signing the UN Charter
signed by Allied powers in 1942 agreeing to the principles set
forth in the Atlantic Charter
in the Security Council, November, 1967
What it is.....
The United Nations was formed in 1945 as an outgrowth of the
Conference on International Organizations held in San Francisco
at the conclusion of World War II. It is an association of governments.
From 51 original members, the U.N. has expanded to 185 - virtually
every nation in the world.
As stated in its Charter,
the goals of the United Nations are: to maintain international
peace and security; to achieve international cooperation in
solving economic, social, cultural, and humanitarian problems
and in promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms;
and to be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations in
attaining these common ends.
General Assembly: The U.N's principal deliberative body,
where each nation has one vote.
Security Council: Charged with maintaining international
peace and security, the Council has 15 members of which five
(the U.S., China, France, the Russian Federation, and the United
Kingdom) are permanent members.
Economic and Social Council: A 54-member body responsible
for coordinating the U.N's economic and social work.
Trusteeship Council: Originally given jurisdiction over
11 former colonies (all now independent nations), its future
International Court of Justice: Based in the Hague in the
Netherlands, the Court decides legal disputes between countries
that accept its jurisdiction.
Secretariat: The international civil service that carries
out the decisions of the other bodies.*
here to view a Chart showing the structure and
organization of the United Nations system including the International
Atomic Energy Agency.
... And What It Is Not
The United Nations is not a world government. The U.N's member
nations, voting in the General Assembly and other bodies, determine
policies and programs to achieve the purposes stated in the
U.N. Charter. They provide the resources to implement these
policies and programs. Article II, Section 7 of the United Nations
Charter state that nothing contained in the present Charter
shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which
are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any member
state or shall require the members to submit such matters to
settlement under the present Charter. (The one exception to
this provision is that the Security Council may take measures
to deal with aggression or other threats to peace, as described
in Article VII of the Charter.)
The United Nations has no independent military force. Nor does
it have the power to impose taxes. Indeed, it even lacks the
power to borrow money. The United Nations has only the authority
and resources provided to it by its members.*
United Nations Association of the United States of America.