The United Nations, or UN as it is known, is an organization that focuses on maintaining peace, security, and good relations among member nations around the world. The UN is the largest and most powerful intergovernmental organization.
The UN Charter was first signed on June 26, 1945. The charter went into effect later that year on October 24. When the UN was founded, there were just 51 members. Today, there are 193 members, as well as two observer states. The UN was formed by the United Kingdom, the United States, China, and the Soviet Union. Delegates from this nation met and agreed upon the structure and the goals of the organization.
The UN is made up of five organs. The General Assembly’s roles include handling the budget and admitting new members. The Secretariat offers administrative support to the other bodies. The Security Council is responsible for maintaining international peace and security. The International Court of Justice gives legal opinions and settles disputes. The Economic and Security Council handles cooperation between states in economic and social matters. At one time, there was a Trusteeship Council as a principal organ, but this has been inactive since 1994.
The UN also has specialized agencies that help the organization fulfill its duties. Some of these agencies include the World Health Organization that performs vaccinations and the World Ford Programme that helps prevent malnutrition and famine around the world.
As mentioned, there are 193 member states in the UN. There are also observer states. These nations are allowed to participate with some limits. The General Assembly determines what level of participation observer states have. Currently, Palestine and Vatican City are the only two observer states.