31/01/2012: BLAST FROM THE PAST – SAN FRANCISCO, THE PHILIPPINES AND THE UNITED NATIONS
With the background picture of a world reeling from the devastations wrought by a World War delegations came to San Francisco to convene the United Nations Conference on International Organization in 1945.
From April to June of 1946, San Francisco would play host to representatives from various countries to craft one of the most important documents of recent times – the UN Charter.
The venue for the San Francisco Conference and its attendant sub-meetings would be the War Memorial complex, composed of two nearly identical buildings, the Opera House and the Veterans Building which were built in the early 1930s.
After months of deliberations, the UN Charter was signed on June 26, 1945 by representatives from 50 countries. General Carlos P. Romulo, then Philippine Commissioner to the United States would sign on behalf of the Philippines – making the country one of the original signatories of the UN Charter.
General Carlos P. Romulo would become the Philippines’ permanent delegate to the United Nations (with rank of Ambassador) from 1946 to May 1953. He would also hold various positions in the UN such as Member of the UN Human Rights Commission (1946 to 1948), Chairman of the Ad Hoc Political and Security Committee of the Third Regular Session UN General Assembly (1948-1949), eventually President of the Fourth Regular Session of the UN General Assembly from 1949 to 1950. He also served as President of the UN Security Council in January 1957, December 1957, July 1980 and September 1981.
Left and Right Photos show the War Memorial Opera House and the War Memorial Veterans Building, twin edifices of the War Memorial Complex where the conference and the signing of the charter was held Middle photo shows General Carlos P. Romulo, then Philippine Resident Commissioner to the United States, together with members of his delegation, signing the UN Charter. (photo courtesy of Carlos P. Romulo website)
Information source : History of the United Nations www.un.org; The Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco – www.sfmuseum.org ; and Carlos P Romulo Foundation – www.carlospromulo.org