Article submitted by Rotary International President Mark Maloney
 
Rotary Day at the United Nations, which we celebrate each November, is an important reminder of the historic relationship between our organisations. 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 organisation to preserve world peace.
 
When the time came to write the UN charter, Rotary was one of 42 organisations that the United States invited to serve as consultants to its delegation at the San Francisco Conference. We have a deep and lasting relationship with the UN that deserves to be celebrated and appreciated.
 
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.