United Nations representatives in Spain celebrate UN Charter anniversary

PR No.: PR 16078

Officials of UN entities with representation in Spain as well as representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain and several member countries of the UN gathered at the headquarters of the World Tourism Organization in Madrid to commemorate the 71st anniversary of the ratification of the Charter of the United Nations, the organization’s foundational treaty, in 1945. 

United Nations Day has been celebrated annually on 24 October since 1948. It commemorates the entry into force of the Charter of the United Nations in 1945, which also represents the inception of the organization. On the occasion of this date, the United Nations family in Spain, consisting of 14 agencies, funds and programmes with a representation in the country, celebrated the 71st birthday of the UN Charter at the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the only UN agency with its permanent headquarters in Madrid.

“Humanity has entered the era of sustainability—with a global commitment to fulfil the great promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In this, the Organization’s 71st year, we have 17 goals to propel us towards a better future for all on a healthy planet,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his official message.

“Today it is important to celebrate the work that the United Nations has carried out over the past 71 years, the achievements and progress achieved, and to also recall the challenges we face. This year's celebration cannot come at a better time, because in less than three months we will begin the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, a unique opportunity to work together and move towards a sector that is responsible with the environment and heritage, both tangible and intangible,” said Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, in his speech.

During the ceremony, the Spanish Secretary of State for International Cooperation and Ibero-America, Jesus Gracia Aldaz, highlighted the role of the international community in the 2030 Agenda, to which Spain is committed, as well as the role of Spain as a non-permanent member of Security Council during the 2015-2016 biennium: “At the Security Council, we are advancing important issues such as the renewal of resolution 1540 on non-proliferation, judicial cooperation in the fight against terrorism, the effective implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda, combating human trafficking, and the protection of health care in conflicts.”

United Nations Day is celebrated globally with various commemorations worldwide. This year, the theme of the celebration focused on the specific actions that citizens can carry out to achieve compliance with the Sustainable Development Goals. The 17 goals were adopted by the United Nations in September 2015 as the basis of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the common roadmap for governments and civil society to achieve a more sustainable and equitable planet in the coming years.

Additional information:

The 14 agencies with representation in Spain are:

UNWTO - World Tourism Organization 

UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 

UN SDG Action Campaign

United Nations Support Base

FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization

UNRWA - United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

ILO - International Labour Organization

WHO - World Health Organization

IOM - International Organization for Migration

UN Habitat - United Nations Human Settlements Programme

WFP - World Food Programme

Global Compact Network Spain


UNU - United Nations University


United Nations Day



UNWTO Media Officer: Rut Gómez Sobrino

Tel: (+34) 91 567 81 60 rgomez@UNWTO.org

UNWTO Communications & Publications Programme

Tel: (+34) 91 567 8100 / Fax: +34 91 567 8218 / comm@UNWTO.org