UN Day: Celebrating the UN Charter while recalling existing challenges

PR No.: 14065

Every 24 October, UN Day is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the United Nations while recalling the immense challenges that remain pending on the international agenda. UNWTO, the only United Nations agency with its permanent headquarters in Spain, celebrated the occasion together with the 13 other UN entities in the country in an event hosted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, José Manuel García-Margallo. 

In his official message on the occasion of UN Day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underlined: “The United Nations is needed more than ever at this time of multiple crises. (…) At this critical moment, let us reaffirm our commitment to empowering the marginalized and vulnerable. On United Nations Day, I call on Governments and individuals to work in common cause for the common good.”

During the celebration at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, Minister José Manuel García-Margallo said: “Spain will continue to be committed to multilateralism, which means being committed to the UN.”

On behalf of the UN in Spain, the Secretary-General of UNWTO, Taleb Rifai, congratulated Spain for having been elected for a fifth time to serve as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and recalled that UN Day, aside from being a celebration, is “also a solemn reminder of the many challenges our world continues to face”. He added: “In today’s interconnected world, every local or regional conflict or crisis is a global concern, a global responsibility and people around the world are increasingly looking up to the UN for leadership, for answers, and for solutions.”

24 October marks the anniversary of the entry into force of the Charter of the United Nations in 1945.

Spain committed to the UN

As one of the major donors of the Organization, Spain's commitment is also embodied in the more than 130,000 Spanish troops who have participated in peacekeeping operations or the recent opening of the United Nations World Food Programme humanitarian depot in the Canary Islands.

Moreover, the Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund was created in 2007 thanks to a substantial contribution by Spain, supporting the fight against extreme poverty and promoting sustainable development worldwide. 

In hosting the headquarters of UNWTO, the UN Specialized Agency for tourism, in Madrid, Spain reinforces its leadership in the fields of tourism and highlights the value of the sector as a major contributor to economic and social development and the aims of the UN.

UN entities represented in Spain:

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), United Nations Support Base in Valencia (UNSB-V); United Nations Millennium Campaign in Spain; United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); United Nations University Institute; United Nations Support Office for the International Decade for Action “Water for Life” 2005-2015; United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA); United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); International Labour Organization (ILO); World Health Organization (WHO) - WHO Office for Health Systems Strengthening;  World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); The United Nations Global Compact (UNGC, LN Spain), United Nations World Food Programme  (WFP).


Useful links:

UN Day

Full speech by UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai (as prepared for delivery) 


UNWTO Senior Media Officer: Marcelo Risi

Tel.: (+34) 91 567 81 60


UNWTO Communications & Publications Programme

Tel.: (+34) 91 567 8100 +34 91 567 8218

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