Statement by ICLEI Secretary General Gino Van Begin On the 75th Anniversary of the Charter of the United Nations

The Charter of the United Nations was opened for signature on 26 June 1945 and entered into force on 24 October 1945. Since then, 26 June and 24 October are observed as UN Charter Day and UN Day respectively. Since its establishment in 1990, ICLEI has been actively engaged in connecting local sustainability efforts to the work of the UN, in particular through the legacy of the Earth Summit in 1992 which introduced the concept of sustainability.

During its 75th Anniversary year, the United Nations has launched a number of awareness campaigns and an online survey. In addition to activities on these observance days, a special virtual ceremony is scheduled on 21 September 2020 during the UN General Assembly.

Outcomes of the campaign and interactions will be reported by the UN Secretary General to the UN General Assembly in 2021.

Read more about on ICLEI´s engagement in global advocacy.


The following is a statement by ICLEI Secretary General Gino Van Begin on the 75th Anniversary of the Charter of the United Nations, which was signed on the 26 June 1945:

The 75th anniversary of the signing of the Charter of the United Nations is celebrated in the shadow of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Over these 75 years, the United Nations faced many challenges and breakthroughs. The most eminent one was in the early 1990s when the polarized world of the Cold War ended and globalization rapidly developed, with both its opportunities and challenges. A second major breakthrough was in 2015-2016 when the United Nations agreed on a number of top deals in relation to securing a sustainable development of our planet.

The post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery process is likely to be the third important moment for the UN to show its ability to unite the People, with the Places and Planet they live in.

ICLEI was founded 30 years ago under the roof of the United Nations Headquarters in New York City and has since turned into the world´s leading global network connecting thousands of local and regional governments to lead and accelerate global efforts on sustainability.

Building upon our engagement, partnership and achievements with various UN institutions, ICLEI remains committed to support and enhance the United Nations governance system and embrace the principles of multilateralism; practice multilevel and collaborative governance; acknowledge values and limits of the Earth´s ecosystem; and deploy social and technological innovation through the opportunities of the urban world of the 21st Century.
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