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Members of the United Nations
Members of the United Nations
Headquarters 760 United Nations Plaza, Manhattan, New York City (International territory)
Official languages
Type Intergovernmental organization
Membership 193 member states
2 observer states
António Guterres
• Deputy Secretary-General
Amina J. Mohammed
Abdulla Shahid
• UN Charter signed
26 June 1945 (78 years ago) (1945-06-26)
• Charter entered into force
24 October 1945 (78 years ago) (1945-10-24)
Website (General) (Permanent Missions)
Preceded by
League of Nations

The United Nations (UN) is an organization between countries established on 24 October 1945 to promote international cooperation. It was founded to replace the League of Nations following World War II and to prevent another conflict. When it was founded, the UN had 51 Member States; there are now 193. Most nations are members of the UN and send diplomats to the headquarters to hold meetings and make decisions about global issues.

The United Nations Secretariat Building
The United Nations headquarters building in New York City

The goals of the United Nations are:


After World War I, the nations of the world formed the League of Nations. This organization was a place where nations could talk through their differences calmly. However, some countries like Germany, Italy and Japan ignored the League and tried to solve their problems through war. Members of the League of Nations did not want to go to war to protect other members and the League failed. A Second World War soon followed.

The Allies of World War II often called themselves "the United Nations" (united against the Axis Powers). After the War, the winners formed a new organization for world peace. On 25th April 1945 in San Francisco, they decided on the name '"United Nations". In June they signed the United Nations Charter saying how the organization would work. The UN was created on 24 October 1945 and its first meeting was held in January 1946. Since 1947 the 24th of October has been called “United Nations Day”.


All organs of the United Nations are based in New York City, except the International Court of Justice which is located at The Hague in the Netherlands


The main building for the United Nations is in New York City in the United States of America, but the UN also has important offices in Geneva (Switzerland), Nairobi (Kenya) and Vienna (Austria). The UN tries to be peaceful, but sometimes when talks do not work the UN, unlike the League of Nations, will fight too. In the 1950s the UN helped South Korea in a war against North Korea, and in the 1990s the UN helped to force Iraqi soldiers out of Kuwait. At other times, the UN has formed 'peacekeeping' forces. UN peacekeepers travel to troubled places in the world and try - sometimes successfully, sometimes not - to keep the peace. Today there are UN peacekeepers working in Afghanistan, Cyprus, Haiti, Liberia and several other countries. Through a series of goals, resolutions and declarations adopted by member nations of the United Nations, the world has a set of commitments, actions and goals to stop and reverse the spread of HIV and scale up towards universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services.


The United Nations has six "principal organs":

Principal organs of the United Nations
UN General Assembly
- Deliberative assembly of all U.N. member states (each country has one vote) -
UN Secretariat
- Administrative organ of the U.N. - its chairman is the UN Secretary General -
International Court of Justice
- Universal court for international law (based in The Hague) -
UN General Assembly hall
Headquarters of the UN in New York City
International Court of Justice
  • may resolve non-compulsory recommendations to states, or suggestions to the U.N.S.C. (not a Parliament)
  • decides on the admission of new members, on proposal of the U.N.S.C.
  • adopts the budget
  • elects the non-permanent members of the U.N.S.C., all members of Economic and Social Council, on the proposal of the U.N.S.C. the U.N. Secretary General, and the 15 judges of the I.C.J.
  • supports the other U.N. bodies administratively, e.g. in the organization of conferences, writing reports and studies, and the preparation of the budget-plan
  • its chairman - the U.N. Secretary General - is elected by the U.N. General Assembly for a five-year mandate and is the most important representative of the U.N.
  • beside its headquarters in New York City it has three main offices in Geneva, Nairobi and Vienna
  • decides disputes between states that recognize its jurisdiction and creates legal opinions
  • the 15 judges are elected by the U.N. General Assembly for nine years. It renders judgement with relative majority
  • parties on the I.C.J. can only be countries, however no international organizations and other subjects of international law (not to be confused with the I.C.C.)
U.N. Security Council
- For international security issues -
U.N. Economic and Social Council
- For global economical and social affairs -
U.N. Trusteeship Council
- Was administering trust territories (currently not active) -
UN security council
UN Economic and Social Council
UN Trusteeship Council
  • responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security
  • the most powerful organ of the U.N., as it may adopt compulsory resolutions
  • its decisions include peacekeeping- and peace enforcement-missions, as well as non-military pressure mediums, such as trade embargos
  • has 15 members: five permanent members with veto power (China, Russia, France, the United Kingdom and the United States), and ten elected members
  • responsible for cooperation on economic and social fields (raising the general standard of living, solve economic, social and health problems, promotion of human rights, culture, education, and humanitarian aid)
  • therefore it has established numerous functional and regional commissions
  • also coordinates the cooperation with the numerous specialized agencies of the United Nations
  • has 54 members, who are elected by the U.N. General Assembly to serve staggered three-year mandates
  • was originally designed to manage colonial possessions that were earlier League of Nations mandates
  • is inactive since 1994, with the last trust territory (Namibia) attaining independence in 1990

Additionally there are so-called "special agencies of the United Nations". Some are older than the United Nations. Here are a few of them:

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Organización de las Naciones Unidas para niños

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