Pax Christi Reflection on 75th Anniversary of UN Charter

  • Theresa Alessandro

Theresa Alessandro, director of Pax Christi writes: Seventy-five years ago, the United Nations Charter was originally signed - on 26th June 1945. The preamble of the charter famously says 'We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war…; and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small; and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained; and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.'

Pax Christi International, the movement for peace rooted in the Catholic Church, was also founded in 1945. It too grew out of the experience of war. Today Pax Christi International has consultative status at the United Nations.

The influential group Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament organised a high-quality webinar this week entitled 'United Nations 2020: Enhancing Peace, Disarmament & the Role of Women'. One of the speakers, Carol Ammons, a member of the Illinois House of Representatives, said, 'We are experiencing a new militarisation of the world, not only globally but also locally.' She went on to cite increasing police use of armed force in the US as an example. Here in England & Wales, we might also point to the militarism which is reaching more deeply into schools and public social events, such as the recently remodelled 'Armed Forces Day'.

A UN Global Dialogue Initiative was launched in January in which we are invited to 'come together to discuss our priorities as a human family, and how we can build a better future for all'. Structured discussions are taking place in all settings, from classrooms to boardrooms, across the world. The collected views, concerns and ideas of 'the peoples' will be presented to world leaders and senior UN officials at the official commemoration of the 75th Anniversary by the UN General Assembly in September 2020.

Pax Christi members and friends are meeting online at 11am on 26th June to have our own UN75 Dialogue about conflict and peace led by our Schools & Youth Education Worker, Aisling Griffin. We will feed our thoughts into the UN process. If you would like to join our Zoom session email the office [email protected] for the link. We are also putting posters in our windows to share the peacebuilding values of the UN.

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You can find out more about the UN global dialogue and share your thoughts in a UN survey here:

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Tags: Pax Christi, United Nations

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