United Nations organization : A brief history

1. Historical background

The United Nations organization is a global organization that aspires to promote collaboration in international security, economic advancement, social advancement, human rights, and the attainment of global peace.

The United Nations organization was established in 1945 as a successor to the League of Nations, with the primary objectives of preventing conflicts among nations and serving as a forum for diplomatic discussions. The organization comprises several subordinate entities to execute its objectives.

The League of Nations proved incapable of averting the occurrence of World War II (1939–1945). The United Nations organization was created in 1945 as a replacement for the League of Nations.

This decision was made due to the general consensus that a third-world war would have devastating consequences for humanity. The primary goals of the United Nations organization are to uphold global peace and encourage collaboration in addressing international economic, social, and humanitarian issues.

The US State Department began the process of creating a new international organization in 1939. The term “United Nations,” which was coined by Franklin D. Roosevelt, the President of the United States, was initially employed in the Declaration by the United Nations on January 1, 1942, during the Second World War. During this declaration, delegates from 26 nations made a commitment to their respective governments to persist in their collective battle against the Axis Powers.

The United Nations Organization was established on April 25, 1945, in San Francisco by 50 nations and other non-governmental organizations that were engaged in the process of creating the United Nations Charter.

The United Nations organization was established on October 24, 1945, after the Charter was ratified by the five permanent members of the Security Council—France, the Republic of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States—as well as a majority of the other 45 signatories.

2. Membership

There are a total of 193 member nations, which includes all officially recognized sovereign governments in the world, plus Vatican City.

3. Organisations

The United Nations comprises six primary entities: The United Nations organization consists of six main organs:

(1) the General Assembly, which serves as the primary deliberative assembly,

(2) the Security Council, responsible for making decisions on matters of peace and security,

(3) the Economic and Social Council, which assists in promoting international economic and social cooperation and development,

(4) the Secretariat, which provides necessary studies, information, and facilities to support the work of the United Nations organization.

(5) the International Court of Justice, the primary judicial organ, and

(6) the Trusteeship Council,

which is currently not active. Other notable agencies within the UN system include the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Food Programme (WFP), and the United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF).

4. Headquarters

The United Nations headquarters is located in international territory inside New York City, with other primary offices situated in Geneva, Nairobi, and Vienna. The main UN headquarters houses four of the five key organs. The International Court of Justice is situated in The Hague. Various United Nations institutions are situated around the globe.

5. Official languages

The six designated official languages include Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. The Secretariat employs two operational languages, namely English and French. The national language of the permanent members of the Security Council (with the exception of the United Kingdom and the United Nations organization, which both use English as a de facto official language) is among the four official languages.

Additionally, Spanish and Arabic are the official languages of the two largest groups of official languages outside of the permanent members, with Spanish being official in 20 countries and Arabic in 26 countries.

5. Financial matters

The United Nations receives funding from both mandatory and voluntary contributions made by its member countries. The primary determinant of the size of the evaluation is the ability of countries to make payments.

This is established by assessing their proportionate contributions to the overall gross national product while factoring in other variables such as per capita incomes. Furthermore, countries are evaluated based on an adapted version of the fundamental scale, specifically for their participation in peacekeeping missions, which amounted to almost $2 billion in 2000.

6. Structure

General Assembly: The General Assembly comprises all member nations of the United Nations.
Each member country is allowed to dispatch five delegates, but each nation possesses just a single vote. The General Assembly convenes annually in September for its regular session.

Security Council: The Security Council is the governing body of the United Nations organization responsible for executive decision-making. The group has a total of 15 individuals, with 5 being permanent members and the remaining 10 being non-permanent members. The permanent members consist of China, France, Russia, the UK, and the USA.

The General Assembly elects the non-permanent members from the member nations for a duration of two years. The permanent members of the Security Council possess veto power. Any measure that receives a majority vote of the permanent members will not go into effect if one of them votes against it.

Economic and Social Council: The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is a United Nations body comprised of 54 delegates from member countries. A two-thirds majority of the General Assembly chooses these representatives.

International Court of Justice: The International Court of Justice is the primary judicial body of the United Nations. The International Court of Justice is located in The Hague, the Netherlands. The court is comprised of a panel of 15 judges.

Trusteeship Council: The Trusteeship Council is composed of 14 members, five of whom are permanent members of the Security Council.

Secretariat: The Secretariat is the principal administrative body of the United Nations organization, responsible for coordinating and overseeing the organization’s activities. A Secretary General is in charge of this secretariat, and the General Assembly chooses him or her based on the Security Council’s recommendation.

The Secretary General of the United Nations Organization is appointed for a term of five years and has the possibility of being re-elected. The current Secretary-General is Ban Ki-moon from South Korea. The United Nations family, on the other hand, is far more extensive, comprising 15 agencies as well as many programs and entities.

7. United Nations Family

The United Nations comprises the United Nations Secretariat, the United Nations programs and funding (such as UNICEF and UNDP), and the specialized organizations.
Each project, fund, and agency operates under its own governing bodies and budgets and establishes its own rules and norms.

Collectively, they offer technical support and other types of practical aid in nearly every domain of economic and social pursuit.

8. International peace and security

The United Nations has the key objective of upholding global peace and security. Since its inception, the United Nations has frequently been tasked with the responsibility of averting armed conflicts, persuading conflicting parties to resort to diplomatic negotiations instead of military action, and facilitating the restoration of peace in the aftermath of conflicts.

Throughout the years, the United Nations has played a crucial role in resolving several disputes, frequently by means of the Security Council, which is the main body responsible for addressing matters related to global peace and security.

The Security Council, General Assembly, and Secretary-General each have significant and interrelated responsibilities in promoting peace and security. The United Nations organization engages in several endeavors, including conflict prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, and disarmament.

9. Civil conflict

Civil conflicts refer to armed conflicts that occur within a country, typically between different groups or factions within the same nation.

In the 1990s, there was a significant shift in conflict patterns, with over 90 percent of disputes occurring within nations rather than between them. The United Nations has restructured and bolstered its arsenal of tools, with a focus on conflict prevention, ongoing adaptation of peacekeeping operations, engagement with regional organizations, and reinforcement of post-war peacebuilding efforts.

In order to address civil conflicts, the Security Council has sanctioned intricate and groundbreaking peacekeeping endeavors. The United Nations played a significant role in bringing an end to violence and promoting reconciliation in El Salvador, Guatemala, Cambodia, and Mozambique.

Nevertheless, crises in Somalia, Rwanda, and the former Yugoslavia presented the United Nations with fresh obstacles due to their frequent occurrence of ethnic violence, hence introducing additional complexities to the UN’s role in peacekeeping. Given the challenges faced, the Security Council refrained from initiating any operations between 1995 and 1997. However, the crucial significance of peacekeeping has once again been emphatically reinforced.

10. Human rights

Almost all United Nations entities and specialized organizations are, to some extent, engaged in safeguarding human rights.

An outstanding accomplishment of the United Nations is the establishment of an extensive collection of human rights legislation. This collection, unprecedented in history, offers a universally recognized and safeguarded set of human rights principles that all nations can endorse and that all individuals can strive for.

The United Nations has meticulously defined a wide array of globally recognized rights and has also built procedures to advance and safeguard these rights, as well as aid nations in fulfilling their obligations.

11. India and the United Nations Organization

India was one of the founding members of the United Nations organization and signed the Declaration by the United Nations in Washington on January 1, 1942. India also took part in the significant UN Conference on International Organization in San Francisco from April 25 to June 26, 1945.

India, after gaining independence, considered its membership in the United Nations a crucial assurance for upholding global peace and security during the intense Cold War era. It actively aimed to eradicate the root causes of war and conflict. Membership in the United Nations has also provided a platform for exerting influence and taking charge in global matters. India played a leading role in the United Nations’ efforts to combat colonialism and apartheid, promote global disarmament, halt the arms race, and establish a fairer economic system.

The conclusion of the Cold War, together with the swift incorporation of global society and its consequences for the international system, has become the primary obstacles for the United Nations in the twenty-first century. India has been diligently pursuing measures to comprehend and address these difficulties, as well as seeking strategies to adapt to them.

A crucial component of these endeavors is the joint efforts and implementation of international strategies to address cross-border problems with the guidance and support of the United Nations.

India and the United Nations are now reestablishing their relationship, and India promises to actively contribute to the success of the United Nations organization. In accordance with what the international community expects, India also agrees to take on more significant obligations.


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