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Tell Me Why?

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What is the Purpose of the United Nations?


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The United Nations (UN) is an international organization dedicated in promoting world peace, collective security and friendly relations among most of the world’s nations. This, they aim to achieve through co-operation between nations in international law, international security, economic development, social, cultural, and humanitarian issues.

Outlined at the UN site, it states: The purposes of the United Nations, as set forth in the Charter, are to maintain international peace and security; to develop friendly relations among nations; to cooperate in solving international economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems and in promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in attaining these ends.

The UN was officially established on 24 October 1945 (after collapse of League of Nations) at the end of World War II to protect future generations from the scourge of war. It replaced the League of Nations an international organization conceived in similar circumstances and founded after the First World War at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 under the Treaty of Versailles. It was however powerless since the United States was never a member. As a result, it was dissolved in 1946 making way for newly formed United Nations.

The organization presently has 192 Member States (member countries). Decisions are made by a General Assembly and by a 15-member Security Council that has five permanent members and 10 rotating members. The UN is divided into six principal organs; the General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council, Trusteeship Council, International Court of Justice, and Secretariat. The United Nations also has 15 agencies and several programmes and bodies that comes under its umbrella - The United Nations family.

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