Kofi Annan - Center of the Storm


1948: Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted
1949: Ralph Bunche secures Middle East peace.
1950: UN action in Korea
1956: UN helps resolve Suez crisis.

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Korean refugee children The Security Council, in the absence of the Soviet Union, votes to have UN members defend South Korea from North Korea. U.S. General Douglas MacArthur is sent in as the head of the UN command of US forces and small groups of British, Canadian, Australian and Turkish troops. The war kills millions and ends in 1953 with the division of the Korean Peninsula between a communist north and a capitalist south.

Learn more: PBS MacArthur
Follow the major events of the Korean War with an interactive map.
The UN moves into its New York City headquarters.
Dag Hammarskjöld Dag Hammarskjöld of Sweden becomes Secretary-General. Hammarskjöld, the poet-diplomat, takes over from Trygve Lie who resigned from the post, stating, "...In my new official capacity the private man should disappear and the international public servant take his place."

Learn more: UN Dag Hammarskjöld biography
The official UN biography
United Nations High Commission for Refugees wins Nobel Peace Prize for its work with European refugees. Established by the General Assembly in 1950, the agency is mandated to lead international efforts to protect refugees worldwide.

Learn more: UN UNHCR
United Nations High Commission for Refugees

Learn more: NPR All Things Considered
Discover what it's like to work in one of the UN's refugee camps.
Tanks in Egypt First emergency Special Session of the General Assembly meets on the Suez crisis and establishes first UN peacekeeping force. The General Assembly voted to establish the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) -- the UN's first full-scale peacekeeping force. Ten days later six thousand troops landed in Egypt to supervise the 273-kilometer border with Israel and oversee the withdrawal of British, French and Israeli forces. The result -- for a while -- was peace and it appeared the UN had scored its first peacekeeping victory. In 1974, UNEF II was established to supervise the cease-fire between Israel and Egypt.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is set up to promote the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Learn more: UN IAEA
The International Atomic Energy Agency

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