2The 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, when representatives of 26 nations pledged their Governments to continue fighting together against the Axis Powers.States first established international organizations to cooperate on specific matters. The International Telecommunication Union was founded in 1865 as the International Telegraph Union, and the Universal Postal Union was established in Both are now United Nations specialized agencies.
3In 1899, the International Peace Conference was held in The Hague to elaborate instruments for settling crises peacefully, preventing wars and codifying rules of warfare. It adopted the Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes and established the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which began work in 1902.The forerunner of the United Nations was the 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.Signature page of UN Charter, San Francisco, 1945
4In 1945, representatives of 50 countries met in San Francisco at the United Nations Conference on International Organization to draw up the United Nations Charter. Those delegates deliberated on the basis of proposals worked out by the representatives of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States at Dumbarton Oaks, United States in August-October 1944.
5The 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.The United Nations officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, when the Charter had been ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and by a majority of other signatories. United Nations Day is celebrated on 24 October each year.
6History of the United Nations Charter The United Nations Charter is the treaty that established the United Nations. The following series of events led to the writing of the Charter, and the UN's founding.12 June 1941 - The Declaration of St. James's PalaceIn June 1941, London was the home of nine exiled governments. The great British capital had already seen twenty-two months of war and in the bomb-marked city, air-raid sirens wailed all too frequently. Practically all Europe had fallen to the Axis and ships on the Atlantic, carrying vital supplies, sank with grim regularity. But in London itself and among the Allied governments and peoples, faith in ultimate victory remained unshaken. And, even more, people were looking beyond military victory to the postwar future.14 August 1941 - The Atlantic CharterTwo months after the London Declaration came the next step to a world organization, the result of a dramatic meeting between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill..
71 January 1942 - The Declaration of the United Nations Representatives of 26 countries fighting the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis, decide to support the by Signing the Declaration of the United Nations.1943 - Moscow and Teheran ConferenceThus by 1943 all the principal Allied nations were committed to outright victory and, thereafter, to an attempt to create a world in which “men in all lands may live out their lives in freedom from fear and want.” But the basis for a world organization had yet to be defined, and such a definition came at the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Great Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union in October 1943. - Dumbarton Oaks and Yalta The principles of the world organization-to-be were thus laid down. But it is a long step from defining the principles and purpose of such a body to setting up the structure. A blueprint had to be prepared, and it had to be accepted by many nations.1945 - San Francisco ConferenceForty-five nations, including the four sponsors, were originally invited to the San Francisco Conference: nations which had declared war on Germany and Japan and had subscribed to the United Nations Declaration
8General Assembly: 193 Member States Security Council: 5 permanent members and 10 non-permanentEconomic and Social Council: 54 membersInternational Court of Justice: 15 judges
9Functions and Powers of the General Assembly Forum for multilateral negotiationEstablished in 1945 under the Charter of the United Nations, the General Assembly occupies a central position as the chief deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations. Comprising all 193 Members of the United Nations, it provides a unique forum for multilateral discussion of the full spectrum of international issues covered by the Charter.It also plays a significant role in the process of standard-setting and the codification of international law. The Assembly meets in regular session intensively from September to December each year, and thereafter as required.
10Functions and powers of the General Assembly According to the Charter of the United Nations, the General Assembly may:Consider and make recommendations on the general principles of cooperation for maintaining international peace and security, including disarmament;Discuss any question relating to international peace and security and, except where a dispute or situation is currently being discussed by the Security Council, make recommendations on it;
11Discuss, with the same exception, and make recommendations on any questions within the scope of the Charter or affecting the powers and functions of any organ of the United Nations;Initiate studies and make recommendations to promote international political cooperation, the development and codification of international law, the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and international collaboration in the economic, social, humanitarian, cultural, educational and health fields;Make recommendations for the peaceful settlement of any situation that might impair friendly relations among nations;Receive and consider reports from the Security Council and other United Nations organs;Consider and approve the United Nations budget and establish the financial assessments of Member States;Elect the non-permanent members of the Security Council and the members of other United Nations councils and organs and, on the recommendation of the Security Council, appoint the Secretary-General.
12Pursuant to its “Uniting for Peace” resolution of November 1950 (resolution 377 (V)) , the Assembly may also take action if the Security Council fails to act, owing to the negative vote of a permanent member, in a case where there appears to be a threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression. The Assembly can consider the matter immediately with a view to making recommendations to Members for collective measures to maintain or restore international peace and security (see "Special sessions and emergency special sessions”).While the Assembly is empowered to make only non-binding recommendations to States on international issues within its competence, it has, nonetheless, initiated actions—political, economic, humanitarian, social and legal—which have affected the lives of millions of people throughout the world.The landmark Millennium Declaration, adopted in 2000, and the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document reflect the commitment of Member States to reach specific goals to attain peace, security and disarmament along with development and poverty eradication; safeguard human rights and promote the rule of law; protect our common environment; meet the special needs of Africa; and strengthen the United Nations.The search for consensusEach Member State in the Assembly has one vote. Votes taken on designated important issues, such as recommendations on peace and security and the election of Security Council members, require a two-thirds majority of Member States, but other questions are decided by simple majority.In recent years, a special effort has been made to achieve consensus on issues, rather than deciding by a formal vote, thus strengthening support for the Assembly’s decisions. The President, after having consulted and reached agreement with delegations, can propose that a resolution be adopted without a vote
13MandateThe UN Charter established six main organs of the United Nations, including the Security Council. It gives primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security to the Security Council, which may meet whenever peace is threatened.According to the Charter, the United Nations has four purposes:to maintain international peace and security;to develop friendly relations among nations;to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights;and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.All members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council. While other organs of the United Nations make recommendations to member states, only the Security Council has the power to make decisions that member states are then obligated to implement under the Charter.
14Maintaining Peace and Security When a complaint concerning a threat to peace is brought before it, the Council’s first action is usually to recommend that the parties try to reach agreement by peaceful means. The Council may:set forth principles for such an agreement;undertake investigation and mediation, in some cases;dispatch a mission;
15appoint special envoys; or request the Secretary-General to use his good offices to achieve a pacific settlement of the dispute.When a dispute leads to hostilities, the Council’s primary concern is to bring them to an end as soon as possible. In that case, the Council may:issue ceasefire directives that can help prevent an escalation of the conflict;dispatch military observers or a peacekeeping force to help reduce tensions, separate opposing forces and establish a calm in which peaceful settlements may be sought.Beyond this, the Council may opt for enforcement measures, including:economic sanctions, arms embargoes, financial penalties and restrictions, and travel bans;severance of diplomatic relations;blockade;or even collective military action.
16A chief concern is to focus action on those responsible for the policies or practices condemned by the international community, while minimizing the impact of the measures taken on other parts of the population and economy.First Session of the United Nations Security Council in London, United Kingdom on 17 January Credit: UN Photo/Marcel BolomeyOrganizationThe Security Council held its first session on 17 January 1946 at Church House, Westminster, London. Since its first meeting, the Security Council has taken permanent residence at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. It also travelled to many cities, holding sessions in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1972, in Panama City, Panama, and in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1990.A representative of each of its members must be present at all times at UN Headquarters so that the Security Council can meet at any time as the need arises.
17General AssemblyThe following Bodies report directly to the General Assembly.Main CommitteesSubsidiary BodiesCommitteesCommissionsBoardsCouncils and PanelWorking Groups and otherAdvisory Subsidiary BodyUnited Nations Peacebuilding Commission (1)
18International Trade Centre (ITC) Programmes and FundsInternational Trade Centre (ITC)Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)United Nations Volunteers (UNV)United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)
19Research and Training Institutes United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI)United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)Other UN EntitiesInternational Computing Centre (ICC)Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC)United Nations University (UNU)UN Women
20Security CouncilThe following bodies report directly to the Security Council.Subsidiary Bodies1540 CommitteeCounter-Terrorism CommitteeInternational Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR)Military Staff CommitteePeacekeeping Operations and MissionsSanctions CommitteesStanding Committees and Ad Hoc CommitteesUN Compensation CommissionWorking Group on Children and Armed ConflictInformal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural QuestionsAdvisory Subsidiary BodyUnited Nations Peacebuilding Commission (1)