October 24th marks United Nations (UN) Day. What does this mean? Seventy-six years ago, in 1945, fifty-one nations came together for the first time under the UN umbrella. Their goal was to collectively maintain world peace to prevent another tragic conflict like World War II. Today, 193 member states continue their efforts in seventeen focus areas, including gender equality, hunger, and education. UN Day is an opportunity to recognize the efforts of this historic organization and to contribute our own energy to help them fulfill their mission.
One of the UN’s most active initiatives is to stop the effects of climate change from getting any worse. They have published many research studies, organized countless events, and engaged world leaders in numerous discussions to achieve this goal. The International Day of Climate Action also happens to fall on October 24th, meaning that we can combine the forces of these days for even greater impact.
Climate action and international cooperation go hand-in-hand. Since the defining moments of the 1940s, countries have grappled with, reinterpreted, and redefined many of their foundational principles in the modern age. These past two years have especially demanded countries to adapt their international policies in a worldwide effort to fight COVID-19. Meanwhile, the environmental issues caused by human activity have become more and more pressing.
Given this, the theme for UN Day 2021 is “Creating a Blueprint for a Better Future.” This theme recognizes that in many ways, we will have to start drafting our solutions from scratch. It also recognizes that humankind has a collective future that can be either bright or dim, depending on whether we will treat our environment and each other with respect.
To honor these two special days, we have provided a few resources and tips below. Thank you for doing your part!
- Learn more about the history of climate change mobilization, including scientists like Guy Callendar, key political actors like Al Gore, and modern-day advocates like Greta Thunberg. There are countless articles, books, and documentaries to peruse according to your preferences.
- Stay up to date on the UN’s climate action efforts. Follow them on social media for more frequent updates.
- More events and opportunities to get involved in UN Day 2021 can be found on the United Nations Association of the United States of America website. You can hear from Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, participate in a call-in challenge, or attend one of several events across the country organized by campus and community chapters.
- If you would like to get involved with local, hands-on efforts to combat climate change, read our recent article for specific suggestions, such as organic food drives and beach cleanups.
- You might also consider learning from an indigenous community at a sustainable farm or installing green energy sources (such as solar panels) in your own home.