Monday, March 15, 2010

Formation and Aims of United Nations

The United Nations (UN) is an international organization whose stated aims are to facilitate cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, and social progress and human rights issues.

The United Nations was founded in 1945 to replace the League of Nations, in the hope that it would intervene in conflicts between nations and thereby avoid war. The organization began with fifty countries signing the United Nations Charter. The organization’s structure still reflects in some ways the circumstances of its founding. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council, each of which has veto power on any Security Council resolution, are the main victors of World War II or their successor states (alphabetical order): the People’s Republic of China (which replaced the Republic of China in 1971); Franc; Russia (which replaced the Soviet Union in 1991); the United Kingdom; and the United States. There are currently 192 United Nations member states encompassing almost every recognized independent state. From its headquarters in New York City, the UN and its specialized agencies decide on substantive and administrative issues in regular meetings held throughout each year. The organization is divided into administrative bodies, including the General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council, Secretariat, and the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Additional bodies deal with the governance of all other UN System agencies, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The UN’s most visible public figure is the Secretary-General. The current Secretary-General is Ban Kimoon of South Korea, who assumed the post on 1 January 2007.

Aims

The stated aims of the United Nations are to prevent war, to safeguard human rights, to provide a mechanism for international law, and to promote social and economic progress, improve living standards and fight diseases. It gives the opportunity for countries to balance global interdependence and national interests when addressing international problems. Toward these ends it ratified a Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

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