UN in South Africa turns Pretoria blue to mark its 70th anniversary

UN Blue March in Pretoria, to mark the 70th Anniversary of the UN. Photo: UNIC Pretoria

UN Blue March in Pretoria, to mark the 70th Anniversary of the UN. Photo: UNIC Pretoria

Pretoria, South Africa, October 24, 2015– The United Nations in South Africa today took part in the global campaign to commemorate UN Day and the 70th anniversary of the organisation. 70 students from schools in Tshwane joined UN staff and members of the public dressed in the UN blue, took part in a peaceful walk from the UN offices to the Pretoria Technical High School where a variety of activities such as song, poems, dance and speeches, took place.

To mark the Day, more than 150 iconic monuments, buildings, museums, bridges and other landmarks in more than 45 countries around the world will be lit up blue – the official color of the United Nations.

World famous landmarks from Australia’s Sydney Opera House to the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, from the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro to the Empire State Building in New York, will be lit blue. Other participants include Russia’s Hermitage Museum, the ancient city of Petra in Jordan, the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, Edinburgh Castle and Westminster Hall in the United Kingdom, Nelson Mandela Bridge and Table Mountain in South Africa, Japan’s SkyTree Tower and the Alhambra in Spain, among many others.

“I am grateful our Member States are showing such strong enthusiasm in marking 70 years of UN support for peace, development and human rights,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “By turning the world UN Blue for a day, we can light the way to a better tomorrow.”

Speaking on behalf of the UN, Dr. Esther Muia, paid tribute to the excellent support and cooperation between the global body and South African Government and lauded the achievements the government has made in attaining some Millennium Development Goals. She said the occasion was an important time to reflect on what the world had attained under the UN umbrella in the last 70 years, take stock of lessons learned and forge ahead with great purpose.

The event was graced by performances by Zenzi Makeba, the granddaughter of late South Africa Music giant Miriam Makeba, as well as calls for peace, respect for women, unity and hard work and youth and women empowerment. There were also songs and sketches from young girls form the Tshwane Home of Hope, a shelter for abused girls as well as statements from representatives of the City of Johannesburg who worked with the UN to light up the Mandela Bridge.

Photos and videos of UN Blue landmarks around the world are available to media outlets via Flickr (http://j.mp/UNBluePhotos) and UNIFEED (http://www.unmultimedia.org/tv/unifeed/).

More information on “Turn the World UN Blue” and other UN70 global activities and celebrations can be found at www.un.org/UN70. You can also contact:

Maureen Nkandu
Director, UN Information Centre
Email: Maureen.nkandu@unic.org
Tel: +27 (82) 313 0051