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Threat to UN Day Celebration in Sierra Leone

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Threat to UN Day Celebration in Sierra Leone

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According to BBC’s Umaru Fofanah, the boycott is related to “poor conditions of service and other unfair treatment meted on staff”.

Further reports say the staff have resolved that if no commitment is made to improve their pay and conditions, they would start a sit-down strike action effective Friday 25th October.

Some of the staff told the BBC that their salaries “are among the lowest of UN national staff employees around the world” saying even their counterparts in Guinea and Liberia were better paid. They also said that the world body deducted between $20 and $30 equivalent from their leone salary every month for medical. While their medical bills are fully covered if they’re admitted to hospital, only 80% cost is met if not admitted, they say. And nothing is given back so long one does not fall ill, “which is very unfair”.

UN Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the United Nations officially came into being.

24 October has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. In 1971, the United Nations General Assembly recommended that the day be observed by Member States as a public holiday.

International days are occasions to educate the general public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool.

Each international day offers many actors the opportunity to organize activities related to the theme of the day. Organizations and offices of the United Nations system, and most importantly, governments, civil society, the public and private sectors, schools, universities and, more generally, citizens, make an international day a springboard for awareness-raising actions.

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