Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali kicked off celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations on Wednesday, calling for a year of “reflection and renewal.”
Ending its first half-century, the world body faces increasing criticism, particularly in the United States, for inefficiency and waste.
Boutros-Ghali said that since its creation, the United Nations has carried out 35 peacekeeping missions and helped negotiate more than 100 peaceful settlements of conflicts.
But he added that “the United Nations can only survive with the continued support of its member states.”
“This year is not only a time for celebration - it is also a time for reflection and for renewal,” BoutrosGhali said.
U.S. Ambassador Madeleine Albright presented the world body with the original charter that established the United Nations in 1945.
The charter is housed in the National Archives in Washington, but will be displayed at the United Nations for the year, except for two months this spring, when it will be on exhibit in San Francisco.