Who Are The United Nations​


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This part gives an overview of the United Nations. It talks about the organization and its activities and gives more information about its bodies and activities.


An international organization of sovereign states, the UN includes almost all nations. The UN comprises only countries that are free to join on their own. It was made after World War II, when 51 countries, including the UK, signed the UN Charter and became the UN's first members. The number of independent countries grew after colonialism ended and countries like the USSR and Yugoslavia broke up. At the moment, 193 countries are part of the UN.

The UN gives the world's independent countries a chance to talk about global issues that affect them individually and as a whole. The goal of the UN is to find peaceful solutions to problems, wars, and crises. The UN Charter is a set of rules that tells member states what their rights are and what their responsibilities are.

United Nations Charter Article 1 states that the organization aims to:

To preserve worldwide peace and security.

To achieve this, effective collective measures must be taken to prevent and eliminate threats to peace, as well as to stop acts of aggression or other things that break the peace, and settle international disputes or situations that could lead to a breach of peace through peaceful means, in line with the rule of justice and international law.

To foster amicable ties between states.

Based on the rule of equal rights and people's right to decide for themselves and to take other steps as needed to strengthen world peace;

To develop worldwide collaboration in addressing global issues.

Of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian nature, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and basic freedoms for everyone, regardless of race, physical intimacy, language, or religion; and

To serve as a hub for coordinating the activities of countries.

Due to its unique international nature and the powers given to it by its founding Charter, the UN can act on a wide range of issues and give its 193 Member States a place to say that through the General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council, and other bodies and committees, they can express their views.

The UN's work can be found in every part of the world. There are several ways the UN System, which includes organizations like UNICEF and the Globe Food Programme as well as intergovernmental entities like the Security Council, influences our lives and improves the world. It is best recognized for peacekeeping, peacebuilding, conflict prevention, and humanitarian aid.

The UN works on a wide range of important issues, such as sustainable development, environment, and refugee protection, disaster relief, counter-terrorism, disarmament and non-proliferation, promoting democracy, human rights, gender equivalence and the advancement of women, governance, financial and social growth, and international health, clearing landmines, increasing food production, and more, to reach its goals and coordinate efforts for a safer world.


Some principles in Article 2 of the UN Charter ensure that the goals are met. These principles apply to both the UN as an organization and each of its member states:

The foundation of the Organization is the idea of the sovereign equality of each member.

To ensure that all members get the rights and benefits that come with being a member, all members shall fulfill the obligations they have taken on following the present Charter in good faith.

All Members must settle their international disagreements through peaceful means that don't threaten international peace, security, or justice.

In their international relationships, all Members must not threaten or use force against any state's territorial sovereignty or political independence or do anything else that goes against the goals of the United Nations.

All Members must help the UN with any action it takes in line with the Charter, and they must not help any state against which the UN is taking preventive or enforcement action.

The Organization will ensure that states that aren't part of the United Nations follow these principles as much as is required to keep the peace and security of the whole world.

Nothing in this Charter gives the UN permission to get involved in matters mainly the responsibility of a state's government, nor does it require members to bring such matters to the UN for resolution. However, this principle doesn't change the fact that Chapter Vll enforcement measures can still be used.

The UN Engage says that a member state that doesn't follow the Charter's rules can be suspended or kicked out. This hasn't happened yet, but when the apartheid system ran the country, South Africa suspended itself by leaving.


The UN Charter sets up the main bodies of the UN. There are a lot of smaller organs under these bodies.

The Assembly of the Whole

The UN's main group for making decisions is the General Assembly. It comprises representatives from each country member, and each country has one vote. A two-thirds majority is needed to make decisions about important things like peace and security, letting new members in, and the budget. For other things, decisions are made by a simple majority.

The General Assembly is made up of several smaller groups. Some of these are the Human Rights Council, the Peacebuilding Commission, and the Disarmament Commission.

Click here to learn more about what the General Assembly does, how it makes decisions, and when and where it meets.

Council of Security

The Security Council is the main group keeping peace and security worldwide. It is set up so that it can work all the time, and a representative from each member country must be at United Nations Headquarters. The English alphabetical order of the member states determines who takes over the presidency of the Council each month.

What the Security Council does and what it can do are:

To preserve international peace and security in conformity with the tenets and goals of the United Nations; To look into any circumstance that can cause international conflict; To provide suggestions for resolving such conflicts or the conditions of settlement;

To come up with plans for setting up a system to control weapons;

To find out if there is a threat to peace or an act of aggression and to suggest what should be done about it.

To ask members to use economic sanctions and other ways to stop or stop aggression that doesn't involve force;

To use military force against an aggressor; To recommend new members; To carry out the United Nations trusteeship duties in strategic areas; and

To suggest a Secretary-General to the General Assembly and, along with the Assembly, to choose the International Court of Justice judges.

The Security Council has five permanent parts: China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Ten non-permanent members serve for a couple of years and are chosen by the General Meeting in regional groups to ensure that each area is represented. Click here to see a list of current members who are not permanent.

People often say that the five permanent members didn't represent the world geographically but represented the most powerful countries in 1945.