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Staff and their families from the UNFPA and other United Nations agencies and offices promoted the important role and work of the UN at this year’s annual UN Day event at the international organisation’s headquarters in Yangon on 27 October 2014.

This year marked the 69th anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the Charter of the United Nations. The UN Day been commemorated since 1948 and was held globally this year on 24 October. This year’s theme was “Global Citizenship and Youth.” Myanmar became the 58th member state of the United Nations on 19 April, 1948. 

Ms. Renata Lok-Dessallien, United Nations Resident Coordinator to Myanmar (UNRC) opened the commemoration by highlighting the continued need for the United Nations some 69 years’ after its founding. “Each UN Day is an opportunity to reflect on the essence of what the United Nations is and why it was created. The UN is a vast organization and inter-governmental body tasked with an immense range of mandates and missions, from containing the proliferation of nuclear arms to maternal health and child care,” she said. “Behind all the various strands of the UN lies the essence of our organization and why we were created and the pursuit of peace.” 


Ms. Janet Jackson, UNFPA Myanmar Representative echoed the UN Day message of the UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon who said that the founding of the United Nations “was a solemn pledge to the world’s people to end such assaults on human dignity, and lead the way to a better future. There have been painful setbacks, and there is much work ahead to realize the Charter’s vision. But we can take heart from our achievements.” Ms. Jackson said that “In Myanmar we, the UN as a whole are working closely with the Government and the people of Myanmar to assist the country’s with its on-going transformation process. As a UN in Myanmar, we are ever inspired by the country's once Secretary General U Thant's vision for humanity, especially his wish that the world would listen more attentively to the concerned voice of youth. This is critical at this juncture in Myanmar." 

Wearing an array of colourful national costumes symbolizing ethnic groups from across Myanmar, a group of children opened the UN Day celebrations by singing along to the well-known 1985 charity song “We Are the World.” After the official part of the programme was over the children released white and blue balloons into the air. Various UN agencies had prepared activities including information booths, food stalls, photo exhibits, interactive quizzes, games and competitions for the staff. 

Myanmar officially marked the 69th UN day with a high-level commemoration ceremony held in Nay Pyi Taw, the nation’s capital presided over by H.E. Dr. Sai Mauk Khan, Vice President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and attended by senior representatives from all the United Nations agencies based in the country, including senior government officials, international diplomats and the media. At the event the participants viewed a photo exhibition which showcased the work carried out by various UN agencies. UNFPA contributed with images illustrating a time line of the country’s recent census, its first in over three decades.