Today marks the 68th anniversary of the United Nations’ charter, celebrated as UN Day every year since 1948.
Primarily a peacekeeping organization, the UN and its agencies work on a range of issues, from disaster relief and protection for refugees to economic empowerment and gender equality.
In honor of today’s anniversary, here are a few facts you might not know about the UN. The agency
- Provides food to 90 million people in 73 countries
- Saves 2.5 million lives each year by vaccinating 58 percent of the world’s children
- Helps 30 countries each year with their elections, to promote democracy
- Coordinates $12.4 billion in humanitarian aid to places affected by emergencies
- Saves the lives of 30 million women each year through programs aimed at promoting maternal health.
Want to test your UN expertise? Try one of these quizzes and see how you do.
In his message this year, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon notes the progress the organization has made in the areas of spreading human rights, promoting environmental protection and ending poverty. He also points out that much work remains to be done on those fronts and plenty of others.
“We continue to show what collective action can do. We can do even more,” he said. “In a world that is more connected, we must be more united.”
We couldn’t agree more.