United Nations Day, 24 October, marks the anniversary of the 1945 entry into force of the United Nations Charter. “The landmark document that embodies the hopes, dreams and aspirations of ‘we the peoples’,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
On UN Day we celebrate our hopes, achievements, and reflect on challenges. We also reaffirm our commitment, in the words of Secretary-General Gutters, to “never give up.” The 2030 Agenda captures the complexity and urgency of the challenges ahead of us all, and across the UN we believe that working together is key. In addition to incredible partners: Governments, the Private Sector, Entrepreneurs, Academia and Civil Society, we work with each other.
The UN system may seem big and complex, but we are a family. By working together, each brings in their respective strengths, lessons learned and pulls in resources to drive better results and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Together we overcome the odds and obstacles.
Today, we at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) join the Secretary-General to reaffirm our commitment:
“To repair broken trust”
Bubuaisha Kurbanova and Nodira Avezova have lived near each other for two decades, yet on two sides of the border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. They would often meet and chat, but things had changed in 2014 when the communities were affected by conflict. In 2015, UNDP, UN Women, the World Food Programme (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched the “Cross-border Cooperation Project for Sustainable Peace and Development.” Kurbanova and Avezova joined other women community mobilizers to strengthen their skills in conflict prevention, negotiation and peacebuilding.
In Kenya, when Abdia Gole decided to run for office, she was disproved by The Council of Elders. She is one of the participants in the “Strengthening Electoral Processes,” a joint project by UNDP, UN Women and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), in support of women aspiring to run for office, for credible and peaceful elections.
“To heal our planet”
REDD+ is a partnership between UNDP, FAO and UN Environment (UNEP) to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. The Amarakaeri Communal Reserve in the Amazon, commonly known as “the Lungs of the Planet,” is home for over 1,700 indigenous people. As part of the programme, they carry out Peru’s most ambitious local mitigation, adaptation and conservation plan. Alongside national rangers, they are the guardians of the Amazon. In its fourth year of implementation, the initiative has expanded to work with 390 indigenous communities in the Amazon basin.
In 2017, the Caribbean islands were stuck by colossal storms, Irma and Maria. Barbuda and Dominica were decimated — homes disappeared, forests and crops were reduced to dust. UNDP in Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda coordinated the UN recovery efforts, working with national officials, other UN agencies and the affected communities. Recovery efforts took place around the clock, rebuilding the economic, social and environmental, together.
“To leave no one behind”
In Mexico, around 144,000 girls and boys under the age of six have some disability. With early-stage diagnosis children with disabilities can reach their full potential in adulthood, by detecting potential development challenges and/or disabilities. Across the country, children’s day care centers were now joined by staff trained to detect these early warning signs. UNDP leads the project with the Government, PAHO/WHO and UNICEF, with the UN Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD).
In Liberia, bees and communities help each other lead a life. Income generating opportunities are scarce for the few hundred residents of Meinpea Mah, near the Guinea-Liberia border, while the declining bee population threatens eco-systems. UNDP, FAO and the nonprofit Green Grow partnered to introduce the parties. They have provided the group with hives, beekeeping and business training, in support of their livelihood and community.
“To uphold dignity for one and all, as united nations”
In Arequipa, Peru, recyclers move away from the shadows, united to clean the city. Experiencing extreme poverty, for years they have been working under the radar, seeking items to make a living, risking to their well-being. UNDP, UNEP and UN Volunteers (UNV) together with the Environment Ministry and the Municipality partnered to address the mounting trash while supporting the livelihood of the now official recyclers. Armed with uniform and a smile, they collect the items directly from individuals and businesses to give the trash a second life as an upcycled items.
In Palestine, Women, survivors of Gender Based Violence (GBV), can find all necessary services in one place while protecting their privacy. The One Stop Centre in Ramallah is part of a joint UNDP, UN Women and UNICEF programme. The 24-hour facility provides a comprehensive in-house list of services including medical, psycho-social support, legal aid, temporary shelter and police protection. Through these centres, survivors receive immediate assistance, continued rehabilitation and are empowered to lead a life free from harm.