United Nations Day


Poster for United Nations Day 1953In the spring of 1945, representatives of fifty nations gathered in San Francisco to put the final touches to a document of far-reaching consequences: the Charter of the United Nations. The UN Charter went into effect on 24 October 1945. Two years later, on 31 October 1947, the General Assembly adopted a USA-sponsored resolution declaring 24 October United Nations Day: "that October 24 shall hereafter be officially called United Nations  Day, and shall be devoted to making known to the people of the world  the aims and achievements of the United Nations, and to gaining their  support for the work of the United Nations".


Since 1947, United Nations Day has been observed in nations large and small around the world (poster 1953).


Banner for United Nations Day 2006In the United States, each President, beginning with Harry Truman, has issued a proclamation asking citizens to observe UN Day and to reflect upon the importance of the United Nations to the US national interest, as well as to each American individually. In 1961, President Kennedy appointed Robert S. Benjamin, Chairman of United Artists Corporation, as chairman of the U.S. Committee for the United Nations and as the first National UN Day Chairman. 


On this day the Secretary-General and the President of the General Assembly issue messages and a concert is held in the General Assembly Hall. In the Netherlands UN Day is celebrated with the "Night of the United Nations" in Amsterdam. Here debates, forums and performances take place. Also the Dutch youth representative to the General Assembly is chosen. The public gets a chance to discuss UN politics with the Minister for Development Cooperation, former UNHCR Ruud Lubbers and major political figures.


Former UNHCR Ruud Lubbers being interviewd at the Night of the United Nations 2006The first young person to go to the General Assembly was Queen Beatrix (then crown princess). Since 1971 the Netherlands have included a youth in the delegation. Some of these young people are now a member of parliament or have other high-ranking posts.


Iran - stamp United Nations DaySince the start of the United Nations stamps have been issued to commemorate the birthday of the organization.





Website of de Nacht van de VN (in Dutch).



Stamp catalogue - 1946


Austria                        25 June 1946



Stamp catalogue - 1959


Tunisia                        24 October 1959



Stamp catalogue - 1960


Tunisia                        24 October 1960



Stamp catalogue - 1961


Tunisia                        24 October 1961



Stamp catalogue - 1962


Tunisia                        24 October 1962



Stamp catalogue - 1963


Tunisia                        24 October 1963









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last revised: 5 July 2009