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History Prior to the United Nations • League of Nations • an organization conceived in similar circumstances during the first World War, and established in 1919 under the Treaty of Versailles "to promote international cooperation and to achieve peace and security.“ • The International Labour Organization was also created under the Treaty of Versailles as an affiliated agency of the League. The League of Nations ceased its activities after failing to prevent the Second World War. “United Nations” • The name "United Nations", coined by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt • was first used in the Declaration by United Nations of 1 January 1942, during the Second World War. • Representatives of 26 nations pledged their Governments to continue fighting together against the Axis Powers. San Francisco, 1945 In April 1945, the nations met in San Francisco to create a charter to be approved by all participating nations that would serve as the foundation of the United Nations. Fifty-one nations were invited to San Francisco, representing 80 percent of the world’s population. San Francisco, 1945 • The delegates deliberated on the basis of proposals worked out by the representatives of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States • The Charter was signed on 26 June 1945 by the representatives of the 50 countries. • Poland, which was not represented at the Conference, signed it later and became one of the original 51 Member States. October 24, 1945 • The United Nations officially came into existence • Charter had been ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States (Big Five) and by a majority of other signatories. Finding a Home One of the primary issues on the agenda for the first session of the General Assembly was the location of the permanent home of the UN. The General Assembly decided to locate the United Nations headquarters in New York City, due in large part to a donation of land worth $8.5 million by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Finding a Home (cont.) UN headquarters sits on 18 acres of prime New York City real estate. The UN secured an interest-free loan of $65 million from the United States government to pay for the costs. The building was completed in 19 months, and the loan was repaid to the United States government by 1982. Finding a Home (cont.) Although the United Nations is in New York City, the building and the property are considered international territory. No federal, state, or local officer, whether administrative, judicial, military, or police, may enter the UN without special permission. The UN has its own firefighting and security forces, as well as its own postal system that issues UN stamps. Finding a Home (cont.) Flying in front of the building are the colorful flags of the 192 United Nations member states. In keeping with the mission of the UN, materials for the headquarters were selected from many lands so as to include as many cultures and peoples in the creation of the organization’s home as possible. Summary Write a 4-5 sentence summary of the history of the United Nations.