October 24

United Nations Day

Reflection

WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED

  • to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
  • to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
  • to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
  • to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

AND FOR THESE ENDS

  • to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors, and
  • to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and
  • to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and
  • to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples,

HAVE RESOLVED TO COMBINE OUR EFFORTS TO ACCOMPLISH THESE AIMS

Accordingly, our respective Governments, through representatives assembled in the city of San Francisco, who have exhibited their full powers found to be in good and due form, have agreed to the present Charter of the United Nations and do hereby establish an international organization to be known as the United Nations.
26 June 1945

Having just endured what was then the horrible experience of a world war; the leaders of nations came together and agreed to work with one another to fulfill the highest aspirations of the human community. Even though there have been many disappointments in the UN because of the inability of nations to release their self-interests and private alliances to work for the common good, there has also been much good accomplished through its many agencies. Viewing images of the UN General Assembly gathered in session, seeing the representatives of all nations together, can provide hope for what the possibilities would be if we could seriously try to build the “peaceable kingdom.”

Prayer

Through all who work for justice and peace may we build unity among ntaions.

Action

Reflect on the Preamble to the UN Charter written above. Remember that we are first of all human beings, then communities and nations. Consider that It is our common unity and underlying connectedness that should guide our actions.

Suggested Reading

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!
Psalm 133

Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.
Matthew 12:25

“Put away your sword,” Jesus told him. “Those who use the sword will die by the sword.”
Matthew 26:52

He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings.
Buddha

When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
Sri Chinmoy Ghose

You are the people who are shaping a better world.
Dalai Lama

Never before has humanity had such capacity to control its own environment, to end thirst and hunger, to conquer poverty and diseases, to banish illiteracy and massive human misery. We have the power to make this the best generation of humankind in the history of the world- or to make it the last.
John F. Kennedy

If the United Nations once admits that international disputes can be settled by using force, then we will have destroyed the foundation of the organization and our best hope of establishing a world order.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Everything will be all right – you know when? When people, just people, stop thinking of the United Nations as a weird Picasso abstraction and see it as a drawing they made themselves.
Dag Hammarskjold

In the 21st century, I believe the mission of the United Nations will be defined by a new, more profound awareness of the sanctity and dignity of every human life, regardless of race or religion.
Kofi Annan

Well, there’s been plenty of ultimatums, and one thing that we better be very clear is that we can’t continue to have the kind of defiance of the United Nations, the defiance of the international community that we’ve had.
Condoleezza Rice

The Western world has lost its civil courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, each government, each political party and of course in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling groups and the intellectual elite, causing an impression of loss of courage by the entire society.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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