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The United Nations - 70 Years Young

Last updated: 22.10.2015 // On 24 October 1945, after the end of World War II, 51 nations established the key global meeting arena we know as the United Nations. In 2015, it consists of 193 member states and remains fundamental in tackling global challenges. That is why, 70 years on, the United Nations remains at the center of Norway’s foreign policy.

“The United Nations is still important for a better world. For a relatively small country such as Norway, the UN plays a significant role in regulating relations between states and upholding international norms and treaties”, says Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

Strong UN. Better World

The theme of the 70th anniversary is “Strong UN. Better World”, and it has truly been a remarkable year for the organization. In September a record-breaking number of world leaders came to the UN headquarters in New York and adopted the UN Sustainable Development Goals, seventeen ambitious and wide-ranging goals to be achieved by the year 2030. In Paris this December, world leaders will once again gather, this time to discuss one of the world’s biggest challenges, climate change.

A UN for the future

Throughout its 70 years of existence, the United Nations has debated large-scale global challenges. It has often proposed, resolved and succeeded, and it has sometimes disagreed and struggled. However, it remains our key arena to debate and tackle the challenges of the future. Norway’s Foreign Minister Børge Brende emphasizes that the UN must continuously reinvent itself:

“The UN must also adapt to a new age. Today we face new global challenges that no one thought of in 1945. Most global challenges, and often the hardest ones, ends up in the UN. Climate change, the emergence of terrorist organizations like ISIL, the ebola epidemic and a large number of humanitarian crises have put the UN under great pressure”.

70 years and beyond

Starting with just 51 countries in 1945, the United Nations now has 193 Member States and more than 30 funds, programmes and specialized agencies promoting peace, development and human rights.

“The whole idea behind the UN was that all countries have to come together to solve global challenges. In a globalized world where we rely even more on each other than any other time in our history, the need for such an organization, is greater than ever”, says Foreign Minister Brende.

That is why, 70 years after Norway’s Trygve Lie became the first Secretary General, the United Nations remains at the center of Norway’s foreign policy.

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