UN staff run Beirut Marathon for UN70

Credit: United Nations Information Centre

Credit: United Nations Information Centre

As part of the activities to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, several heads and dozens of personnel of UN agencies operating in Lebanon participated in the 2015 Beirut International Marathon alongside scores of top government officials, diplomats and celebrities on the sunny streets of Beirut.

UN staff running in the annual international sports event on 8 November chose to sprint with more than 38,000 runners and professional athletes from Lebanon and around the globe as a token of support for, and solidarity with, the Lebanese people and giving them a stronger motivation to stay united through sports.

Under the slogan, “UN: 70 Years for Lebanon,” staff ran the 10K fun race to raise awareness about the UN’s work in Lebanon for the past 70 years, and promote the UN values of peace, human rights and sustainable development.

Credit: United Nations Information Centre

Credit: United Nations Information Centre

UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon told reporters before the race, “I am heartened by the number of people who are running with us today. This is a refreshing, active expression of our – the UN and the Lebanese people – shared commitment to peace, and to a safe and stable Lebanon.”

Earlier in September, the UN System in Lebanon announced a one-year partnership with the Beirut Marathon Association on the occasion of the UN’s 70th anniversary. The partnership aims at strengthening the relationship that bonds the UN with the Lebanese people and the civil society, as well as shedding light on Lebanon’s contribution to the UN, and the UN’s work for Lebanon.

Related story

New sculpture unveiled in Central Park to honour 70th Anniversary of United Nations

249The newest addition to Central Park’s sculptural program will be unveiled Saturday 24 October in an historic ceremony presided over by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, President of the 70th session of the General Assembly Mogens Lykketoft, President of the Security Council Román Oyarzun, and President of the Economic and Social Council Mr. Oh Joon, together with New York City officials, including Commissioner for Department of Parks and Recreation Mitchell Silver.

Marked annually on 24 October, United Nations Day is dedicated to the global efforts and achievements of the UN since its founding in 1945. This year, renowned Spanish artist Cristobal Gabarron honours #UN70 through his interactive sculpture Enlightened Universe.

What is it?

Enlightened Universe is an interactive sculpture comprised of a sphere surrounded by a spiral of 70 human figures – one for each of the 70 years since the UN was created. The central sphere and its diameter of 6,371 millimeters are a tribute to the Earth, whose average radius measures 6,371 kilometres. The 70 figures form a universal chain of the human values defended by the UN – freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance, respect for nature, shared responsibility, education and culture.

The purpose of this installation is to be interactive, as it encourages the viewer to walk through the passageway of figures, posing with them or holding hands with the chain. Upon reaching the sphere of light, the viewer is faced with images that highlight the achievements and values of the UN, including the newly adopted #SDGs.

Join in!

All are welcome to celebrate UN Day by attending the unveiling of Enlightened Universe. The event will take place this Saturday, 24 October at 4:30 p.m. [ceremony starts 5pm sharp!] at Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield, entrance near East 72nd and 5th Avenue. The sculpture will remain in New York through 15 November, after which it will be displayed in major cities across the globe.

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