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History and Functions of the United Nations

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Presentation on theme: "History and Functions of the United Nations"— Presentation transcript:

1 History and Functions of the United Nations

2 Brief History The League of Nations was formed after WWI
Consisted of 42 countries (not the United States) Had two basic goals: Collectively preserve peace Promote international cooperation in economic and social affairs Failed at keeping peace (WWII) Lost several key members October 24, 1945 the League officially became the United Nations Consisted of 51 member states

3 Other Quick Facts UN symbol: World held by Olive Branches
Olive Branches represent Peace Main Goal of the UN: Maintain world peace and security There are 193 Member Nations in the UN UN Headquarters are in New York City

4 General Assembly AKA “parliament of nations”
Meet to consider world problems 2/3 majority needed to decide: International peace and security issues Admitting new members Budget All other matters are decided by a simple majority Cannot force action by any state Annual regular session is from Sept. – Dec. When the Assembly is not meeting its work is carried out by its six main committees, other subsidiary bodies, and the UN secretariat.

5 Security Council Primary responsibility is to maintain international peace and security. May convene at any time (whenever peace is threatened) Under Charter all member states are obligated to carry out the council’s decisions Council consists of 15 members: Five permanent members Russia, France, China, UK, U.S. Ten others elected by the General Assembly for 2 years

6 Security council continued…
Decisions by the council requires 9 yes votes Except in votes of procedural questions, a decision cannot be taken if there is a no vote or veto by a permanent member When there is a threat to international peace the council can: Explore ways to settle disputes peacefully Suggest principles for a settlement Mediate Try to secure a cease fire (if fighting occurs) Send out peacekeepers to help the parties maintain the truce or keep opposing forces apart

7 Security council continued….
Measures the Council can take to enforce its decision: Impose economic sanctions Order an arms embargo Authorize member states to use “all necessary means” The council also makes recommendations to the General Assembly on: The appointment of a new Secretary General The admission of new members

8 Economic & Social Council
Coordinates the economic and social work of the UN and the UN family of organizations Plays a key role in fostering international cooperation for development Consults with non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), which helps the UN maintain relations with civil society 54 members elected by the GA for three year terms Meets throughout the year and holds a major session in July

9 Economic & Social Council continued…
Council’s subsidiary bodies meet regularly and report back to the council. Examples include commissions on: Human Rights Social Development Status of Women Crime Prevention Narcotic Drugs Environmental Protection Economic Development and Cooperation

10 The Trusteeship Council
Established to provide international supervision for 11 Trust Territories administered by seven member state and ensure that adequate steps were taken to prepare the Territories for self government and independence By 1994, all Trusts had attained self government or independence Now the Council consists of the five permanent members of the Security Council and has amended its rules of procedure to allow it to meet as and when the occasion may require

11 The International Court of Justice
AKA: the “World Court” Main judicial body of the UN Consists of 15 judges elected jointly by the General Assembly and the Security Council Decides disputes between countries Participation by States in a proceeding is voluntary If state agrees to participate, it is obligated to comply with the court’s decision Provides advisory opinions to the GA and Security Council upon request

12 The Secretariat Carries out the substantive and administrative work of the UN as directed by the GA, the security council and the other bodies Headed by the Secretary General who provides overall administration and guidance Current Secretary General: Ban Ki Moon Consists of departments and offices with a total of 7,500 under the regular budget, and almost that many under special funding

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