CHICAGO – Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) Director Rocco Claps today hosted an international celebration of the 67th anniversary of the United Nations, focused on the theme of cooperation between individuals and institutions. The festive event at the James R. Thompson Center included music and dance and was held in conjunction with the United Nations Association-USA Great Chicago Chapter and included prominent Chicago-based diplomats.
The ceremony featured a reading of a proclamation by Governor Pat Quinn of “United Nations Day” in Illinois, in which the Governor said: “On United Nations Day, we join our friends around the world in reflecting on our shared interests and renewing our commitment to human rights, equal opportunity, accountability and prosperity for all peoples.” (See below for the full text.)
The event marked the founding of the United Nations on Oct. 24, 1945.
“On behalf of the State of Illinois, we are proud to celebrate our international heritage and to host members of the world community who live and work in our midst and contribute to making Chicago the diverse, great global city that it is,” said IDHR Director Claps. “Through our mutual cooperation we are advancing the universal values of tolerance, human rights and equality of opportunity.”
IDHR is the state agency that is responsible for the enforcement and promotion of the Illinois Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in real estate transactions, employment, access to financial credit, in educational settings and public accommodations based on factors including race, national origin/ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability or age.
The roster of speakers at the UN celebration included: Denise Martinez, Director of the Governor’s Office of New Americans; Claudia Jaccarino, President of the United Nations Association–USA Greater Chicago Chapter; Patricia Maza-Pittsford, Dean of Chicago's Consular Corps and Consul General to El Salvador; and Robert Chatterton Dickerson, Consul General of the United Kingdom.
Commenting on the U.N. Day theme of cooperation, Jaccarino said: “Former United Nations Association USA Chairman, John Whitehead said it best when he said, ‘The United States of America is at its best when it engages with other governments to solve global problems, and the most important forum for that collaboration is the United Nations.’"
UN DAY PROCLAMATION 2012
WHEREAS, the United Nations was founded in 1945, and the anniversary of its founding is observed each year on October 24; and
WHEREAS, October 24th, 2012 marks the 67th anniversary of the United Nations which was founded in 1945; and
WHEREAS, one of the principal mandates of the United Nations – “To achieve international cooperation in solving problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character” remains as valid today as when those words were written into the Charter more than a half century ago; and
WHEREAS, the United Nations has declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives; and
WHEREAS, in the spirit of this theme the Illinois Department of Human Rights in cooperation with the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) – Greater Chicago Chapter, has collaborated with Consuls General in Chicago to emphasize the topic of “Human Cooperation”; and
WHEREAS, on United Nations Day, we join our friends around the world in reflecting on our shared interests and renewing our commitment to human rights, equal opportunity; accountability, and prosperity for all peoples;
WHEREAS, the talents of grassroots and non-profit organizations, housing service providers, elected officials, state agencies, and others must be combined to promote and preserve integration, fair housing, and equal opportunity.
THEREFORE, I, Pat Quinn, Governor of the State of Illinois, do hereby proclaim October 24, 2012 as UNITED NATIONS DAY in Illinois. I urge all Illinois to embrace diversity, recognize the importance of equal opportunity, and to observe United Nations Day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
For more information about IDHR, go to: http://www2.illinois.gov/dhr/Pages/default.aspx