SIU celebrates United Nations Day

By Brooke Buerck, Staff Reporter

United Nations Day celebrates the previous year’s accomplishments by the United Nations and looks forward to the upcoming missions of the organization.

United Nations Day will be observed globally on Thursday, Oct. 24, and the SIU chapter of the United Nations Association, the SIU Office of Sustainability and the southern Illinois area chapter of the UNA have partnered to host a celebration of the event on campus. 

Karen Schauwecker, program director for the Office of Sustainability, said the theme for this year’s event is “Our Planet, Our Future,” and UN associations from across the nation are thinking and talking about this idea.


The UN General Assembly established 17 Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 as an effort to achieve solutions to humanitarian crises worldwide by the year 2030, Murphy said. 

The event will feature three individuals that will speak about these goals.

The southern Illinois chapter of the UNA invited Javier Garcia Martinez, a professor of chemistry at the University of Alicante in Spain, to speak via web. 

Garcia Martinez will discuss “The Role of Chemistry in Creating a Sustainable World,” beginning at noon.

Rachel Schmidt, communications manager for Global Health for the United Nations Foundation, was invited by the SIUC UNA to speak at the event. Schmidt will be speaking about “Climate Change and the SDGs” beginning at 3 p.m.

In addition, Murphy said Ella Lacey, professor emeritus of SIU School of Medicine, will speak at the event following Schmidt about World Polio Day on behalf of the local Rotary Club, which is also on Oct. 24.

In addition to the three speakers other local organizations, like representatives of the Rotary Club of Carbondale, will be at the event as well, Schauwecker said. 


“Along with speakers, we’ve also invited organizations to table at the event and to let people know what their organization is doing to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals, and potentially how other people can contribute either individually or by getting involved in some way,” Schauwecker said. 

Schauwecker said the three partner organizations think on a global scale, but act locally. 

“We, specifically, try to think on a global level, but we are looking […] to act on a local level,” Schauwecker said. “We’re trying to engage people on campus and in our community to think, ‘How could we improve these 17 aspects of life in Carbondale and in southern Illinois?’”

All events held in celebration of UN Day will take place at Old Main in the SIU Student Center. All events are free and open to the public. 

Staff reporter Brooke Buerck can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @bbuerck25.

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