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Global event turns the world in UN blue

70th Anniversary of the United Nations

Turin -

Strong UN. Better World

From Australia to Azerbaijan, Indonesia to Iraq, Saudi Arabia to South Sudan, some 250 sites around the world will be lit in ‘UN blue’ beginning on Friday as part of the global celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations.

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 take part in the event to commemorate UN Day.

UN Headquarters in New York will light up for two nights, beginning 23 October when the annual UN Day concert will be held, and concluding on 24 October, which has been celebrated as UN Day since 1948.

The Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force 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 Organization officially came into being.

“The timeless values of the UN Charter must remain our guide. Our shared duty is to ‘unite our strength’ to serve ‘we the peoples,’” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message for the Day.

“To mark this anniversary, monuments and buildings across the world are being illuminated in UN blue. As we shine a light on this milestone anniversary, let us reaffirm our commitment to a better and brighter future for all.”

Among the 250 famous landmarks in 65 countries taking part in the ‘Turn the World UN Blue’ campaign will be: the Australia’s Sydney Opera House, the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, the Empire State Building in New York, the Great Wall of China, Russia’s Hermitage Museum, the ancient city of Petra in Jordan, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Mole Antonelliana of Turin in Italy, Edinburgh Castle and Central Hall Westminster in the United Kingdom, Japan’s Sky Tree Tower and the Alhambra in Spain.

"Turin’s Mole Antonelliana will be illuminated with the UN emblem. A symbol that unites people. A symbol of the values this city is committed. Turin is increasingly becoming a bridge between people, languages, cultures and religions. These days our city, and in particular our younger generation, will reflect on the UN Charter: the main tool we have to defend human rights and the dignity of people, to promote progress and justice, to advance dialogue and peace. A legacy that today more than ever we need to make sure the horrors of the past will not be repeated." said Piero Fassino, Mayor of Turin.

In Turin, the Municipality and its UN Campus - hosting the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ITCILO), the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC) and the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) - have invited young people and children to share their birthday wishes for a better world.

A selection of iconic photos and historical documents covering key moments from 70 years of UN history – from its founding in San Francisco to its work around the world today – are captured in ‘The UN at 70: Moments and Milestones’ photo exhibition on display at UN Headquarters in New York.

The global event will be covered extensively on social media using the hashtag #UNBlue in addition to our year-long hashtag #UN70 and shared with the UN’s millions of followers on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Weibo, Flickr and more.

Photos and videos of UN Blue landmarks around the world will be available to media outlets via Flickr ( and UNIFEED (

More information on “Turn the World UN Blue” and other UN70 global activities and celebrations can be found at

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