Portugal celebrated the 69th anniversary of the United Nations in Lisbon on the 24 October. Co-hosted by the Municipality of Lisbon, the event, which was the first of its kind in the country, was organized by the United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe and the UN entities in Portugal - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Labour Organization (ILO), International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI).
The event aimed to raise awareness of the work of the United Nations and increase the visibility of the residing UN entities and their activities in Portugal by organizing a high level ceremony the Municipality of Lisbon, a photography exhibition on the history and areas of work of the United Nations and information desks of each UN entity.
During the opening ceremony, the chief of staff of the Minister of Foreign Affairs addressed the audience on behalf of the Minister and Councilor Carlos Manuel Castro spoke on behalf of the Municipality of Lisbon, both highlighting the role of Portugal in the United Nations and the importance of the presence of the UN offices in Lisbon. A keynote speech was delivered by Professor Diogo Freitas do Amaral who was President of the UN General Assembly in 1995 and 1996.
UNICRI, introduced the areas of work and its activities in Portugal and showcased its current projects and training programmes in different areas of crime prevention and access to justice. Selected publications of the Institute were also available on the information desk to showcase UNICRI’s research, including those conducted in Portuguese-speaking countries. The event also provided an opportunity for UNICRI to communicate and interact with civil society in general, in order to raise awareness of the Institute’s working areas and its activities in Portugal.
Over 70 high level representatives from the diplomatic community, government institutions and private entities in Portugal participated in the UN Day commemoration. The event was also open to the public.
The United Nations Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the United Nations officially came into being. 24 October has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948.