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The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization to promote international cooperation; the organization was established on 24 October 1945 after World War II in order to
prevent another such conflict. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193.
The headquarters
Nations is
in Manhattan, New
experiences extraterritoriality. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary
contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and
security, promoting human rights, fostering social and economic development, protecting the
environment, and providing humanitarian aid in cases of famine, natural disaster, and conflicts.
To foster: to promote, to encourage
Assessed: calculated
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The UN's mission to preserve world peace was complicated in its early decades by the Cold
War between the US and Soviet Union and their respective allies. The organization participated in
major actions in Korea and the Congo, as well as approving the creation of the state of Israel in
1947. The organization's membership grew significantly following widespread decolonization in the
1960s, and by the 1970s. After the end of the Cold War, the UN took on major military and
peacekeeping missions across the world with varying degrees of success.
The UN has six principal organs: the General Assembly (the main deliberative assembly);
the Security Council (for deciding certain resolutions for peace and security); the Economic and
Social Council (ECOSOC) (for promoting international economic and social co-operation and
development); the Secretariat (for providing studies, information, and facilities needed by the UN);
the International Court of Justice (the primary judicial organ); and the United Nations Trusteeship
Council (inactive since 1994).
UN System agencies include the World Bank Group, the World Health Organization, the World
Food Programme, UNESCO, and UNICEF.
Organs of the United Nations [
General Assembly
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May resolve non-compulsory recommendations to states or suggestions to the Security Council (UNSC);
Decides on the admission of new members, following proposal by the UNSC;
Adopts the budget;
Elects the non-permanent members of the UNSC; all members of ECOSOC; the UN Secretary
General (following his/her proposal by the UNSC); and the fifteen judges of the International Court of
Justice (ICJ). Each country has one vote.
The General Assembly is the main deliberative assembly of the United Nations. Composed of
all United Nations member states, the assembly meets in regular yearly sessions, but emergency
sessions can also be called. The assembly is led by a president, elected from among the member
states on a rotating regional basis, and 21 vice-presidents.
When the General Assembly votes on important questions, a two-thirds majority of those present
and voting is required. Examples of important questions include recommendations on peace and
security; election of members to organs; admission, suspension, and expulsion of members; and
budgetary matters. All other questions are decided by a majority vote. Each member country has
one vote. Apart from approval of budgetary matters, resolutions are not binding on the members,
the Assembly may make recommendations
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Security Council
Responsible for the maintenance ofinternational peace and security;
May adopt compulsory resolutions;
Has fifteen members: five permanent members with veto power and ten elected members.
The Security Council is charged with maintaining peace and security among countries. While other
organs of the United Nations can only make "recommendations" to member states, the Security
Council has the power to make binding decisions. The decisions of the Council are known
as United Nations Security Council resolutions.[72]
to be charged with : to have a responsibility or task
The Security Council is made up of fifteen member states, consisting of five permanent
members—China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—and ten nonpermanent members—Angola (term ends 2016), Chad (2015), Chile (2015), Jordan (2015),
Lithuania (2015), Malaysia (2016), New Zealand (2016), Nigeria (2015), Spain (2016), and
Venezuela (2016). The five permanent members hold veto power over UN resolutions, allowing a
permanent member to block adoption of a resolution, though not debate. The ten temporary seats
are held for two-year terms, with member states voted in by the General Assembly on a regional
basis. The presidency of the Security Council rotates alphabetically each month.
Supports the other UN bodiesadministratively (for example, in the organization of conferences, the
writing of reports and studies and the preparation of the budget);
Its chairperson – Ban Ki-moon– is elected by the General Assembly for a five-year mandate and is the
UN's foremost representative.
The UN Secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General, assisted by a staff of international civil
servants worldwide. It provides studies, information, and facilities needed by United Nations bodies
for their meetings.
The Secretary-General acts as the de facto spokesperson and leader of the UN. The UN Charter
defines him as "chief administrative officer". He can bring to the Security Council's attention "any
matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security",
The Secretariat is the administrator of the UN organization and a diplomat and mediator between
member states in order to find consensus to global issues or to resolve disputes.
The Secretary-General is appointed by the General Assembly, after being recommended by the
Security Council.
International Court of Justice
Decides disputes between states that recognize its jurisdiction;
Issues legal opinions;
. Its fifteen judges are elected by the UN General Assembly for nine-year terms.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ), located in The Hague, in the Netherlands, is the primary
judicial organ of the UN. Established in 1945 by the UN Charter, the Court began work in 1946 as
the successor to the Permanent Court of International Justice. The ICJ is composed of 15 judges
who serve 9-year terms and are appointed by the General Assembly; every sitting judge must be
from a different nation.
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It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague. The ICJ's primary purpose is to adjudicate disputes
among states. The court has heard cases related to war crimes, illegal state interference,
ethnic cleansing, and other issues.
Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
Responsible for co-operation between states about economic and social matters;
Co-ordinates co-operation between the UN's numerous specialized agencies;
Has 54 members, elected by the General Assembly
The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) assists the General Assembly in promoting
international economic and social co-operation and development. ECOSOC has 54 members,
which are elected by the General Assembly for a three-year term. The president is elected for
a one-year term and chosen amongst the small or middle powers represented on ECOSOC.
The council has one annual meeting in July, held in either New York or Geneva.
ECOSOC's functions include information gathering, advising member nations, and making
Specialized agencies
Peacekeeping and security
The UN, after approval by the Security Council, sends peacekeepers to regions where armed
conflict has recently ceased or paused to enforce the terms of peace agreements and to
discourage combatants from resuming hostilities. Since the UN does not maintain its own military,
peacekeeping forces are voluntarily provided by member states. These soldiers are sometimes
nicknamed "Blue Helmets" for their distinctive gear. In addition to peacekeeping, the UN is also
active in encouraging disarmament.
Human rights
One of the UN's primary purposes is "promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for
fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion", and member
states pledge to undertake "joint and separate action" to protect these rights.
In 1948, the General Assembly adopted a Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The document
proclaims basic civil, political, and economic rights common to all human beings. The Declaration
serves as a "common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations" rather than a legally
binding document,
Economic development and humanitarian assistance
Millennium Development Goals[133]
Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Achieve universal primary education
Promote gender equality and empower women
Reduce child mortality
Improve maternal health
Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
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7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for development
.[134] In 2000, the 192 United Nations member states agreed to achieve eight Millennium
Development Goals by 2015.[135]
The World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF)
The World Bank provides loans for international development, while the IMF promotes international
economic co-operation and gives emergency loans to indebted countries.
The World Health Organization (WHO), which focuses on international health issues and disease
eradication, is another of the UN's largest agencies.
The World Food Programme (WFP), created in 1961, provides food aid in response to famine,
natural disasters, and armed conflict.
The UN is financed from assessed and voluntary contributions from member states.
Critics have also accused the UN of bureaucratic inefficiency, waste, and corruption.
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