Today the United Nations (UN) in Lesotho commemorates UN Day marking 75 years since the UN Charter was ratified, on the 24th October 1945.
The UN is marking its 75th anniversary at a time of great disruption for the world, compounded by an unprecedented global health crisis with severe economic and social impacts. The UN Secretary-General launched a global UN75 dialogue initiative, and discussions have taken place in all settings, from classrooms to boardrooms, across the world. In order to reach as many people as possible and in light of Covid-19 pandemic challenges, the campaign has placed a stronger emphasis on online engagement through virtual dialogues and social media to listen to the public, especially the young people.
Over the course of 2020, the UN gathered public perspectives on global challenges and solutions on how to tackle them through a one-minute survey and dialogues. From that the UN in Lesotho gathered over 2400 voices mainly from young people. Further reaching out to youth, an online essay competition was also launched in June 2020 in partnership with the European Union, where Basotho youth from the ages of 15-35 could submit essays between 1000 – 1500 words on the world they want to create by 2045. Findings from the UN75 dialogue may inspire new programmes, investments, partnerships and campaigns, among other options.
Today will be celebrated with activities including a ‘Çlean-up Campaign’ by UN staff and a Model UN Debate by young people with the announcement of the UN75 essay competition winners.
The ‘Çlean-up Campaign’ is inspired by the Government of Lesotho’s initiative to undertake monthly clean up events across the country with the aim of keeping Lesotho clean.
The Model UN Debate will be conducted by teams of Basotho students representing Member States in a special seating of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Under the theme: "The Future We Want, the UN We Need", the youths will reflect on the past 75 years of the UN, consider current events, and reimagine the future of the UN and international cooperation to tackle today's global challenges and create a more sustainable and just future for all.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the world and turned from a health crisis to the most severe socio-economic crisis in almost 100 years … The United Nations in Lesotho stands together with the Kingdom of Lesotho to Build Back Better. To develop strong social safety systems to ensure that all Basotho have access to decent health and education and that nobody falls through the cracks. And to create a Lesotho that is green, equal and fair”, stated UN Resident Coordinator, Mr Salvator Niyonzima.
Ms. Russell Reitumetse
Associate Development Coordinator, Programme Communications & Advocacy