On This Day…
On the 24th October 1945 the United Nations officially came into existence
Between April and June 1945, the United Nations (UN) Charter was drawn up by 850 representatives of 50 of the nations which had declared war on Germany and Japan. This Charter was based on proposals drawn up by representatives from China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States at Dumbarton Oaks between August and October 1944. It was signed on 26 June 1945. Poland, which was not represented at the Conference, signed it later and became one of the original 51 Member States.
The UN then officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, when the Charter had been ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and by a majority of other signatories. By 2020 the UN had grown to a membership of 193 countries.
About the UN
The main organs of the UN are the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council the International Court of Justice, and the UN Secretariat. All were established in 1945.
The first meeting of the General Assembly was held in Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, on 10 January 1946. In 1948 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was proclaimed by the General Assembly as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It set out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected.
The Security Council consists of fifteen Members of the UN with China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America as permanent members and The General Assembly electing ten other Members to be non-permanent members for two year periods. The Security Council has primary responsibility, under the UN Charter, for the maintenance of international peace and security.
Over the past 70 years, more than 1 million women and men from 125 countries have served in 71 UN peacekeeping missions. In 2020 there were 13 UN peacekeeping missions in operation.
The Corps and the UN
Many members of the Corps have taken part in some of the different UN peacekeeping missions over many years.
In October 1992, the UN extended its protection force UNPROFOR from Croatia into Bosnia. The UK deployed, on Op GRAPPLE, an infantry battalion group, an engineer regiment, logistics and signals to Bosnia and a brigade HQ to Split in Croatia. The initial role was to escort humanitarian aid convoys. The Dutch provided internal UN communications and the British the links with the UK and with and within UK units.
A force signal squadron was formed, initially from 11th Armoured Brigade HQ and Signal Squadron (211) and 30th Signal Regiment. SatCom and HF were used to communicate with the UK and deployed HQs. Tactical HF nets were also established and Euromux and SHF were deployed to expand and extend the VSC 501 facilities, particularly with regard to telephone access. 14th Signal Regiment (EW) converted vehicles at short notice for rapid deployment in support of the UN Mission.
For Christmas 1992, BT supplied a welfare telephone system for troops at Vitez. In 1994 Capt Sharon Moffat took over command of the Vitez Detachment from Lt Sara Copley. Twenty-six years later they were still serving but as Maj Gen Sharon Nesmith and Brig Sara Sharkey.
Pictured above – Capt Sharon Moffat (now Maj Gen Sharon Nesmith and Master of Signals) and Lt Sara Copley (now Brig Sara Sharkey)
The Corps Centenary book ‘Roger So Far” celebrates many of the Corps’ achievements during its first 100 years.
This hardback, illustrated coffee table book is packed full of stories about people, units and events in the context of campaigns, technologies and equipment. RRP £30 with discounts for Regular, Reserve and Retired Corps members.
Buy now from the Royal Signals Museum Shop