was commemorated on 22 October, at a ceremony jointly organized by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the UN, at the Iranian Centre for International Conferences.
More than 500 guests attended the celebration that included Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister, Dr. Seyed Abbas Araghchi, and Chair of the United Nations Development Group and Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, Ms. Helen Clark. Other participants included government officials, diplomatic ambassadors from over 70 countries, the UN’s key national partners, media, and other UN staff.
Mr. Gary Lewis, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative opened the event by welcoming guests. “The UN exists to make positive change possible: universal peace, security, regional and international cooperation, equality, self-determination, mutual respect, and fundamental freedoms. These are the purposes of the United Nations, as set down in our charter, said Mr. Lewis. “This Charter has, for 68 years, remained the living, beating heart of our organization.
Mr. Lewis said that Ms. Clark’s presence at the celebration “symbolized the energy and vision with which the United Nations wishes to support the Islamic Republic of Iran – one of our founding member states – at this crucial time in its history.”
In her opening remarks Ms. Clark praised Iran for its progress on human development. “Our 2013 Human Development Report ranked Iran among the ‘high human development’ countries in the Human Development Index (HDI) which measures progress on dimensions of health, education, and income, said Ms. Clark. “Since the index began, Iran has been among those making the fastest progress, with average annual HDI growth rates of around 1.3 percent, compared to the global average of around 0.69 percent,” she said.
In his speech, Mr. Araghchi emphasized the new administration’s goal to expand Iran’s relations with other countries and international organizations. “In this movement, which can guarantee peace, security, justice, development, and progress for everyone and promise to resolve all problems, we warmly press the hands of everyone who accompanies us,” he said.
The event included testimonials from four young people who spoke about how the work of the UN – in partnership with the Government of Iran – had changed their lives for the better.
During the ceremony a new UN Iran website was launched, it will serve as a common platform for information from all UN agencies in Iran. A short video clip highlighting the partnership between the UN and Iran was also screened at the event.
Following the event, participants were invited to visit an exhibition in which UN agencies in Iran had setup information stalls to answer questions and share their publications, to raise awareness about their work in Iran.