UN celebration at SOU today

ASHLAND &

A senior United Nations official will speak at Southern Oregon University today at 7 p.m. in the Rogue River Room in celebration of United Nations Day. The event is free and open to the public.The evening will also feature performances from local pianists and an Indian classical dance troupe.

Ramu Damodaran, chief of the civil society service and spokesperson for the UN will speak about the state of the international organization at the celebration on the campus of SOU today. It is being organized by Russy Sumariwalla, president of the United Nations Association of the USA, Southern Oregon and former president and CEO of United Way International. He lives in Medford.

"The United Nations today is more important than ever," Sumariwalla said "All over the world, whether it is a food problem or environment or HIV/AIDS, you name it and the UN is working on those problems."

Sumariwalla has lived in the Rogue Valley for 5 years and said it is the first time he has seen a UN official visit.

The timing is fortuitous because the UN recently confirmed new Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Damodaran will address changes under Ban's leadership and what the UN is doing to resolve some of the major humanitarian crises, like the genocide in Darfur and climate change. He has already made presentations in Portland and Salem and will present in Medford after his visit to Ashland.

Both Sumariwalla and SOU President Mary Cullinan will speak briefly after a reception at 6:30 p.m..

City of Ashland Proclamation of UN Day

The United Nations was founded in 1945, and the anniversary of its founding is observed each year on October 24.

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 in the Charter more than a half century ago.

In September of 2000, 189 countries, including the United States, agreed on the Millennium Development Goals.

The fourth of the Millennium Development Goals focuses on the reduction of child mortality, and seeks to reduce by two-thirds the mortality rate among children under five by 2015.

The United States must continue to work with the United Nations and UN agencies in order to provide a coordinated, multilateral effort in both assessing the current problem of children's health and survival and determining the strategies and mechanisms best suited to reduce child mortality an improve children's health.

NOW THEREFORE, the City Council and Mayor, on behalf of the citizens of Ashland, hereby proclaim October 24, 2007 UNITED NATIONS DAY and encourage the citizens of Ashland to participate in all activities related to UN Day.

— Staff report