Countries in the UN / Countries in the United Nations 2023

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Formed by the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, and China in the aftermath of World War II, the United Nations is the largest and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. The UN Charter was first signed on June 26, 1945, and entered into effect on October 24, 1945. A total of 51 member countries attended the UN General Assembly's first meeting, which took place in London, England on January 10, 1946. As of 2023, the UN includes 193 member states and two non-member observer states (full list below). Few sovereign territories exist that are not members of the United Nations.

What is the purpose of the United Nations?

The United Nations charter establishes four main goals for the organization:

  1. To maintain international peace and security (primarily through peaceful diplomatic means).
  2. To develop friendly relations among nations, granting equal rights to all and working to strengthen global peace.
  3. To create a forum which leverages international cooperation to solve economic, social, cultural, and humanitarian challenges and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.
  4. To be a hub and catalyst that harmonizes the actions of its member nations to achieve the organization's stated goals of peace and security.

Structure of the United Nations

The UN is made up of six main organs, five of which are active:

  • The General Assembly — Roles include handling the budget and admitting new members.
  • The Secretariat — Offers administrative support to the other bodies.
  • The Security Council — 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.

The remaining organ, the Trusteeship Council, technically still exists but has been inactive since 1994. The Trusteeship Council's role was to oversee and mentor non-sovereign "trustee" territories. The last trustee (Palau) obtained its sovereignty in 1994. Its purpose fulfilled, the council's operations were suspended. However, it has never been officially disbanded.

The UN also includes several specialized agencies which help the organization fulfill its duties and goals. These agencies include the World Health Organization, which performs vaccinations, and the World Food Programme, which helps overcome famine and prevent malnutrition around the world.

Countries in the UN / Countries in the United Nations 2023

Note: Non-member observer status was awarded to Palestine on 29 November 2012 and to Vatican City on 6 April 1964.

There are 195 Countries in the UN.

Countries in the UN / Countries in the United Nations 2023