Rotary UN Day Registration for youth and chaperones
Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016

Saturday, Nov. 12 is Rotary UN Day at the United Nations in New York City. Last year about 40 youth and adults from our district with about 1,500 Rotarians and youth attended Rotary UN Day at UN Headquarters for panels and talks on economic development, human rights, water, health, polio eradication, literacy, and youth projects. Register on-line at Registration for youth and chaperones opens Sept. 19 and sells out quickly. Adult registrations ($65 this year) are sold out but you can be waitlisted at no cost at Last year’s registration fee was $30 per youth - which includes a light lunch at the UN's cafeteria. Joe Scheibeler, District Interact Chair, is coordinating group transportation for a one-day round trip leaving around 5 AM to this year’s UN Day for those with confirmed registrations for the event. After registering, contact Joe Scheibeler at 202-268-5089 if you’d like to travel with the group. The gas, tolls, parking and vehicle rental costs will be shared by those traveling together with Joe, estimated to cost about $55 each in addition to the event registration fee. Youth transportation will be subsidized by the district at half price.

Rotary and the United Nations

At the organization conference of the United Nations held in San Francisco in 1945, the United States delegation invited Rotary International to appoint consultants. Eleven prominent Rotarians served in this capacity with resulting influence on the humane aspects of the Charter. In particular, Article 71 of the United Nations Charter attests this influence:

The Economic and Social Council may make suitable arrangements for consultation with non-governmental organizations which are concerned with matters within its competence......

Subsequently, Rotary International was granted consultative status, and through the years prominent Rotarians have served as observers at various important meetings. The right to make proposals has not been exercised, however, since Rotary International cannot claim to know the opinions of all Rotarians generally on particular questions. The main role, which has been exercised with great effectiveness, has been in the wide dissemination of information about the United Nations.

Even before the United Nations was firmly established, Rotary's president, T. A. Warren, had proclaimed a week in October of 1945 as "United Nations Week" for simultaneous observance by Rotary clubs in all parts of the world, for the purpose of spreading knowledge of the United Nations. This observance was continued with growing scope and intensity from year to year. In 1953, its designation was changed to "World Fellowship Week in Rotary Service" which now includes United Nations Day-24 October-as fixed by the United Nations General Assembly.

The Rotarian has presented, through the years, many critical and explanatory articles by prominent spokesmen. From Here On! - a 124-page commentary on the United Nations Charter - was published in seven successive editions with a total distribution of close to a quarter million copies.

Statement of Policy-Adopted by the board of directors of Rotary International in 1952, and confirmed in 1954, is the following statement of policy relating to the United Nations: While Rotary International neither gives nor withholds endorsement of the provisions of the United Nations Charter, nor of the actions or enactments of the United Nations, it does encourage Rotarians to acquaint themselves with the activities of the United Nations directed to the advancement of world peace. The secretary is instructed to bring to the attention of Rotary clubs program information and other helps in connection with the study of the charter and the activities of the United Nations to the advancement of world peace. Continued publicity shall be given to the reports of the observers for Rotary International who attend the meetings of the United Nations and its specialized agencies.

Rotarians desiring to make a proposal concerning the United Nations or any of its specialized agencies should function through the duly constituted governmental channels of their own country.

This is not the whole story of the United Nations and Rotary. The whole story can never be told-for it has to do with the quiet influence of many Rotarians who were members of the various delegations, men who exercised leadership in the many discussions when the charter was being formulated. Such men as Paul Henri Spaak, of Belgium, who was to serve as president of the General Assembly, a long-time honorary member of the Rotary Club of Brussels. And Fans El-Khouri, of Syria, one of the signers for Syria of the charter, now a member of the International Law Commission of the U.N., the founder of the Rotary Club of Damascus.

Also there should be noted the name of Warren R. Austin, for many years the distinguished head of the United States delegation to the U.N., a charter member and first president of the Rotary club of his home town in Burlington, Vermont.

Another signer of the charter is also a former vice-president of Rotary International, Carlos P. Romulo, of the Philippines, a long-time member of the Rotary Club of Manila, who also served as president of the General Assembly. The message which he sent to his club while serving U.N. in that important capacity might well stand as a concluding note to this recital of Rotary's contribution to a world organization for law and order and justice to all peoples everywhere. This is the message that he sent:

"GOODWILL - the core of every Rotarian's service to his community - is one of the very essentials of this Union of States. Without good will, no international agreement is possible. To this end, I propose, in the best tradition of good will known to Rotary to discharge the delicate and multifarious duties of my present office. I make public avowal of Rotary influence in having enriched my international outlook and human under standing, and in thus having helped to prepare me for this difficult responsibility.

From: "Rotary, Fifty Years of Service" 1905 - 1955 Copyright Rotary International, Pages 99-102