The United Nations - UN
The United Nations is a unique international organization of sovereign States. It was founded after the Second World War to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations and promote social progress, better living standards and human rights. The Member States are bound together by the principles of the UN Charter, an international treaty that spells out their rights and duties as members of the international community.
The UN itself is made up of six main organs, all of which are based at UN Headquarters in New York, except for the International Court, which is situated at the Hague, the Netherlands. Related to the UN are the „specialized agencies“, which work in such diverse areas as health, agriculture, international aviation and meteorology. The UN, its specialized agencies and its other programmes and funds such as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) compose the „UN system“.
It is often said that if we did not have the United Nations it would have to be invented. In a world plagued by conflict, the UN provides the means for consultations among governments, as well as the forum for dealing with long-term problems. The impartiality of the UN is one of the Organization’s most important assets. In case of conflict, Member States, acting throught he UN, can provide peacekeeping missions.
Many global problems – increasing population, poverty, unemployment, environmental degradation, international crime, AIDS, drug trafficking, international migration – can be tackled only through international cooperation. The UN system – already at work on these problems – provides one of the best mechanisms available to mobilize and sustain such cooperation.