Ban Ki-moon with Pablo Castro and Mary Steiner

UNA-SF President Pablo Castro and Director Mary Steiner with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in Palo Alto on UN 70th Charter Day, June 26, 2015.

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From the President:

UN 70th Charter Day

To all of those who have thoughts of a peaceful world you might be interested in an important date coming up in June 2015: the United Nations Charter Day. I know, you thought it was in October, but October 24th is UN Day.

In 1945 World War II was ending and a few world leaders had been working and meeting around the globe with the idea for a new entity that would unite all countries to work towards avoiding another war and to provide assistance, freedom, respect and equality for all.

In June 1945 a conference that would change the world took place in San Francisco. Fifty countries congregated in the City and conversed and discussed an agreement that created the United Nations. After studies and debates that lasted about a month, and included hundreds of delegates, advisors, NGOs, Colleges, Universities and hundreds more of volunteers, the UN Charter was signed.

San Francisco became the place to gather all conversations and dreams to create this ideal United Nations organization that eventually would have 193 member countries. Most meetings were held at some of our familiar places in the City including Herbst Theater in the War Memorial Building on Van Ness Avenue, and the Fairmont Hotel in Nob Hill. Delegates even traveled to Muir Woods in Marin County to pay tribute to U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who died only a couple of months before he would have signed the Charter. There is an historic Redwood Grove in Muir Woods with a plaque that commemorates FDR’s role as the chief architect of the United Nations.

Though the UN was created with intentions of avoiding another war, building peace and creating a union of respect around the world, the UN today has many additional essential roles including providing food for 90 million people, vaccinating 58% of the world children, disaster relief for 12 million people, assisting 30 million refugees, fighting poverty, promoting maternal health and much more. The UN also works on improving Human Rights, protecting millions with Peacekeepers 120,000 strong, and continuously strives for nuclear weapons disarmament, the advancement of democracy and much more. It appears that there is a difference from the original mission, but the needs for peacekeeping, peace building, human assistance and support are now essential.

Pablo CastroThis year marks the 70th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter. We invite you to celebrate with us, the United Nations Association San Francisco Chapter. Events start Thursday June 25th, with a walk in Muir Woods. On June 26th Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrives in San Francisco for a public reception at City Hall with Mayor Lee and members the Consular Corp. And on Saturday June 27th there is a grand all day event at Grace Cathedral. For more information, check the UN70th web site at www.UN70Charter.org. Volunteers are needed.

Pablo Castro


UNA San Francisco Chapter wishes to alert you to our ambitious UNA Voices of Humanity Initiative.