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The United Nations

Updated on March 18, 2011
The UN headquarters
The UN headquarters


The United Nations or UN for short is an international organization dedicated to promoting human rights, aiding developing nations and helping to maintain international peace and security. The UN was built after World War II to replace the League of Nations by helping to ensure the world would never go through a massive war again. Today 192 nations are members of the UN with only 3 non-member countries. Since it’s founding in 1945 the UN has completed countless aid and peacekeeping missions, helped nations grow throughout the world and changed the lives of millions worldwide.

UN Membership

The member nations(blue) and non-member nations(grey).
The member nations(blue) and non-member nations(grey).
The UN flag/logo
The UN flag/logo


The United Nations charter was drafted on June 26, 1945 by 50 founding nations and the UN became an official organization on October, 24 1945. The founding of the UN was led by the main allied nations near the end of World War 2, U.S., U.K., and the Soviet Union.


The United Nations has many purposes and was created to help keep world peace, develop a series of international laws, and aid developing nations. Recently the UN has come up with the Millennium Development Goals, a series of goals the UN hopes to complete by 2015. The goals are:

MDG Poll

Which Millennium Development Goal do you see as the most important?

See results

Millennium Development Goals

The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) set to be completed by 2015 are

1. To end extreme poverty and hunger

2. To achieve global education

3. To promote gender equality

4. To reduce child mortality

5. To improve maternal health

6. To combat AIDS, and other fatal diseases

7. To protect the environment

8. To develop global partnership

A UN security council meeting
A UN security council meeting

Security Council

There are many different bodies that make up the UN. The most powerful is the Security Council. The Security Council is made up of 5 permanent and 9 non-permanent members. The 5 permanent members are China, U.S., U.K., France and Russia. The permanent Security Council members have advantages over the non-permanent members because they can each veto any resolution or proposal they don’t like and they have a permanent position while the others serve 5 year shifts. The Security Council votes on solutions to problems and requires 9 of the 15 votes to pass a resolution. If the resolution passes the Security Council presents it the general assembly to vote on.

The General Assembly

The General assembly is composed of all member nations of the UN. The general assembly has many functions which include discussing important topics, making suggestions to the Security Council and voting on resolutions that the Security Council passes.


Economic and Social Council:

The Economic and Social Council is made up of 54 member countries each of whom serves 3 year terms. The council is in charge of all economic and social issues which they discuss and come up with solutions for.

Other Councils:

Trusteeship Council- The trustee council is made up of the 5 permanent security council members (China, U.S. , U.K. , Russia, and France) and it supervises the 11 trust territories by helping them prepare for independence and self government

International Court of Justice- The international court of justice is made up of all 192 U.N. member nations. The court is located at the Hague in the Netherlands and helps settle disputes between nations.

Secretariat- The secretariat is international staff who help carry out business for the other UN bodies.

Secretary General- The Secretary general is one elected official who leads the Secretariat and brings the attention of certain world issues to the security council.

The hague, headquarters for the international court of justice
The hague, headquarters for the international court of justice

World Issues and UN missions-

Disarmament- One major goal of the UN is stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction. The UN has created treaties to remove nuclear deployment in regions such as the ocean floor, outer space, the South Pole etc... along with making the nuclear test ban treaty banning the testing of nuclear weapons. However there are still thousands of cold war nuclear stockpiles along with new nations acquiring nuclear power leaving the UN a task to eliminate large amounts of nuclear weaponry.

Malnourishment- The term malnourishment means having less than one meal a day. In different regions around the world such as in Central Africa up to 50 percent of the population is malnourished. The UN has sent billions of aid dollars to fight malnourishment but still in many parts of the world the population has a severe lack of food.

Global Warming- Throughout the world as a result of pollution and deforestation there is global warming causing climate change, rising sea levels, higher carbon dioxide. The UN has created numerous organizations to fight global warming and the billion tree campaign hoping to lower carbon dioxide levels and create a safer, cleaner, and healthier atmosphere.

UN Peacekeeping Map


The United Nations has been working and trying to combat problems plauging humanity today. From MDG to disarmament all the missions have been trying to benefit the world and make it a safer and happier place. When and if the UN does eventually reach their goal I believe almost all will agree that the world would be a much better place.


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    • Unifiniti profile image


      5 years ago

      I have a question - is Ban Ki-moon the General Secretary of the UN?

    • Matt Weeks profile image

      Matt Weeks 

      6 years ago from Burlington, NJ

      Very well researched and written. Informative read.

    • Carmen H profile image

      Carmen Beth 

      7 years ago

      Good structure of info. Voted up!

    • dashingclaire profile image


      8 years ago from United States

      I agree w/Kel123. Really nice hub!

    • Kel123 profile image


      8 years ago

      Very informative and laid out nicely. Like the poll.


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