This Monday, the 19 agencies that make up the United Nations’ family in Albania, in cooperation with the Government and several municipalities, will kick off United Nations Week. This year’s edition forms part of the International Culture Weeks as part of Albania Welcomes the World.
United Nations Day, which is celebrated every 24 October, marks the date in 1945 when the UN Charter entered into force. It offers the opportunity to reaffirm the fundamental purposes and principles that have guided us ever since.
There is a growing urgency to remember these values, which also underpin the UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ landmark report, Our Common Agenda, launched last year.
The Secretary-General drew attention to six divides that challenge our times. Together, we must address the peace divide by investing in prevention and peacekeeping; the climate divide, by mitigating climate change and meeting concrete emission-reduction targets; the gap between rich and poor, within and between countries; the gender divide, addressing persistent inequalities between women and men; the digital divide, ensuring that everyone benefits, and that data is safe; and the divide between generations, including stronger engagement with our young people as inheritors of the results of our decisions, and make sure they are part of decision-making.
In his powerful speech to the UN General Assembly this September, the Secretary-General continued to raise the alarm: ‘Let’s have no illusions. We are in rough seas. A winter of global discontent is on the horizon. A cost-of-living crisis is raging. Trust is crumbling. Inequalities are exploding. Our planet is burning. People are hurting – with the most vulnerable suffering the most. The United Nations Charter and the ideals it represents are in jeopardy. We have a duty to act.’
As an elected member of the UN Security Council, Albania has earned global recognition for its contributions to the global peace and security agenda. This United Nations Week gives us an opportunity to remember the importance of the values etched into the UN charter, and how relevant they remain today, in securing human rights, peace, and sustainable development. Together with our Albanian partners we will echo the values that Albania brings to the global stage.
During this week we will highlight the work being undertaken by the UN in Albania in partnership with the Government on a whole range of issues: migration, health and wellbeing, food and agriculture, environment, education and employment, social protection, gender equality and culture. These efforts all form part of the country’s commitment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals – 17 interlocking, transformative and truly global targets adopted by the international community in 2015 and meant to be reached by 2030.
In concrete terms here in Albania, the goals are the core of the 2022-2026 plan drawn up by the UN and the Government, known as the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework. Together with the Government, the UN is committed to assist Albanians in hitting these goals to improve everyone’s lives. They are also inextricably linked to Albania’s EU integration agenda.
On United Nations Day, in the very heart of Tirana at the Skanderbeg Square, we will unveil the large-scale ‘We the Peoples’ outdoor exhibition, referencing the opening words of the UN Charter. To demonstrate the importance of inclusion and leaving no one behind on the road to sustainable development, we will showcase a unique work by a young Albanian artist, made up of 999 portraits from all over Albania–people from all age groups, origins, religious faiths, gender, and sexual orientation.
This year, Albania really has underscored its commitment to advancing the work of the entire United Nations, at home and beyond. On this United Nations Day, let us celebrate the global values that bring us together, with a pledge to accelerate actions to bring peace and a sustainable future for all.
For more details on the United Nations Week follow this link: https://albania.un.org/en/188356-united-nations-week-2022
By Ms. Fiona McCluney, UN Resident Coordinator in Albania