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The United Nations At a Glance. Introduction to United Nations Applaud us when we prevail; correct us when we fail; but, above all, do not let this indispensable,

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Presentation on theme: "The United Nations At a Glance. Introduction to United Nations Applaud us when we prevail; correct us when we fail; but, above all, do not let this indispensable,"— Presentation transcript:

1 The United Nations At a Glance

2 Introduction to United Nations Applaud us when we prevail; correct us when we fail; but, above all, do not let this indispensable, irreplaceable institution wither, languish, or perish as a result of Member States indifference, inattention or financial starvation. -Kofi Annan

3 Introduction to United Nations Purpose: to bring all nations of the world together to work for peace and development, based on principles of justice, human dignity, and the well- being of all people Not intended to be a world government Chief principle: national sovereignty This means that borders, laws and traditions of each country cannot be intruded on by any other government, by any international agency, or the UN itself. Exceptions to this rule occur when the Security Council agrees that there is a significant threat to peace and security.

4 History of the United Nations: The Charter First named by Franklin Roosevelt during World War II UN began as a declaration among Allied governments against Axis Powers After war, the UN as we now know it was chartered at the United Nations Conference on International Organization in San Francisco, California on June 26, 1945 Final ratification of Charter by main member states occurred on October 24, 1945 (UN Day) 51 original member states

5 History of the United Nations: The Charter (Contd.) United Nations Charter Establishes conditions for membership Sets purpose & structure of Organization Lays out fundamental rights and principles that apply to all member states International treaty All members expected to observe mandates of charter as international law

6 History of the United Nations: The Charter (contd.) Expectations of Member states (in UN Charter): Fulfill in good faith obligations (payments and dues) Settle international disputes by peaceful means Refrain from the threat or use of force against another Member State, Assist the UN in line with the Charter The Charter does not give the UN any authority to intervene in domestic matters of any State

7 History of the United Nations: What Has the UN Done? Improved international health Immunizing children Fighting malaria and deadly diseases Providing safe drinking water Eradicating smallpox As a result, life expectancy has increased all over the world More International Law has been developed through the UN in the past sixty years than in the entire history of mankind UN relief agencies have given aid and protected more than 25 million refugees throughout the world

8 The History of the United Nations: What has the UN Done? 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights More than 80 other human rights treaties Strengthened democratic processes by assisting in elections in over 70 countries World Food Program- the worlds largest food-aid organization- provides 1/3 of worlds food each year

9 Structure & Function of UN: Main UN Organs United Nations is comprised of six main organs (organizations) General Assembly Security Council Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC) Trusteeship Council International Court of Justice Secretariat

10 Structure & Function of the UN: The General Assembly Main body of the UN Every Member State has a single vote on the GA and within its main committees First Committee: Disarmament & International Security Second Committee: Economic & Financial Third Committee: Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Fourth Committee: Special, Political and Decolonization Fifth Committee: Administrative and Budget Sixth Committee: Legal Each committee presents work in form of written resolutions to the General Assembly and then deliberates and votes on these resolutions

11 Structure & Function of the UN: Security Council Main responsibility- maintaining international peace and security Members: five permanent members China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States Ten rotating members elected by GA for two year terms Permanent members have veto power Security Council is only UN organ that can demand actions to be taken in resolutions

12 Structure & Function of UN: ECOSOC Coordinates economic and social efforts between UN and other specialized agencies 54 members elected for three year terms- each member has a single vote Resolutions of ECOSOC are recommendations on social, cultural, educational, and health related matters

13 Structure & Function of UN: Trusteeship Council Originally intended to oversee administration of eleven Trust Territories Now somewhat obsolete because all Trust Territories are independent or self- governing Consists of five permanent members of Security Council

14 Structure & Function of UN: International Court of Justice Principal international judicial body All UN Member States are automatic parties to the ICJ Statute Court may preside over cases brought to it by parties or may be asked to give advisory opinions relating to international law No private disputes- only national disputes Rulings are based upon international conventions and treaties Fifteen judges sit on the court

15 Structure & Function of UN: Secretariat International staff that conducts day-to-day operations & administration of the organization Secretary General is the chief administrative officer, although duties also include being the main spokesperson, diplomat and activist of the UN Current Secretary General is Ban Kai-Moon from South Korea

16 Structure & Function of UN: Selected UN Agencies UNICEF: United Nations Childrens Fund Only UN agency dedicated to helping children Founded in the wake of WWII in 1946 Supports the full implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) UNICEF reports to ECOSOC

17 Structure & Function of UN: Selected UN Agencies UNDP: United Nations Development Program Since 1965, serves as coordinating body for financial assistance in sustainable development Uses powers to aid environment, alleviate impoverishment, improve status of women and reduce unemployment levels UNDP reports to the General Assembly

18 Structure & Function of UN: Selected UN Agencies UNESCO: United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization promotes peaceful uses of scientific resources & research, improved education, cultural identity and free communication Reports to ECOSOC

19 Structure & Function of UN: World Bank Aims to improve standards of living by promoting economic growth and development World Bank reports to ECOSOC

20 Structure & Function of UN: Selected UN Agencies WHO: World Health Organization Founded in 1948 Three guiding principles: To give worldwide guidance in the field of health To work with Member States in improving national health programs To develop and transfer information and technology in order to attain the highest standards of health for all WHO reports to ECOSOC


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