Established in 1945, The United Nations is an international organization that unites governments of many different countries with the goal of promoting peace and prosperity in the entire world. Over the years it has become an inseparable part of maintaining international security and peace. The majority of sovereign states are represented in the United Nations and while countries have very distinctly different understanding of how the world should look like, most can agree that the United Nations is a crucial instrument that promotes a set of values worth upholding.
The devastating effects World War II had on the development of the world and on the respect for human life automatically called for action; the people responded by founding the League of Nations in 1920. Sadly, due to various reasons that had to do with structure and execution, the organization proved to be ineffective. This is when the UN charter started being drafted. Not only was it supposed to achieve the unachievable, that is to unite all nations of the world, it also had to start operating under the shadow of its predecessor and make sure it does not step into its footsteps.
The event considered to be a milestone in founding of the UN is the San Francisco conference, which lasted for months and during which representatives from 50 countries tried to come up with a framework for the organization that would include maintaining international peace, protecting and promoting human rights, international law, sustainable development and humanitarian aid. And they succeeded. As of 2011, the number of member states grew to 193, and the decisions made by the UN have huge weight on the international development.
Functions and Institutions
The United Nations has six main organs, each with a precise function and goal. They include:
- The General Assembly. It is the only organ in which all countries have equal representation. The governments discuss matters related to policy-making, oversee the budget of the UN, appoint the Secretary-General and the Security Council.
- The Security Council. The main goal of the Security Council is to ensure international peace, recommend that new members be accepted and approving changes to the UN charter.
- The Economic and Social Council. It supervises most of the economical and social matters of the United Nations, serves to inform the General Assembly about the international economic and social situation and make policy recommendations.
- The Trusteeship Council. Supervises that the inhabitants of trust territories have their interests represented.
- The International Court of Justice. The main judicial organ of the United Nations. It offers advisory opinions on legal issues of international nature and settles disputes among nations.
- The UN Secretariat. The executive organ of the UN responsible for setting agenda and implementing decisions of the other bodies.
While just like any organization of this scope, the United Nations has also seen allegations regarding corruption and bias, in general its importance for the world is undeniable.