Sustainable development goals in focus at the 70th United Nations anniversary celebrations

UN/Cia Pak

Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, with Belarus Government officials and WHO partners, today launched in Minsk the UN70 Belarus Express for SDGs campaign. A special train will travel across Belarus for a week promoting the sustainable development goals (SDGs). In her address, Dr Jakab emphasized the place of public health issues in the new global agenda for sustainable development. 

The Express for SDGs campaign is one of the activities and events taking place in countries and communities around the world to mark the 70th anniversary of the United Nations (UN) on 24 October. 

The train will leave Minsk after a "peace tree" planting ceremony in Lošycki Park. Film screenings and workshops on the SDGs will be held on the train. Concerts by international groups, exhibitions, talk shows, street theatre and site visits are among the many activities scheduled in 8 cities along the route.

70 years since the UN Charter came into force

The UN celebrates its 70th anniversary on 24 October 2015. On this day in 1945, the UN Charter entered into force after ratification by 51 countries. Today, the UN comprises 193 Member States and has become the world's only truly global organization. 

For seven decades, the family of UN agencies has been engaged in a vast array of work that touches on every aspect of people's lives around the world, helping to tackle issues that cannot be resolved by any one country alone: child survival and development, human rights, health and well-being, environmental protection, alleviation of poverty, economic development, agricultural development, fisheries, education, family planning, emergency and disaster relief, peaceful uses of atomic energy, labour and workers' rights, and much more.

Sustainable development goals: a new global agenda

In September 2015, to advance the goals of the UN Charter adopted 70 years ago, the Member States agreed on a new agenda for sustainable development, with a set of bold new SDGs, comprising 17 goals and 169 targets to wipe out poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change over the next 15 years.

Global celebrations of UN Day

From Australia to Azerbaijan, Indonesia to Iraq, Saudi Arabia to South Sudan, some 250 sites around the world will be lit up in "UN blue" from next Friday as part of the global celebrations of the 70th anniversary.

The celebration will kick off in New Zealand, and from there a wave of blue – the official colour of the UN – will move across countries and continents as monuments around the world are lit up as part of events to commemorate UN Day.