The UNO is an association of sovereign states bound by a Charter (Constitution) to maintain international peace and security. It is the worlds largest international organization; a successor to the league of Nation.
On June 26, 1945, the delegates of 50 countries at San Francisco (USA) signed the United Nations Charter (Constitution).
Foundation Day of the UNO
The UNO Formally came into existence on October 24, 1945 when governments of China, France, and the United Kingdom, the former USSR, the United States and a majority of other states ratified the UNO Charter. October 24 is celebrated as the United Nations Day throughout the world.
First Regular Session of the UNO
The first regular session of the UNO was held in London in January 1946 and Trygve Lie (Norway) was elected the first Secretary General of the UNO.
Headquarters of the UNO
These are located on the First Avenue, UN Plaza, New York City, and United States of America.
The UNO Flag
The UNO General Assembly adopted the UNO flag on October 20, 1947. The white UNO emblem is superimposed on a light blue background. The emblem consists of the global map projected from the North Pole and embraced in twin olive branches (symbol of peace). The UNO flag is not to be subordinated to any other flag in the world.
Aims and Objectives
The main objectives of the UN are:
- To maintain peace and security in the world
- To work together to remove poverty, disease and illiteracy and encourage respect for each other?s rights of basic freedom
- To develop friendly relations among nations.
- To b a centre to help nations achieve these common goals.
Membership of the UNO
Admission of Members: New members are admitted to the General assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council and two-third of the members should vote in favor. Members are expelled or suspended in the same manner.
Permanent Members: There are five permanent members of the Security Council: China, France, Russia, UK and USA.
Veto: A negative vote by a permanent member bars action by the Security Council and is called a veto. Each permanent member enjoys the power were veto.
Membership: When the UNO Charter was signed, there were only 50 members. By 1994 the membership rose to 185. The following nations were admitted to the UNO in 1993:
In 1994: Palau, a newly independent Pacific nation which had been under the trusteeship of the USA.
Non-members: (1) Switzerland (2) Taiwan. In addition several other small states like Nauru. Tonga, Vatican City are also not members of the UNO.
Organization of the UNO
The principal bodies of the UN are:
- The General Assembly
- The Security council
- The Economic and Social Council
- International Court of Justice
- Trusteeship Council
General Assembly (GA)
Headquarters: New York
Membership: Consists of all member states of the UNO. Each member can send five delegates but each nation has only one vote.
Functions: All other UNO bodies report to the General Assembly. It discusses and makes recommendations on any subject covered under the UNO Charter except those with which the Security Council may be dealing.
Meetings: The General Assembly meets every year in regular sessions beginning on the third Tuesday in September.
UN Security Council (SC)
Headquarters: New York
Membership: The Security Council has 15 members- five permanent members enjoying veto power (China, France, Russia, UK and USA) and 10 non-permanent elected members. The non-permanent members are elected by the General Assembly. They retire on rotation every two years.
Function: The Security Council is responsible for international peace and security. Any nation, irrespective of its membership of the UNO, can put forth its problem before the Council. The Security Council can recommend peaceful solutions or, if necessary, may order use of force to restore peace.
The Economic and Social Council
Headquarter: New York
Membership: Consists of representatives of 54 member-countries elected by a two-third majority in the General Assembly. One-third of the members are elected every year to serve for a period of three years and one-third of the members retire annually.
Functions: The Economic and Social Council carries on the functions of the UNO with regard to international economic, social, cultural, educational, health and related matters.
International Court of Justice (ICJ)
Headquarter: The Hague (Netherlands)
Membership: Consists of 15 judges who are elected by the General Assembly and the Security Council for a term of nine years.
Function: It gives advisory opinion on legal matters to the bodies and special agencies of the UNO and considers the legal disputes brought before them.
Justice R. S. Pathak, Chief Justice of India, was elected Judge of the ICJ on April 18, 1989. He became the third Indian on whom this honour has been bestowed. The other two were Mr. Justice B.N. Rao and Mr. Justice Nagendra Singh.
Headquarter: New York
Membership: There are five permanent members of the Security Council plus those nations, who administer Trust Territories.
Functions: To safeguard the interest of inhabitants of territories which are not yet fully self-governing and are governed by an administering country.
Headed by: Secretary General which is appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council.
Tenure: Five years and eligible for re-election after the tern expires.
Functions: It is the Chief administrative office of the UNO, which coordinates and supervises the activities of the UNO.
Secretary Generals of the UN
|1. Trygve Lie
|2. Dag Hammarskjold (He was killed in an Air Crash)
|3. U. Thant
|4. Dr. Kurt Waldheim
|5. Javier Perez De Cuellar
||1982-91 (Two Terms)
|6. Dr. Boutros Ghali
|7. Kofi Annan
||1997-2007 (Two Terms)
|8. Ban Ki-moon
Official Languages of the UNO
There are now six official languages recognized by the UN:
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