Thursday, September 17, 2009

United Nations (UN)


The United Nations (UN) is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and the achieving of world peace. The UN was founded in 1945 after World War II to replace the League of Nations, to stop wars between countries, and to provide a platform for dialogue. It contains multiple subsidiary organizations to carry out its missions.

There are currently 192 member states, including nearly every sovereign state in the world. From its offices around the world, the UN and its specialized agencies decide on substantive and administrative issues in regular meetings held throughout the year. The organization is divided into administrative bodies, primarily:
= the General Assembly (the main deliberative assembly);
= the Security Council (decides certain resolutions for peace and security);
= the Economic and Social Council (assists in promoting international economic and social cooperation and development);
= the Secretariat (provides studies, information, and facilities needed by the UN);
= the International Court of Justice (the primary judicial organ).

Additional bodies deal with the governance of all other UN System agencies, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The UN's most visible public figure is the Secretary-General, currently Ban Ki-moon of South Korea, who attained the post in 2007. The organization is financed from assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states, and has six official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.

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