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The United Nations Essay

2368 words - 10 pages

Introduction

The History of the United Nations
Following the end of World War II, many nations decided that the League of Nations; an organization that was founded after World War I by the United States of America upon the Treaty of Versailles, needed to be replaced by an organization that could better foresee the needs of the international community and undertake the responsibility of maintaining international peace and security. The United Nations, with its six principle organs was founded in 1945, as a replacement to the failed League of Nations.1
The fifty founding countries of the United Nations met in San Francisco, California in 1945 in order to draft a new charter. The United ...view middle of the document...

It affords the opportunity for countries to balance global interdependence and national interests when addressing international problems”. 2

The United Nations is composed of six major principle organs. The two most important and influential organs are the General Assembly and the Security Council. The remaining four organs however, are the Economic and Social Council, Secretariat, International Court of Justice, and finally, the Trusteeship Council. The most vital organ in the decision-making process is the Security Council.2

The United Nations’ Functions:
There are six principle organs of the United Nations. The General Assembly, The Security Council, The Economic and Social Council, The International Court of Justice, The Secretariat and The Trusteeship Council (inactive since 1994). All organs share one main goal; promoting international cooperation and peace. In order to have a better understanding of the United Nations and its functions, one must take a look at the four most important councils; The General Assembly, The Security Council, The International Court of Justice and The Economic and Social Council.
The General Assembly is the only UN organ that contains all 193 state members, all with equal votes. The main powers of the General Assembly are overseeing the budget of the UN, appointing non-permanent states to the Security Council, and receiving reports from various organs of the UN. Aside from these responsibilities, the General Assembly is also required to establish subsidiary organs that contribute to enforcing world peace, such as the United Nations Human Rights Council. Although the General Assembly is the main policy-maker of the UN and discusses a wide range of topics within the scope of the United Nations such as peace and security, the General Assembly makes recommendations in the form of resolutions. These resolutions require a two-thirds majority in order to pass, due to equal representation of states in the General Assembly. Unfortunately, these resolutions, excluding budgetary issues, are not binding. It is argued that the General Assembly lacks any substantial power to bring about real change to the world or to specific incumbent conflicts. Despite that, however, the General Assembly is enabled to take empirical actions. Resolution 377 “Uniting for Peace” states the right of the General Assembly to take action upon the failure of the Security Council to take action regarding a matter of breach of international peace and security.
The Security Council is the organ of the United Nations directly responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security through promoting international cooperation and providing nonviolent methods of settling disputes. There are fifteen members in the Security Council, five permanent members, and ten members who serve two-year terms. The five permanent members are: The People’s Republic of China, The French Republic, The Russian Federation, The United Kingdom and...

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