Sunday, October 24, 2004

United Nations Day

Today is United Nations Day, the 59th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. In his message marking the occasion, Secretary-General Kofi Annan promised to develop proposals to make the organization more effective. Annan said, "We all need an effective United Nations -- one that reflects the world we live in today, and can meet the challenges we will face tomorrow."

October 24 is also the date on which the Peace of Westphalia, conventionally regarded as the treaty ending the sovereignty of the Holy Roman Empire and ushering in the age of autonomous states, was concluded.

(The original New York Times story on the entry into force of the Charter of the United Nations can be seen here. The Times did not have a reporter covering the Thirty Years War or the Peace of Westphalia, but you can read the text of the Peace of Westphalia here.)