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For other uses, see UN (disambiguation). United Nations Flag
Map of UN member states Note that this map does not represent the view of its members or the UN concerni ng the legal status of any country, nor does it accurately reflect which area s's government have UN representation. Headquarters International territory in Manhattan, New York City Official languages Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish Membership 192 member states Leaders Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Establishment United Nations Charter signed 26 June 1945 Entry into force of Charter Website www.un.org United Nations portal The United Nations Organization (UNO) or simply United Nations (UN) is an intern ational organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in internati onal law, international security, economic development, social progress, human r ights, 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 t o 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 agenci es decide on substantive and administrative issues in regular meetings held thro ughout the year. The organization has six principal organs: the General Assembly (the main deliberative assembly); the Security Council (for deciding certain re solutions for peace and security); the Economic and Social Council (for assistin g in promoting international economic and social cooperation and development); t he Secretariat (for providing studies, information, and facilities needed by the UN); the International Court of Justice (the primary judicial organ); and the U nited Nations Trusteeship Council (which is currently inactive). Other prominent UN System agencies include the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The UN's most visib le 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 v oluntary contributions from its member states, and has six official languages: A rabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. Contents [hide] • 1 History • 2 Organization
24 October 1945
o o o o o o • o • o o o o o • • • • • • • History
2.1 General Assembly 2.2 Security Council 2.3 Secretariat 2.3.1 Secretary-General 2.4 International Court of Justice 2.5 Economic and Social Council 2.6 Specialized institutions 3 Membership 3.1 Group of 77 4 Functions 4.1 Peacekeeping and security 4.2 Human rights and humanitarian assistance 4.3 Social and economic development 4.4 Mandates 4.5 Other 5 Funding 6 Personnel policy 7 Reform 8 See also 9 References 10 Further reading 11 External links
Please help improve this section by expanding it. Further information mi ght be found on the talk page. (December 2009) Main article: History of the United Nations The signing of the UN Charter in San Francisco, 1945. Following in the wake of the failed League of Nations (1919–1946), which the Uni ted States never joined, the United Nations was established in 1945 to maintain international peace and promote cooperation in solving international economic, s ocial and humanitarian problems. The earliest concrete plan for a new world orga nization was begun under the aegis of the U.S. State Department in 1939. Frankli n D. Roosevelt first coined the term 'United Nations' as a term to describe the Allied countries. The term was first officially used on 1 January 1942 when 26 g overnments signed the Atlantic Charter, pledging to continue the war effort. On 25 April 1945, the UN Conference on International Organization began in San F rancisco, attended by 50 governments and a number of non-governmental organizati ons involved in drafting the Charter of the United Nations. The UN officially ca me into existence on 24 October 1945 upon ratification of the Charter by the fiv e permanent members of the Security Council—France, the Republic of China, the S oviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States—and by a majority of the o ther 46 signatories. The first meetings of the General Assembly, with 51 nations represented, and the Security Council, took place in Westminster Central Hall i n London in January 1946. Since its creation, there has been controversy and criticism of the UN organizat ion. In the United States, an early opponent of the UN was the John Birch Societ y, which began a "get US out of the UN" campaign in 1959, charging that the UN's aim was to establish a "One World Government." After the Second World War, the French Committee of National Liberation was late to be recognized by the US as t he government of France, and so the country was initially excluded from the conf erences that aimed at creating the new organization. Charles de Gaulle criticize d the UN, famously calling it le machin ("the thingie"), and was not convinced t hat a global security alliance would help maintaining world peace, preferring di rect defence treaties between countries. Organization Main article: United Nations System
The United Nations system is based on five principal organs (formerly six – the Trusteeship Council suspended operations in 1994); the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Secretariat, and the International Court of Justice. Four of the five principal organs are located at the main United Nations headqua rters located on international territory in New York City. The International Cou rt of Justice is located in The Hague, while other major agencies are based in t he UN offices at Geneva, Vienna, and Nairobi. Other UN institutions are located throughout the world. The six official languages of the United Nations, used in intergovernmental meet ings and documents, are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish,[ 2] while the Secretariat uses two working languages, English and French. Five of the official languages were chosen when the UN was founded; Arabic was added la ter in 1973. The United Nations Editorial Manual states that the standard for En glish language documents is British usage and Oxford spelling, the Chinese writi ng standard is Simplified Chinese. This replaced Traditional Chinese in 1971 whe n the UN representation of China was changed from the Republic of China to Peopl e's Republic of China. General Assembly United Nations General Assembly hall. Main article: United Nations General Assembly The General Assembly is the main deliberative assembly of the United Nations. Co mposed of all United Nations member states, the assembly meets in regular yearly sessions under a president elected from among the member states. Over a two-wee k period at the start of each session, all members have the opportunity to addre ss the assembly. Traditionally, the Secretary-General makes the first statement, followed by the president of the assembly. The first session was convened on 10 January 1946 in the Westminster Central Hall in London and included representat ives of 51 nations. When the General Assembly votes on important questions, a two-thirds majority of those present and voting is required. Examples of important questions include: recommendations on peace and security; election of members to organs; admission, suspension, and expulsion of members; and, budgetary matters. All other questio ns are decided by majority vote. Each member country has one vote. Apart from ap proval of budgetary matters, resolutions are not binding on the members. The Ass embly may make recommendations on any matters within the scope of the UN, except matters of peace and security that are under Security Council consideration. Conceivably, the one state, one vote power structure could enable states compris ing just eight percent of the world population to pass a resolution by a two-thi rds vote. However, as no more than recommendations, it is diffi cult to imagine a situation in which a recommendation by member states constitut ing just eight percent of the world's population, would be adhered to by the rem aining ninety-two percent of the population, should they object. (See List of co untries by population.) Security Council United Nations Security Council chamber. Main article: United Nations Security Council The Security Council is charged with maintaining peace and security among countr ies. While other organs of the United Nations can only make 'recommendations' to member governments, the Security Council has the power to make binding decision s that member governments have agreed to carry out, under the terms of Charter A rticle 25. The decisions of the Council are known as United Nations Security Council resolutions. The Security Council is made up of 15 member states, consisting of 5 permanent m embers – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States – and 1 0 non-permanent members, currently Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Gabo
n, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Turkey, and Uganda. The five permanent membe rs hold veto power over substantive but not procedural resolutions allowing a pe rmanent member to block adoption but not to block the debate of a resolution una cceptable to it. The ten temporary seats are held for two-year terms with member states voted in by the General Assembly on a regional basis. The presidency of the Security Council is rotated alphabetically each month, and is held by Gab on for the month of March 2010. Secretariat Main article: United Nations Secretariat The United Nations Secretariat Building at the United Nations headquarters in Ne w York City. The United Nations Secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General, assisted by a staff of international civil servants worldwide. It provides studies, informati on, and facilities needed by United Nations bodies for their meetings. It also c arries out tasks as directed by the UN Security Council, the UN General Assembly , the UN Economic and Social Council, and other UN bodies. The United Nations Ch arter provides that the staff be chosen by application of the "highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity," with due regard for the importance o f recruiting on a wide geographical basis. The Charter provides that the staff shall not seek or receive instructions from any authority other than the UN. Each UN member country is enjoined to respect t he international character of the Secretariat and not seek to influence its staf f. The Secretary-General alone is responsible for staff selection. The Secretary-General's duties include helping resolve international disputes, a dministering peacekeeping operations, organizing international conferences, gath ering information on the implementation of Security Council decisions, and consu lting with member governments regarding various initiatives. Key Secretariat off ices in this area include the Office of the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. The Secretary-General may bring t o the attention of the Security Council any matter that, in his or her opinion, may threaten international peace and security. Secretary-General Main article: Secretary-General of the United Nations The current Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon of South Korea. The Secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General, who acts as the de facto spo kesman and leader of the UN. The current Secretary-General is Ban Ki-moon, who t ook over from Kofi Annan in 2007 and will be eligible for reappointment when his first term expires in 2011. Envisioned by Franklin D. Roosevelt as a "world moderator", the position is defi ned in the UN Charter as the organization's "chief administrative officer", but the Charter also states that the Secretary-General can bring to the Security Council's attention "any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenan ce of international peace and security", giving the position greater scope f or action on the world stage. The position has evolved into a dual role of an ad ministrator of the UN organization, and a diplomat and mediator addressing dispu tes between member states and finding consensus to global issues. The Secretary-General is appointed by the General Assembly, after being recommen ded by the Security Council, any member of which can veto, and the General A ssembly can theoretically override the Security Council's recommendation if a ma jority vote is not achieved, although this has not happened so far. There ar e no specific criteria for the post, but over the years it has become accepted t hat the post shall be held for one or two terms of five years, that the post sha ll be appointed on the basis of geographical rotation, and that the Secretary-Ge neral shall not originate from one of the five permanent Security Council member states. Secretaries-General of the United Nations
No. Name Country of origin Took office Left office Note 1 Trygve Lie Norway 2 February 1946 10 November 1952 Resigned 2 Dag Hammarskjöld Sweden 10 April 1953 18 September 1961 Died while in office 3 U Thant Burma 30 November 1961 1 January 1972 First Secretary-General from Asia 4 Kurt Waldheim Austria 1 January 1972 1 January 1982 5 Javier Pérez de Cuéllar Peru 1 January 1982 1 January 1992 First Secretary-General from South America 6 Boutros Boutros-Ghali Egypt 1 January 1992 1 January 1997 First Secretary-General from Africa 7 Kofi Annan Ghana 1 January 1997 1 January 2007 8 Ban Ki-moon South Korea 1 January 2007 Incumbent International Court of Justice Peace Palace, seat of the International Court of Justice at The Hague, Netherlan ds. Main article: International Court of Justice The International Court of Justice (ICJ), located in The Hague, Netherlands, is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. Established in 1945 by the Uni ted Nations Charter, the Court began work in 1946 as the successor to the Perman ent Court of International Justice. The Statute of the International Court of Ju stice, similar to that of its predecessor, is the main constitutional document c onstituting and regulating the Court. It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, sharing the building with the Hague Academy of International Law, a private centre for the study of i nternational law. Several of the Court's current judges are either alumni or for mer faculty members of the Academy. Its purpose is to adjudicate disputes among states. The court has heard cases related to war crimes, illegal state interfere nce and ethnic cleansing, among others, and continues to hear cases. A related court, the International Criminal Court (ICC), began operating in 2002 through international discussions initiated by the General Assembly. It is the first permanent international court charged with trying those who commit the mos t serious crimes under international law, including war crimes and genocide. The ICC is functionally independent of the UN in terms of personnel and financing, but some meetings of the ICC governing body, the Assembly of States Parties to t he Rome Statute, are held at the UN. There is a "relationship agreement" between the ICC and the UN that governs how the two institutions regard each other lega lly. Economic and Social Council Main article: United Nations Economic and Social Council The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) assists the General Assembly in promoti ng international economic and social cooperation and development. ECOSOC has 54 members, all of which are elected by the General Assembly for a three-year term. The president is elected for a one-year term and chosen amongst the small or mi
ddle powers represented on ECOSOC. ECOSOC meets once a year in July for a four-w eek session. Since 1998, it has held another meeting each April with finance min isters heading key committees of the World Bank and the International Monetary F und (IMF). Viewed separate from the specialized bodies it coordinates, ECOSOC's functions include information gathering, advising member nations, and making rec ommendations. In addition, ECOSOC is well-positioned to provide policy coherence and coordinate the overlapping functions of the UN’s subsidiary bodies and it i s in these roles that it is most active. Specialized institutions Please help improve this section by expanding it. Further information mi ght be found on the talk page. (July 2008) Main article: List of specialized agencies of the United Nations There are many UN organizations and agencies that function to work on particular issues. Some of the most well-known agencies are the International Atomic Energ y Agency, the Food and Agriculture Organization, UNESCO (United Nations Educatio nal, Scientific and Cultural Organization), the World Bank and the World Health Organization. It is through these agencies that the UN performs most of its humanitarian work. Examples include mass vaccination programmes (through the WHO), the avoidance o f famine and malnutrition (through the work of the WFP) and the protection of vu lnerable and displaced people (for example, by the HCR). The United Nations Charter stipulates that each primary organ of the UN can esta blish various specialized agencies to fulfill its duties. Specialized agencies of the United Nations No. Acronyms Flag Agency Headquarters Head Established in 1 FAO Food and Agriculture Organization Rome, Italy Jacques Diouf 1945 2 IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency Vienna, Austria Yukiya Amano 1957 3 ICAO International Civil Aviation Organization Montreal, Canada Raymond Benjamin 1947 4 IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development Rome, Italy Kanayo F. Nwanze 1977 5 ILO International Labour Organization Geneva, Switzerland Juan Somavía 1946 6 IMO International Maritime Organization London, United Kingdom Efthimios E. Mitropoulos 1948 7 IMF International Monetary Fund Washington, D.C., USA Dominique Strauss-Kahn 1945 8 ITU International Telecommunication Union Geneva, Switzerland Hamadoun Touré 1947 9 UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Paris, France Irina Bokova
UNIDO United Nations Industrial Development Organization Vienna, Austria Kandeh Yumkella 1967 11 UPU Universal Postal Union Berne, Switzerland Edouard Dayan 1947 12 WB World Bank Washington, D.C, USA Robert B. Zoellick 1945 13 WFP World Food Programme Rome, Italy Josette Sheeran 1963 14 WHO World Health Organization Geneva, Switzerland Margaret Chan 1948 15 WIPO World Intellectual Property Organization Geneva, Switzerland Francis Gurry 1974 16 WMO World Meteorological Organization Geneva, Switzerland Alexander Bedritsky 1950 17 UNWTO World Tourism Organization Madrid, Spain Taleb Rifai 1974 Membership Main article: United Nations member states An animation showing the timeline of accession of UN member states, according to the UN. Note that Antarctica has no government; political control of Western Sa hara is in dispute; and the territories administered by the Republic of China (T aiwan) and Kosovo are considered by the UN to be provinces of the People s Repub lic of China and Republic of Serbia, respectively. With the addition of Montenegro on 28 June 2006, there are currently 192 United Nations member states, including all fully recognized independent states apa rt from Vatican City (the Holy See, which holds sovereignty over the state of Va tican City, is a permanent observer). The United Nations Charter outlines the rules for membership: 1. Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peace-loving state s which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judg ment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations. 2. The admission of any such state to membership in the United Nations will be effected by a decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of th e Security Council. —United Nations Charter, Chapter 2, Article 4, http://www.un.org/aboutun/charter / Group of 77 The Group of 77 at the UN is a loose coalition of developing nations, designed t o promote its members collective economic interests and create an enhanced join t negotiating capacity in the United Nations. There were 77 founding members of
the organization, but the organization has since expanded to 130 member countrie s. The group was founded on 15 June 1964 by the "Joint Declaration of the Sevent y-Seven Countries" issued at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Developm ent (UNCTAD). The first major meeting was in Algiers in 1967, where the Charter of Algiers was adopted and the basis for permanent institutional structures was begun. Functions Peacekeeping and security Main article: History of United Nations Peacekeeping See also: List of United Nations peacekeeping missions UN peacekeeping missions. Dark blue regions indicate current missions , while li ght blue regions represent former missions. The UN, after approval by the Security Council, sends peacekeepers to regions wh ere armed conflict has recently ceased or paused to enforce the terms of peace a greements and to discourage combatants from resuming hostilities. Since the UN d oes not maintain its own military, peacekeeping forces are voluntarily provided by member states of the UN. The forces, also called the "Blue Helmets", who enfo rce UN accords are awarded United Nations Medals, which are considered internati onal decorations instead of military decorations. The peacekeeping force as a wh ole received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1988. The founders of the UN had envisaged that the organization would act to prevent conflicts between nations and make future wars impossible, however the outbreak of the Cold War made peacekeeping agreements extremely difficult because of the division of the world into hostile camps. Following the end of the Cold War, the re were renewed calls for the UN to become the agency for achieving world peace, as there are several dozen ongoing conflicts that continue to rage around the g lobe. A 2005 RAND Corp study found the UN to be successful in two out of three peaceke eping efforts. It compared UN nation-building efforts to those of the United Sta tes, and found that seven out of eight UN cases are at peace, as compared with f our out of eight US cases at peace. Also in 2005, the Human Security Report documented a decline in the number of wars, genocides and human rights abuses si nce the end of the Cold War, and presented evidence, albeit circumstantial, that international activism—mostly spearheaded by the UN—has been the main cause of the decline in armed conflict since the end of the Cold War. Situations wher e the UN has not only acted to keep the peace but also occasionally intervened i nclude the Korean War (1950–1953), and the authorization of intervention in Iraq after the Persian Gulf War in 1990. A British armoured car painted as it appeared while deployed on a UN peacekeepin g mission. The UN has also drawn criticism for perceived failures. In many cases, member st ates have shown reluctance to achieve or enforce Security Council resolutions, a n issue that stems from the UN s intergovernmental nature—seen by some as simply an association of 192 member states who must reach consensus, not an independen t organization. Disagreements in the Security Council about military action and intervention are seen as having failed to prevent the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, failed to provide humanitarian aid and intervene in the Second Congo War, faile d to intervene in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre and protect a refugee haven by th e authorizing the peacekeepers to use force, failure to deliver food to starving people in Somalia, failure to implement provisions of Security Council resoluti ons related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and continuing failure to preve nt genocide or provide assistance in Darfur. UN peacekeepers have also been accu sed of child rape, sexual abuse or soliciting prostitutes during various peaceke eping missions, starting in 2003, in the Congo, Haiti, Liberia, Sudan, Burundi and Côte d Ivoire. In 2004, former Israeli ambassador to the UN Dore Gold criticized what it called the organization s moral relativism i
n the face of (and occasional support of) genocide and terrorism that occurr ed between the moral clarity of its founding period and the present day. Gold sp ecifically mentions Yasser Arafat s 1988 invitation to address the General Assem bly as a low point in the UN s history. In addition to peacekeeping, the UN is also active in encouraging disarmament. R egulation of armaments was included in the writing of the UN Charter in 1945 and was envisioned as a way of limiting the use of human and economic resources for the creation of them. However, the advent of nuclear weapons came only week s after the signing of the charter and immediately halted concepts of arms limit ation and disarmament, resulting in the first resolution of the first ever Gener al Assembly meeting calling for specific proposals for "the elimination from nat ional armaments of atomic weapons and of all other major weapons adaptable to ma ss destruction". The principal forums for disarmament issues are the General Assembly First Committee, the UN Disarmament Commission, and the Conference on Disarmament, and considerations have been made of the merits of a ban on testing nuclear weapons, outer space arms control, the banning of chemical weapons and land mines, nuclear and conventional disarmament, nuclear-weapon-free zones, the reduction of military budgets, and measures to strengthen international securit y. The UN is one of the official supporters of the World Security Forum, a major in ternational conference on the effects of global catastrophes and disasters, taki ng place in the United Arab Emirates, in October 2008. Human rights and humanitarian assistance Eleanor Roosevelt with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1949. The pursuit of human rights was a central reason for creating the UN. World War II atrocities and genocide led to a ready consensus that the new organization mu st work to prevent any similar tragedies in the future. An early objective was c reating a legal framework for considering and acting on complaints about human r ights violations. The UN Charter obliges all member nations to promote "universa l respect for, and observance of, human rights" and to take "joint and separate action" to that end. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, though not legal ly binding, was adopted by the General Assembly in 1948 as a common standard of achievement for all. The Assembly regularly takes up human rights issues. The UN and its agencies are central in upholding and implementing the principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A case in point is supp ort by the UN for countries in transition to democracy. Technical assistance in providing free and fair elections, improving judicial structures, drafting const itutions, training human rights officials, and transforming armed movements into political parties have contributed significantly to democratization worldwide. The UN has helped run elections in countries with little or no democratic histor y, including recently in Afghanistan and East Timor. The UN is also a forum to s upport the right of women to participate fully in the political, economic, and s ocial life of their countries. The UN contributes to raising consciousness of th e concept of human rights through its covenants and its attention to specific ab uses through its General Assembly, Security Council resolutions, or Internationa l Court of Justice rulings. The purpose of the United Nations Human Rights Council, established in 2006, is to address human rights violations. The Council is the successor to the Unit ed Nations Commission on Human Rights, which was often criticised for the high-p rofile positions it gave to member states that did not guarantee the human right s of their own citizens. The council has 47 members distributed by region, w hich each serve three year terms, and may not serve three consecutive terms. A candidate to the body must be approved by a majority of the General Assembly. In addition, the council has strict rules for membership, including a universal human rights review. While some members with questionable human rights records have been elected, it is fewer than before with the increased focus on each memb er state s human rights record. The rights of some 370 million indigenous peoples around the world is also a foc
us for the UN, with a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples being appr oved by the General Assembly in 2007. The declaration outlines the individua l and collective rights to culture, language, education, identity, employment an d health, thereby addressing post-colonial issues which had confronted indigenou s peoples for centuries. The declaration aims to maintain, strengthen and encour age the growth of indigenous institutions, cultures and traditions. It also proh ibits discrimination against indigenous peoples and promotes their active partic ipation in matters which concern their past, present and future. In conjunction with other organizations such as the Red Cross, the UN provides f ood, drinking water, shelter and other humanitarian services to populaces suffer ing from famine, displaced by war, or afflicted by other disasters. Major humani tarian branches of the UN are the World Food Programme (which helps feed more th an 100 million people a year in 80 countries), the office of the High Commission er for Refugees with projects in over 116 countries, as well as peacekeeping pro jects in over 24 countries. Social and economic development Millennium Development Goals 1. eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; 2. achieve universal primary education; 3. promote gender equality and empower women; 4. reduce child mortality; 5. improve maternal health; 6. combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases; 7. ensure environmental sustainability; and 8. develop a global partnership for development. The UN is involved in supporting development, e.g. by the formulation of the Mil lennium Development Goals. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) is the largest mu ltilateral source of grant technical assistance in the world. Organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO), UNAIDS, and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria are leading institutions in the battle against disease s around the world, especially in poor countries. The UN Population Fund is a ma jor provider of reproductive services. It has helped reduce infant and maternal mortality in 100 countries. The UN also promotes human development through various related agencies. The Wor ld Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF), for example, are independen t, specialized agencies and observers within the UN framework, according to a 19 47 agreement. They were initially formed as separate from the UN through the Bre tton Woods Agreement in 1944. The UN annually publishes the Human Development Index (HDI), a comparative measu re ranking countries by poverty, literacy, education, life expectancy, and other factors. The Millennium Development Goals are eight goals that all 192 United Nations mem ber states have agreed to try to achieve by the year 2015. This was declared in the United Nations Millennium Declaration, signed in September 2000. Mandates See also: Category:United Nations Security Council mandates From time to time the different bodies of the United Nations pass resolutions wh ich contain operating paragraphs that begin with the words "requests", "calls up on", or "encourages", which the Secretary-General interprets as a mandate to set up a temporary organization or do something. These mandates can be as little as researching and publishing a written report, or mounting a full scale peace-kee ping operation (usually the exclusive domain of the Security Council). Although the specialized institutions, such as the WHO, were originally set up b y this means, they are not the same as mandates because they are permanent organ izations that exist independently of the UN with their own membership structure. One could say that original mandate was simply to cover the process of setting up the institution, and has therefore long expired. Most mandates expire after a limited time period and require renewal from the body which set them up. One of the outcomes of the 2005 World Summit was a mandate (labeled id 17171) fo
r the Secretary-General to "review all mandates older than five years originatin g from resolutions of the General Assembly and other organs". To facilitate this review and to finally bring coherence to the organization, the Secretariat has produced an on-line registry of mandates to draw together the reports relating t o each one and create an overall picture. Other Over the lifetime of the UN, over 80 colonies have attained independence. Th e General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Co lonial Countries and Peoples in 1960 with no votes against but abstentions from all major colonial powers. Through the UN Committee on Decolonization, creat ed in 1962, the UN has focused considerable attention on decolonization. It has also supported the new states that have arisen as a result self-determination in itiatives. The committee has overseen the decolonization of every country larger than 20,000 km² and removed them from the United Nations list of Non-Self-Gover ning Territories, besides Western Sahara, a country larger than the UK only reli nquished by Spain in 1975. The UN declares and coordinates international observances, periods of time to ob serve some issue of international interest or concern. Using the symbolism of th e UN, a specially designed logo for the year, and the infrastructure of the Unit ed Nations System, various days and years have become catalysts to advancing key issues of concern on a global scale. For example, World Tuberculosis Day, Earth Day and International Year of Deserts and Desertification. Funding Top 10 donators to the UN budget, 2009 Member state Contribution (% of UN budget) United States 22.00% Japan 16.624% Germany 8.577% United Kingdom 6.642% France 6.301% Italy 5.079% Canada 2.977% Spain 2.968% China 2.667% Mexico 2.257% Other member states 23.908% The UN is financed from assessed and voluntary contributions from member states. The regular two-year budgets of the UN and its specialized agencies are funded by assessments. The General Assembly approves the regular budget and determines the assessment for each member. This is broadly based on the relative capacity o f each country to pay, as measured by their Gross National Income (GNI), with ad justments for external debt and low per capita income. The Assembly has established the principle that the UN should not be overly depe ndent on any one member to finance its operations. Thus, there is a ceiling ra te, setting the maximum amount any member is assessed for the regular budget. In December 2000, the Assembly revised the scale of assessments to reflect current
global circumstances. As part of that revision, the regular budget ceiling was reduced from 25% to 22%. The U.S. is the only member that has met the ceiling. I n addition to a ceiling rate, the minimum amount assessed to any member nation ( or floor rate) is set at 0.001% of the UN budget. Also, for the least develope d countries (LDC), a ceiling rate of 0.01% is applied. The current operating budget is estimated at $4.19 billion for the 2-year (bienn ial)period of 2008 to 2009, or a little over 2 billion dollars a year (refer to table for major contributors). A large share of UN expenditures addresses the core UN mission of peace and secu rity. The peacekeeping budget for the 2005–2006 fiscal year is approximately $5 billion (compared to approximately $1.5 billion for the UN core budget over the same period), with some 70,000 troops deployed in 17 missions around the world.[ 46] UN peace operations are funded by assessments, using a formula derived from the regular funding scale, but including a weighted surcharge for the five perma nent Security Council members, who must approve all peacekeeping operations. Thi s surcharge serves to offset discounted peacekeeping assessment rates for less d eveloped countries. As of 1 January 2008, the top 10 providers of assessed finan cial contributions to United Nations peacekeeping operations were: the United St ates, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, China, Canada, Spain, a nd the Republic of Korea. Special UN programmes not included in the regular budget (such as UNICEF, the WF P and UNDP) are financed by voluntary contributions from other member government s. Most of this is financial contributions, but some is in the form of agricultu ral commodities donated for afflicted populations. Because their funding is voluntary, many of these agencies suffer severe shortag es during economic recessions. In July 2009, the World Food Programme reported t hat it has been forced to cut services because of insufficient funding. It h as received barely a quarter of the total it needs for the 09/10 financial year. Personnel policy The UN and its agencies are immune to the laws of the countries where they opera te, safeguarding UN s impartiality with regard to the host and member countries.  This independence allows agencies to implement human resources policies tha t may even be contrary to the laws of a host – or a member country.[citation nee ded] Despite their independence in matters of human resources policy, the UN and its agencies voluntarily apply the laws of member states regarding same-sex marriage s, allowing decisions about the status of employees in a same-sex partnership to be based on nationality. The UN and its agencies recognize same-sex marriages o nly if the employees are citizens of countries that recognize the marriage. This practice is not specific to the recognition of same-sex marriage but reflects a common practice of the UN for a number of human resources matters. It has to be noted though that some agencies provide limited benefits to domestic partners o f their staff and that some agencies do not recognise same-sex marriage or domes tic partnership of their staff. Reform Main article: Reform of the United Nations Proposed logo for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, which would involve d irect election of a country s representative by its citizens. Since its founding, there have been many calls for reform of the United Nations, although little consensus on how to do so. Some want the UN to play a greater o r more effective role in world affairs, while others want its role reduced to hu manitarian work. There have also been numerous calls for the UN Security Cou ncil s membership to be increased, for different ways of electing the UN s Secre tary-General, and for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. The UN has also been accused of bureaucratic inefficiency and waste. During the 1990s the United States withheld dues citing inefficiency, and only started repa yment on the condition that a major reforms initiative was introduced. In 1994, the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) was established by the General
Assembly to serve as an efficiency watchdog. An official reform programme was begun by Kofi Annan in 1997. Reforms mentioned include changing the permanent membership of the Security Council (which current ly reflects the power relations of 1945), making the bureaucracy more transparen t, accountable and efficient, making the UN more democratic, and imposing an int ernational tariff on arms manufacturers worldwide. In September 2005, the UN convened a World Summit that brought together the head s of most member states, calling the summit "a once-in-a-generation opportunity to take bold decisions in the areas of development, security, human rights and r eform of the United Nations." Kofi Annan had proposed that the summit agree on a global "grand bargain" to reform the UN, renewing the organisation s focus on peace, security, human rights and development, and to make it better equipped at facing 21st century issues. The result of the summit was a compromise text a greed on by world leaders, which included the creation of a Peacebuilding Co mmission to help countries emerging from conflict, a Human Rights Council, and a democracy fund, a clear and unambiguous condemnation of terrorism "in all its f orms and manifestations", and agreements to devote more resources to the Office of Internal Oversight Services, to spend billions more on achieving the Millenni um Development Goals, to wind up the Trusteeship Council because of the completi on of its mission, and that the international community has a "responsibility to protect" – the duty to intervene in when national governments fail to fulfill t heir responsibility to protect their citizens from atrocious crimes. The Office of Internal Oversight Services is being restructured to more clearly define its scope and mandate, and will receive more resources. In addition, to i mprove the oversight and auditing capabilities of the General Assembly, an Indep endent Audit Advisory Committee (IAAC) is being created. In June 2007, the Fifth Committee created a draft resolution for the terms of reference of this committ ee. An ethics office was established in 2006, responsible for administer ing new financial disclosure and whistleblower protection policies. Working with the OIOS, the ethics office also plans to implement a policy to avoid fraud and corruption. The Secretariat is in the process of reviewing all UN mandates that are more than five years old. The review is intended to determine which dup licative or unnecessary programmes should be eliminated. Not all member states a re in agreement as to which of the over 7000 mandates should be reviewed. The di spute centres on whether mandates that have been renewed should be examined. As of September 2007, the process is ongoing. See also • High-level Panel on United Nations Systemwide Coherence • International relations • Israel, Palestinians, and the United Nations • List of Permanent Representatives to the United Nations • Model United Nations • Official statistics • UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador • UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador • Official languages of the United Nations • United Nations Association • United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea • United Nations elections and appointments • United Nations in popular culture • United Nations International School • United Nations Peace Messenger Cities • United Nations Postal Administration • United Nations University • University for Peace • World Heritage Site • Yearbook of the United Nations • Criticism of the United Nations References
1. ^ "The World Today" (PDF). http://www.un.org/Depts/Cartographic/map/prof ile/world00.pdf. Retrieved 2009-06-18. "The designations employed and the presen tation of material on this map do not imply the expression of any opinion whatso ever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal s tatus of any country" 2. ^ a b "FAQ: What are the official languages of the United Nations?". UN Department for General Assembly and Content Management. http://www.un.org/Depts/ DGACM/faq_languages.htm. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 3. ^ David, Wilton. "United Nations". Etymologies & Word Origins: Letter U. WordOrigins.org. http://www.wordorigins.org/index.php/site/comments/united_nati ons/. 4. ^ "Milestones in United Nations History". Department of Public Informati on, United Nations. http://www.un.org/aboutun/milestones.htm. Retrieved 2008-0717. 5. ^ Gerbet, Pierre (1995). "Naissance des Nations Unies" (in French). Espo ir (102). http://www.charles-de-gaulle.org/pages/l-homme/dossiers-thematiques/19 44-1946-la-liberation/restaurer-le-rang-de-la-france/analyses/naissance-des-nati ons-unies.php. 6. ^ "Membership of Principal United Nations Organs in 2005". United Nation s. 2005-03-15. http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2005/org1436.doc.htm. 7. ^ "UN Charter: Chapter V". United Nations. http://www.un.org/aboutun/cha rter/chapter5.htm. Retrieved 2008-03-24. 8. ^ "UN Security Council Members". United Nations. http://www.un.org/sc/me mbers.asp. Retrieved 2008-03-24. 9. ^ a b Office of the Secretary-General - United Nations. 10. ^ Charter of the United Nations, Article 97. 11. ^ Charter of the United Nations, Article 99. 12. ^ United Nations - Appointment Process of the Secretary-General. 13. ^ a b "An Historical Overview on the Selection of United Nations Secreta ries-General" (PDF). UNA-USA. http://www.unausa.org/atf/cf/%7B49C555AC-20C8-4B43 -8483-A2D4C1808E4E%7D/SG%20Reform%20Fact%20Sheet-fina-logol.pdf. Retrieved 200709-30. 14. ^ Former Secretaries-General - United Nations. 15. ^ "Statute of the International Court of Justice". International Court o f Justice. http://www.icj-cij.org/documents/index.php?p1=4&p2=2&p3=0. Retrieved 2007-08-31. 16. ^ "The Court". International Court of Justice. http://www.icj-cij.org/co urt/index.php?p1=1&PHPSESSID=26e84ff7b1a8f1f3edf82cf94f3a7d68. Retrieved 2007-05 -17. 17. ^ "Agreement Between the International Criminal Court and the United Nat ions". International Criminal Court. 2004-10-04. http://www.icc-cpi.int/pressrel ease_details&id=47&l=en.html. 18. ^ Kosovo and Taiwan are only partially recognized, and are not recognize d by the UN. 19. ^ "United Nations Member States". United Nations. http://www.un.org/memb ers/. Retrieved 2007-05-05. 20. ^ "About the G77". Group of 77. http://www.g77.org/doc/. Retrieved 200709-30. 21. ^ RAND Corporation. "The UN s Role in Nation Building: From the Congo to Iraq" (PDF). http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2005/RAND_MG304.sum.pdf. Retri eved 2008-12-30. 22. ^ Human Security Centre. "The Human Security Report 2005". http://www.hu mansecurityreport.info/. Retrieved 2007-02-08. 23. ^ "Book Review: A People Betrayed, the Role of the West in Rwanda s Geno cide". Human Rights Watch. http://www.hrw.org/community/bookreviews/melvern.htm. 24. ^ Colum Lynch (2004-12-16). "U.N. Sexual Abuse Alleged in Congo". Washin gton Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A3145-2004Dec15.html. 25. ^ "UN troops face child abuse claims". BBC News. 2006-11-30. http://news .bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6195830.stm. 26. ^ "108 Sri Lankan peacekeepers in Haiti to be repatriated after claims t
hey paid prostitutes". International Herald Tribune. 2007-11-02. http://www.iht. com/articles/ap/2007/11/02/news/UN-GEN-UN-Haiti-Sexual-Exploitation.php. 27. ^ "Aid workers in Liberia accused of sex abuse". International Herald Tr ibune. 2006-05-08. http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/05/08/news/abuse.php. 28. ^ "UN staff accused of raping children in Sudan". Telegraph. 2007-01-04. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/01/03/wsudan03.xml. 29. ^ "UN staff accused of raping children in Sudan". BBC. 2007-05-28. http: //news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/7420798.stm. 30. ^ Gold, 216–217 31. ^ Gold, 38 32. ^ United Nations Charter, Article 26. 33. ^ "Resolutions Adopted by the General Assembly During its First Session" . United Nations. http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/1/ares1.htm. Retrieved 2008 -03-24. 34. ^ United Nations General Assembly Resolution 251 session 60 on 15 March 2006 (retrieved 2007-09-19) 35. ^ "The Shame of the United Nations". New York Times. 2006-02-26. http:// www.nytimes.com/2006/02/26/opinion/26sun2.html?_r=1&n=Top%2fOpinion%2fEditorials %20and%20Op%2dEd%2fEditorials&oref=slogin. Retrieved 2006-08-15. 36. ^ "UN Human Rights Council Elections". United Nations. http://www.un.org /ga/61/elect/hrc/. Retrieved 2007-05-04. 37. ^ "Successful UN Human Rights Council Elections Demonstrate UN Members a re Taking Reform Effort Seriously.". Open Society Policy Center. 2006-05-09. htt p://www.opensocietypolicycenter.org/news/article.php?docId=110. 38. ^ a b UN General Assembly - 61st session - United Nations adopts Declara tion on Rights of Indigenous Peoples. 39. ^ "About Us - United Nations". The World Bank. 2003-06-30. http://web.wo rldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/EXTABOUTUS/0,,contentMDK:20040610~menuPK:41691~pageP K:43912~piPK:44037,00.html. Retrieved 2007-08-02. 40. ^ "The UN Millennium Development Goals". United Nations. http://www.un.o rg/millenniumgoals/. Retrieved 2007-05-04. 41. ^ The Secretary-General (30 March 2006). "Mandating and Delivering - Exe cutive Summary". United Nations. http://www.un.org/mandatereview/executive.html. 42. ^ "Trust and Non-Self-Governing Territories, 1945-1999". Un.org. http:// www.un.org/Depts/dpi/decolonization/trust2.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 43. ^ the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization - Official Webs ite. 44. ^ "Assessment of Member States contributions to the United Nations regu lar budget for the year 2009" (PDF). UN Secretariat. 2008-12-24. http://www.un.o rg/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=ST/ADM/SER.B/755. Retrieved 2009-07-07. 45. ^ a b c "Fifth Committee Approves Assessment Scale for Regular, Peacekee ping Budgets, Texts on Common System, Pension Fund, as it Concludes Session (Pre ss Release)". United Nations. 2006-12-22. http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2006 /gaab3787.doc.htm. 46. ^ "United Nations Peacekeeping Operations". United Nations. 2007-12-31. http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/dpko/bnote.htm. Retrieved 2008-03-24. 47. ^ Financing of UN Peacekeeping Operations 48. ^ "BBC News, Dire shortage at UN food agency". BBC. http://news.bbc.co .uk/1/hi/in_depth/8179250.stm. Retrieved 2009-09-05. 49. ^ http://diplomaticlaw.com/blog/2009/03/23/jerusalem-court-no-immunity-f or-un-employee-for-private-acts/ 50. ^ The Future of the United Nations: Understanding the Past to Chart a Wa y Forward / Joshua Muravchik (2005) ISBN 978-0-8447-7183-0. 51. ^ Reddy, Shravanti (2002-10-29). "Watchdog Organization Struggles to Dec rease UN Bureaucracy". Global Policy Forum. http://www.globalpolicy.org/ngos/ngo -un/rest-un/2002/1029watchdog.htm. Retrieved 2006-09-21. 52. ^ "The 2005 World Summit: An Overview" (PDF). United Nations. http://www .un.org/ga/documents/overview2005summit.pdf. 53. ^ "2005 World Summit Outcome" (PDF). United Nations. http://www.un.org/s ummit2005/presskit/fact_sheet.pdf.
54. ^ Irene Martinetti (1 December 2006). "Reforming Oversight and Governanc e of the UN Encounters Hurdles". http://www.centerforunreform.org/node/226. 55. ^ "Oversight and Governance". Center for UN Reform Education. http://www .centerforunreform.org/node/31. 56. ^ "Ethics Office". Center for UN Reform Education. http://www.centerforu nreform.org/node/32. 57. ^ "Mandate Review". Center for UN Reform Education. http://www.centerfor unreform.org/node/30. Further reading • United Nations Intellectual History Project Book Series. Indiana Univers ity Press. • "Think Again: The United Nations", Madeleine K. Albright, Foreign Policy , September/October, 2004. • Hans Köchler, Quo Vadis, United Nations?, in: Law Review, Polytechnic Un iversity of the Philippines, College of Law, May 2005 Online version. • An Insider s Guide to the UN, Linda Fasulo, Yale University Press (1 Nov ember 2003), hardcover, 272 pages, ISBN 0-300-10155-4. • United Nations: The First Fifty Years, Stanley Mesler, Atlantic Monthly Press (1 March 1997), hardcover, 416 pages, ISBN 0-87113-656-2. • United Nations, Divided World: The UN s Roles in International Relations edited by Adam Roberts and Benedict Kingsbury, Oxford University Press; 2nd edi tion (1 January 1994), hardcover, 589 pages, ISBN 0-19-827926-4. • A Guide to Delegate Preparation: A Model United Nations Handbook, edited by Scott A. Leslie, The United Nations Association of the United States of Amer ica, 2004 edition (October 2004), softcover, 296 pages, ISBN 1-880632-71-3. • "U.S. At War – International." Time Magazine XLV.19 7 May 1945: 25–28. • The Oxford Handbook on the United Nations, edited by Thomas G. Weiss and Sam Daws, Oxford University Press, July 2007, hardcover, 896 pages, ISBN 978-019-927951-7, ISBN 0-19-927951-9. • Gold, Dore. Tower of Babble: How the United Nations Has Fueled Global Ch aos. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2004. External links Find more about United Nations on Wikipedia s sister projects: Definitions from Wiktionary Textbooks from Wikibooks Quotations from Wikiquote Source texts from Wikisource Images and media from Commons News stories from Wikinews Learning resources from Wikiversity Official websites • United Nations official homepage • United Nations Systems of Organizations • About the United Nations • Global Issues on the UN Agenda • High-level Panel on United Nations Systemwide Coherence • Journal of the United Nations: Programme of meetings and agenda. • The United Nations Regional Information Centre (UNRIC) • UN Chronicle Magazine • UN Organisation Chart • UN Works • United Nations Charter – Charter text • United Nations Directory • United Nations Security Council Resolutions • United Nations Volunteers • United Nations Webcasts • Universal Declaration of Human Rights • World Map of UN websites and locations Other • Documents and Resources on UN, War, War Crimes and Genocide
• Eye on the U.N. – A Project of the Hudson Institute New York and the Tou ro Law Center Institute for Human Rights • History of the United Nations – UK Government site • Inner City Press – UN related news. • Outcomes of the 2005 World SummitPDF (82.9 KB) • Permanent Missions To The United Nations • Searchable archive of UN discussions and votes • List of UN datasets on CKAN, a registry of open data • Task Force on United Nations – U.S. Institute of Peace • U.N. watch – non-governmental organization based in Geneva whose mandate is to monitor the performance of the United Nations by the yardstick of its own Charter. • United Nations Association of the UK: independent policy authority on th e UN • United Nations: Change at the Helm - Change for the Whole Ship? – Indepe ndent news reports by the news agency Inter Press Service • United Nations eLearning Unit created by ISRG – University of Innsbruck • United Nations Research Guide from the Mississippi State University Libr aries • Website of the Global Policy Forum, an independent think-tank on the UN • http://unfccc.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/CBD2008_2/templ/ply_cbd.php?id_k ongresssession=1147&player_mode=isdn_real • (English) (French) EQUITAS, the Authority on Judicial Morality providing legal resources helpful in aid for the better advancement of the Rule of Law.
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