The United Nations System at a glance
The United Nations is an international organization whose members are governments. It has six principal organs – General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council, Trusteeship Council, International Court of Justice, and Secretariat. In addition, the United Nations system includes thirteen specialized agencies that focus on social, cultural, economic, health, educational and other humanitarian fields. The United Nations system was established in 1945 after the Second World War. Its Charter was ratified by the five permanent members of the Secutiry Council – China, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the USSR (now the Russian Federation) – an the remaining 46 signatory governments. U.N. memberships has increased overt the years to more than 185 member states today. As an inter-governmental system, the U.N. forms and international community and is an instrument for governments to address global issues and problems.
Purposes and Principles
The primary purposes of the United Nations are to maintain international peace and security; to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principles of equal rights and self-determination of peoples; to foster international cooperation for solving economic, social, cultural, and humanitarian problems; to promote respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; and to be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations in attaining these common ends. When governments sign and ratify the Charter of the United Nations, they declare that they will abide by the provisions and obligations outlined in the Charter. they fulfill these responsibilities and duties through peaceful means.
The Charter of the United Nations establishes the principles and diplomatic rules for the post-World War II era. It provides a level playing field for intergovernmental negotiations and the manner by which consensus on global issues can be fairly and honestly achieved. The United Nations has been called by many people the world’s “Town Hall”. In fact, it is an international diplomatic conference permanently in session. The U.N. stands as the only continuous experiment to coalesce the most diverse group of nations ever assembled. The U.N. validated the priority of diplomacy over the use of force in international affairs.
Obviously, diplomacy is the heart of the United Nations. It is the currency of governments when they discuss or debate the issues at the United Nations. Through diplomacy, the decisions of the United Nations are made and the common ends of the international community are determined.
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