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Global event to turn world ‘UN blue’ to mark 70th anniversary

Tuesday, Oct 20, 2015,11:12 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

United Nations | 200 iconic monuments and buildings around the world, from Australia’s Sydney Opera House to the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt will be lit up blue the official colour of the UN as part of a global campaign to mark the 70th anniversary of the world body. 

This is an initiative led by the UN Department of Public Information and has had tremendous support from governments, cities, mayors, and locally in many countries from information centres, to ensure this collaborative public awareness of the UN Day, Under-Secretary-General for Public Information, Cristina Gallach said. Gallach said iconic landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House, the Great Pyramids, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro and the Empire State Building in the city will be lit blue to mark the UN Day on October 24. Other sites will include Russia’s Hermitage Museum, the ancient city of Petra in Jordan, the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, Edinburgh Castle and Westminster Hall in the UK, Table Mountain in South Africa, Japan’s SkyTree Tower and the Alhambra in Spain, among many others.
However, there is no Indian monument in the list of the 200 global iconic buildings that will be tiring blue to mark the day. I am grateful our Member States are showing such strong enthusiasm in marking 70 years of UN support for peace, development and human rights, UN Secretary-General Ban said. By turning the world UN Blue for a day, we can light the way to a better tomorrow, he added.
The global celebration will kick off in New Zealand and then Australia with the lighting of the Sydney Opera House at dusk, and from there, a wave of UN blue will move across countries and continents as monuments around the world take part in the international event. UN Headquarters in New York will light up for two nights, beginning on Friday when the annual UN Day concert will be held.
October 24 has been celebrated as UN Day since 1948. In 1971, the United Nations General Assembly recommended that the day be observed by member states as a public holiday. The year 2015 has been a busy year for the UN, with the launch of the new Sustainable Development Goals a set of 17 ambitious social, economic and environmental targets, which all 193 members of the United Nations have agreed to meet by the year 2030. Later this week, Ban and President of the General Assembly Mogens Lykketoft will attend the unveiling of a new art installation in Central Park dedicated to the UN.
The 70 life-size figures representing the 70 years of the Organisation joined hand in hand around a huge globe are designed to represent a human chain of global citizens, joined in solidarity, tolerance, respect for nature and shared responsibility.