Celebrating Rotary and the United
ROTARY INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT·MONDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2019
Rotary Day at the United Nations, which we celebrate each November,
is an important reminder of the historic relationship between our organizations.
But this year’s event is even more important than usual, because
we are building up to the 75th anniversary of the signing of the UN
Charter in June 2020
.You might ask, why celebrate this anniversary? For Rotary, it is entirely
appropriate, because we played such a critical leadership role in the
San Francisco Conference that formed the United Nations in 1945. Throughout
World War II, Rotary published materials about the importance of forming
such an organization to preserve world peace.
Not only did Rotary help influence the formation of the UN, but this
magazine also played a leading part in communicating its ideals. Rotary
educated members about plans to create the UN through numerous articles
in The Rotarian and through a booklet titled From Here On! When the
time came to write the UN charter, Rotary was one of 42 organizations
the United States invited to serve as consultants to its delegation
at the San Francisco Conference.
Each organization had seats for three representatives, so Rotary International’s
11 representatives served in rotation. The people officially representing
Rotary included the general secretary, the current and several past
presidents, and the editor of The Rotarian. In addition, Rotarians from
Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America served
as members of or consultants to their own nations’ delegations.
We have a deep and lasting relationship with the UN that deserves to
be celebrated and appreciated. To recognize this relationship, Rotary
will host five special events between now and June: Rotary Day at the
UN in New York on the 9th of this month; three presidential conferences
next year in Santiago, Chile, in Paris, and in Rome; and a final celebration
just before the Rotary International Convention in Honolulu.
The focus on the UN in the year ahead is not only about the past; it
also lights a path to our future. There are so many parallels between
the work we do through our areas of focus and the work of the UN Sustainable
Development Goals. While those goals are indeed incredibly ambitious,
they provide inspiration and direction — and are similar to many
Rotary goals, which have proven to create lasting, positive change in
our world. The goals can be achieved, but only if undertaken with the
same long-term commitment and tenacity that Rotary understands so well.
Alone, we cannot provide clean water for all, we cannot eliminate hunger,
we cannot eradicate polio. But together with partners like the United
Nations, of course we can.
Please consider attending one of our five UN celebrations. I look forward
to sharing news of these special events with you throughout the year.
Mark Maloney, Rotary International President