On Saturday, October 26, 2002, the International College celebrated United Nations Day, in conjunction with the University’s Open House that was also taking place that day. Prospective students and their families, as well as the students, professors, and faculty of UB who volunteered to assist with the Open House gathered at around 9 am in the Social Room of the Student Center. At around 10:30 am, all the participants of the Open House welcomed the President of the University, President Neil Albert Salonen, and in his opening remarks he extended his warmest welcome to everyone who was visiting the University.
After his remarks, he invited Dr. Thomas Ward, the Dean of the International College and Vice President of the University to commence the ceremonies for United Nations Day. Dr. Ward commented on the University’s strong ties with the United Nations, ranging from former Professors who were once Presidents of the General Assembly to students who are now employed at the United Nations. He also read a letter of gratitude sent by the Permanent Representative from Nepal, who thanked the University for never failing to commemorate United Nations Day on our campus. The commemoration ended with the cutting of a cake that was decorated with the flag of the United Nations, and this was done by President and Mrs. Salonen, Dr. Ward, and five student representatives of the International College.
Some History on the United Nations: The name “United Nations” was devised by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt and was first used in the “Declaration by United Nations” of January 1, 1942, during the Second World War, when representatives of 26 nations pledged their Governments to continue fighting together against the Axis Powers.
The United Nations Charter was drawn up by the representatives of 50 countries at the United Nations Conference on International Organization, which met at San Francisco from April 25 to June 26, 1945. Those delegates deliberated on the basis of proposals worked out by the representatives of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States at Dumbarton Oaks (Washington, D.C.) in August-October of 1944. The Charter was signed on June 26, 1945 by the representatives of the 50 countries. Poland, which was not represented at the Conference, signed it later and became one of the original 51 Member States.
The United Nations officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, when the Charter had been ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and by a majority of other signatories. United Nations Day is celebrated on 24 October each year.
Report by Jimi Baughman