70th anniversary marked of initiative that led to UN

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International Day of Peace

The UN is marking the 70th anniversary of a crucial diplomatic initiative during the Second World War that inspired the very foundation of the organization.

Known as the 1942 UN Declaration, the document was signed by 26 governments, including the US, the UK, the Soviet Union and China.

The allies came together to end the war against the totalitarian and military regimes of Germany, Italy and Japan.

Dan Plesch, Director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, School of Oriental and African Studies in London, says these same principles guide the UN today.

"If it was necessary to create the UN to beat Hitler, then who can say that it should be put aside as not necessary today? And many of the ideas of that time, for example, that full employment was essential, that refugee camps should be run democratically by the people in them, that the global economy needed to be regulated, that countries should give 1% of GDP to reconstruction and development. These were all the principles that won the war, but we have a hard time to get them accepted today."

The Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, welcomed efforts to look more closely at the wartime origins of the UN.

He said it was also important to look to the future and realize the UN’s “full potential.”

Duration: 40″

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