Tuesday, March 23, 2010
The United Nations plays a large role in the field of global social activities. The UN actively encourages international human rights (see Universal Declaration of Human Rights). The United Nations has focused considerable attention on decolonisation and supporting the new states that have arisen as a result. The organisation occupies itself at present in the fields of economic development, world health, and the state of the environment, the health of animals, education, and refugee work.
The United Nations system is based on five principal organs 1) UN General Assembly, (2) UN Security Council, (3) UN Economic and Social Council, (4) UN Secretariat, and (5) International Court of Justice.
1. UN General Assembly
the UN General Assembly is the main deliberative organ of the United Nations. It is made up of all United Nations member states and meets in regular yearly sessions. As the only UN organ in which all members are represented, the assembly serves as a forum for members to discuss issues of international law and to make decisions regarding the functioning of the organization.
2. UN Security Council
The UN Security council is charged with maintaining peace and security among nations. While other organ of the United Nations only make recommendations to member governments, the Security Council has the power to make decisions those member governments must carry out under the United Nations Charter. The decisions of the Council are known as United Nations Security Council Resolutions. The Security Council is made up of 15 member states, consisting of five permanent seats and ten temporary seats. The permanent five are
The Security Council has been criticized for being unable to act in a clear and decisive way when confronted with a crisis. The veto power of the five permanent members has been cited as the cause of this problem. The makeup of the security council back to the end of World War II, and this division of powers no longer represents the state of the world. Critics question the effectiveness and relevance of the Security Council because enforcement relies on the member nations and there usually are no consequences for violating a Security Council resolution.
3. UN Economic and Social Council
4. UN Secretariat
The United Nations 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. It also carries out tasks as directed by the UN Security Council, the UN General Assembly, the UN Economic and Social Council, and other UN bodies. The United Nations Charter provides that the staff be chosen by application of the “highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity,” with due regard for the importance of recruiting on a wide geographical basis.
5. International Court of Justice
Major contributors to the regular UN budget for 2006
United Kingdom (6.13%)
The UN is financed from assessed and voluntary contributions from member states. The regular two-year budgets of the UN and its specialized agencies are funded by assessments. The General Assembly approves the regular budget and determines the assessment for each member. This is broadly based on the relative capacity of each country to pay, as measured by their GrNational Income (GNI)), with adjustments forexternal debt and low per capita income. The Assembly has established the principle that the UN should not be overly dependent on any one member to finance its operations. Thus, there is a ‘ceiling’ rate, setting the maximum amount any member is assessed for the regular budget. In December 2000, the Assembly revised the scale of assessments to reflect current global circumstances. As part of that revision, the regular budget ceiling was reduced from 25% to 22%. The