Four Main Goals of the UN 1. To keep and Maintain Peace throughout the world; 2. To develop friendly relations among nations; 3. To help nations work together to improve the lives of poor people, to conquer hunger, disease and illiteracy, and to encourage respect for each others rights and freedoms; 4. To be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations to achieve these goals.
History of The United Nations (UN) Based upon League of Nations (WWI). 50 members in original UN charter. Prevent another World War. Established October 24, 1945 (post-WWII).
League of Nations (1919-1946) Treaty of Versailles (Part 1). Jans Christian Smuts (Unionist prime minister of South Africa). Woodrow Wilson. League on Nations FAILS to prevent WWII; contributes to rise of Hitler in Germany. United States isolationist policy (negotiate separate peace w/ Germany; doesnt join LN)
World War Two (1939-1945) Nazis & Imperial Japan. Prevent atrocities (such as Holocaust) from ever happening again. Promote the democratic process/human rights around the world. Way for different governments to talk to each other; problems, help, etc.
San Francisco Conference (June 26, 1945- October 24, 1945) Original UN charter is agreed upon. Big 5 established as permanent members (USA, UK, USSR, France, China). Main headquarters in NYC.
Organization of UN; 5 Organs (bodies) 1. General Assembly General Assembly 2. Security Council Security Council 3. Economic & Social Council Economic & Social Council 4. International Court of Justice International Court of Justice 5. Secretariat Secretariat
General Assembly Main Parliamentary body. 192 members. 2/3 majority vote required. Each member gets 1 vote. Just about everything is discussed in the GA.
Security Council Military branch of UN. In charge of peacekeeping, land mine removal, refugee protection, etc. 15 members (5 permanent: USA, Russia, UK, China, France- each has a veto vote on ALL Security Council measures. Decisions known as UN security council resolutions.
Economic & Social Council 54 members. The economic branch of UN (ECOSOC controls 70% of entire UN budget). promoting higher standards of living, full employment, and economic and social progress; identifying solutions to international economic, social and health problems; facilitating international cultural and educational cooperation; and encouraging universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
International Court of Justice Judicial branch of UN. Establishes international law. Mediates disputes between countries. Has tried war criminals in the past (Nazis). Based in The Hague, Netherlands (only one not in NYC). 15 judges elected by GA- 9yr term. Official languages are French & English.
Secretariat Administrative branch of UN. Handles day to day operations; international disputes to peacekeeping logistics. 44,000 employees world wide. Interprets and translates documents into official UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish). Provides the research for UN studies, investigations and General Assembly meetings.
Secretary-General The head of the Secretariat and also President of the General Assembly. Appointed to 5 year terms by General Assembly. CANNOT be from one of the Big 5 permanent members. Ban Ki-Moon of South Korea
Universal Declaration of Human Rights Adopted by General Assembly 1948. Main document to support UN intervention; General Assembly, Security Council resolutions, and International Court of Justice. Established in direct response to Holocaust atrocities committed by Nazi Germany in WWII. United Nations Human Rights Council was est. 2006 to monitor human rights around the world. World Food Program and High Commission for Refugees.
Funding The UN is funded by voluntary donations from member States. Donations are based on the Gross National Income of each country. USA is largest donor (22% of 2011 budget). Most of UN budget is spent supporting peacekeeping operations and providing humanitarian aid.
Criticism of UN Failure to enforce Security Council resolutions in Rwanda, Darfur, the Gaza Strip, and Bosnia. Corruption in Cote dIvoire, Liberia, and Haiti. Some member States of UN are guilty of Human Rights Violations (apartheid South Africa).