Role of The Holy See and United Nations THE HOLY SEE

Politics of Vatican City takes place in a framework of an absolute theocratic monarchy , in which the head of the supreme legislative, executive, and judicial power over the State of the Vatican City (an entity distinct from the Holy See, a rare case of non-hereditary monarchy. The pope is elected in the Conclave, composed of all the cardinal electors (now limited to all the cardinals below the age of 80), after the death or resignation of the previous Pope. The Conclave is held in the Sistine Chapel, where all the electors are locked in (Latin cum clave) until the election for which a two-thirds majority is required. The faithful can follow the results of the polls (usually two in the morning and two in the evening, until election) by a chimney-top, visible from in a stove attached to the chimney are burnt the voting papers, and additives make the resulting smoke black (fumata nera) in case of no election, white (fumata bianca) when the new pope is finally elected. The (Cardinale Decano) will then ask the freshly elected pope to choose his pastoral name, and as soon as the pope is dressed with the white habit, the Senior Cardinal-Deacon (Cardinale Protodiacono) appears on the major balcony of St. Peter’s facade to introduce the new pope with the famous sentence Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum habemus papam.(I announce to you a great joy: We have a Pope). Pope John Paul II, born in Poland, was the first non-Italian Pope in nearly five centuries. Elected on October 16, 1978, he succeeded John Paul I, whose reign was limited by his untimely death to only 34 days. Pope John Paul II died after 26 years in the pontificate on April 2. The next papal election began on April 18 2005, and concluded on April 19, with the election of Pope Benedict XVI, formerly known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger from Germany. The term "Holy See" refers to the composite of the authority, jurisdiction, and sovereignty vested in the Pope and his advisers to direct the worldwide Roman Catholic Church. It is therefore quite distinct from the Vatican City state, which came into existence only in 1929. As the "central government" of the Roman Catholic Church, the Holy See has a legal personality that allows it to enter into treaties as the juridical equal of a state and to send and receive diplomatic representatives. The Holy See has formal diplomatic relations with 166 nations. As formally re-defined in 1929, after the Lateran treaties between the Holy See and Italy, to administer properties belonging to the Holy See in Rome, the State of Vatican City is recognized under international law as a sovereign territory. Unlike the Holy See, it does not receive or send diplomatic representatives and the Holy See acts on its behalf in international affairs.

Administration of Vatican City
The Pope commonly delegates the internal administration of Vatican City to various bodies and officials. However, according to the law of Vatican City, the pope retains supreme legislative, executive, and judicial authority for Vatican City. The pope delegates legislative authority for the state to the unicameral Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State. This commission was established in 1939 by Pope Pius XII. It consists of seven Cardinals appointed by the pope for five year terms. Laws passed by the Commission must be approved by the pope through the Secretariat of State prior to being published and taking effect. The President of the Pontifical Commission is also the President of the Governorate of Vatican City, to whom the pope delegates executive authority for the state. The president is assisted by a Secretary General and a Vice Secretary General. Each of these officers is appointed by the pope for a five year term. Actions of the President must be approved by the Commission. Various departments and offices report to the Governorate, handling such issues as communications, internal security, fire protection, and the Vatican Museums. The Corpo della Gendarmeria is the state’s security and police force, not the Pontifical Swiss Guard, which is an organ of the Holy See, not Vatican City.

Governmental power
As with almost all monarchies, the executive, legislative and judicial power of government reside in the crown, in this case in the office of pope. However, as with many monarchies, the pope exercises this power through other organs which act on his behalf and in his name.

Main office holders Office Sovereign President of the Governorate Giovanni Lajolo Name Benedict XVI (Joseph Alois Ratzinger) Party Since 19 April 2005 15 September 2006

The Pope is ex officio Sovereign of the Vatican City State. He delegates executive authority to the President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, who is ex officio President of the Governorate. The president is appointed by the Pope for a five-year term, but may be removed at any time by the pope or by a vacancy of the Holy See. The president reports all important matters to the Secretariat of State, the Pope's chief everyday advisory body, which is consulted on all matters, even if they belong to the specific competence of the Commission for Vatican City State or, for instance, that of the Congregation for Catholic Education. The Secretariat of State is not thereby considered to hold responsibility for such matters, and the Cardinal Secretary of State is not seen as heading the Vatican City State or the various departments of the Roman Curia, other than the Secretariat of State itself. Vatican City does not have direct diplomatic relations with other states. Its foreign relations are managed by the Holy See.

Legislative branch
A unicameral Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, appointed by the pope, operates as legislative branch, proposing law and

policy to the pope. Prior to taking effect, laws and policies passed by the commission must be approved by the pope, through the Secretariat of State, and be published in the Italian-language supplement of the Acta Apostolicae Sedis that deals with Vatican City State matters.

Judicial branch
The pope's judicial authority is exercised through the Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, as he customarily serves as President of the Cassation Court of Vatican City, and the Dean of the Sacra Rota as President of the Appellate Court of Vatican City. In fact, most crimes are prosecuted by and handled in the courts of by the Republic of Italy, by agreement between the Vatican and the Italian government.

Secretary for Relations with States is the foreign minister of the Holy See, an official serving within the Secretariat of State and presiding over its "Section for Relations with States." This ex officio archbishop deals with relations between the Holy See and other governments and international bodies and is assisted by a deputy called the Undersecretary for Relations with States.

History of the office
This Section began as the Congregation Super Negotiis Ecclesiasticis Regni Galliarum, set up by Pope Pius VI with the Constitution Sollicitudo Omnium Ecclesiarum of 28 May 1793, in order to deal with the problems which the French Revolution posed for the Church. In 1814, Pope Pius VII gave this office responsibility for the entire world and named it Congregatio Extraordinaria Praeposita Negotiis Ecclesiasticis Orbis Catholici. Some years later, Pope Leo XII changed its name to Congregatio Pro Negotiis Ecclesiasticis Extraordinariis, which remained its title until 1967 when Pope Paul VI separated this body from the Secretariat of State, calling it the Council for the Public Affairs of the Church. On 28 June 1988, Pope John Paul II promulgated the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus, which created the present incarnation of the Secretariat of State. It was divided into the Section for General Affairs and the Section for Relations with States, which was the direct successor of the Council for the Public Affairs of the Church. On the basis of Articles 45-47 of Pastor Bonus, the Section for Relations with States, sometimes known as the second section of the Secretariat, has the specific duty of attending to matters which involve civil governments. It has responsibility for the Holy See�s  diplomatic relations with sovereign states including such matters as the establishment of Concordats or similar agreements; the Holy See�s presence in international organizations and conferences; the provision and modification, in special circumstances, of  appointments to particular churches; and, in close collaboration with the Congregation for Bishops, the appointment of Bishops in countries which have entered into treaties or agreements with the Holy See. This section is headed by an Archbishop, the Secretary for Relations with States, who aided by a Prelate, the Undersecretary for Relations with States and various Cardinals and Bishops.

List of Secretaries for Relations with States
1 March 1986-1 December 1990 1990-2003 2003-15 September 2006 15 September 2006-present

Incumbent Archbishop Angelo Sodano Archbishop Jean-Louis Cardinal Tauran Archbishop Giovanni Cardinal Lajolo Archbishop Dominique Mamberti


List of Undersecretaries for Relations with States
1989-1 December 1990 1992-16 December 1995 16 December 1995-30 October 2002 30 October 2002-present

Incumbent Msgr. Jean-Louis Tauran Msgr. Claudio Maria Celli Msgr. Celestino Migliore Msgr. Pietro Parolin


The Sacred Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs (Sacra Congregatio pro Negotiis Ecclesiasticis Extraordinariis) was a Congregation of the Roman Curia, erected by Pope Pius VII on 19 July 1814 by extending the competence to the Sacred Congregation for the Ecclesiastical Affairs of the Kingdom of France (Super Negotiis Ecclesiasticis Regni Galliarum), which Pope Pius VI had set up in 1793.From the start, it was placed under the jurisdiction of the Cardinal Secretary of State. Its present-day continuance is as the Second Section of the Secretariat of State or the Section for Relations with States.

The 1793 Congregation had been set up to deal with the exceptional situation that had arisen in France as a result of the French Revolution. After the fall of Napoleon, its competence was extended in 1814 to negotiations with all governments about ecclesiastical matters. Hence the name of Sacred Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs. With the apostolic constitution Sapienti Consilio of 29 June 1909, which was later incorporated into the 1917 Code of Canon Law, Pope Pius X divided the Secretariat of State into three sections, of which the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs was the first. The competence of the Congregation was clarified by being limited, as is stated in canon 255 of that Code to erecting or dividing dioceses and appointing bishops where negotiations with civil governments were involved, and to other matters that the Pope might choose to entrust to it, especially matters connected in some way with civil law and the Holy See’s agreements and concordats with states. Canon 263 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law thus states: The Office of the Secretariat of State, presided over by the Cardinal Secretary of State, consists of three sections, in the following order: 1. The First Section, headed by the Secretary of the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, deals with the matters that must be submitted to it in accordance with canon 255, leaving other matters to specific Congregations in accordance with their different nature;

2. The Second Section, headed by the Substitute (i.e. Alternate Secretary of State), deals with ordinary matters; 3. The Third Section, headed by the Chancellor of Apostolic Briefs, deals with the despatch of Briefs. Following the recommendations of the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI suppressed, with the apostolic constitution Regimini Ecclesiae Universae of 15 August 1967 the Chancery of Apostolic Briefs and made the "First Section of the Secretariat of State: Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs", which he renamed the "Council for the Public Affairs of the Church", distinct from the Secretariat of State, but still closely associated with it. With the apostolic constitution Pastor Bonus of 28 June 1988, Pope John Paul II renamed this Council the Second Section of the Secretariat of State or the Section for Relations with States. In all its forms, the Congregation or Council has been presided over by the Cardinal Secretary of State.

The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome, commonly known as the Pope, and is the preeminent episcopal see of the Roman Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and speaks for the whole Catholic Church. It is also recognized by other subjects of international law as a sovereign entity, headed by the Pope, with which diplomatic relations can be maintained.[1] The Holy See should not be confused with the Vatican City State, which came into existence only in 1929, while the Holy See dates back to early Christian times. Ambassadors are officially accredited not to the Vatican City State but to "the Holy See", and papal representatives to states and international organizations are recognized as representing the Holy See, not the Vatican City State. While all Episcopal Sees can be referred to as holy, the expression "the Holy See" (without further specification) is normally used in international relations (as well as in the canon law of the Catholic Church to refer to the central government of the Catholic Church.

The Pope governs the Catholic Church through the Roman Curia. The Roman Curia consists of a complex of offices that administer church affairs at the highest level, including the Secretariat of State, nine Congregations, three Tribunals, eleven Pontifical Councils, and seven Pontifical Commissions. The Secretariat of State, under the Cardinal Secretary of State, directs and coordinates the Curia. The current incumbent, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, is the See’s equivalent of a prime minister. Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary of the Section for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State, acts as the Holy See’s foreign minister. Bertone and Mamberti were named in their respective roles by Pope Benedict XVI in September 2006. The Secretariat of State is the only body of the Curia that is situated within Vatican City. The others are in buildings in different parts of Rome that have extraterritorial rights similar to those of embassies. Among the most active of the major Curial institutions are the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which oversees the Catholic Church’s doctrine; the Congregation for Bishops, which coordinates the appointment of bishops worldwide; the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, which oversees all missionary activities; and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, which deals with international peace and social issues. Three tribunals are responsible for judicial power. The Sacra Rota is responsible for normal appeals, including decrees of nullity for marriages, with the Apostolic Signatura being the administrative court of appeal and highest ecclesiastical court. The Apostolic Penitentiary is different from those two and, instead of dealing with contentious cases, issues absolutions, dispensations, and indulgences. The Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See coordinates the finances of the Holy See departments and supervises the administration of all offices, whatever be their degree of autonomy, that manage these finances. The most important of these is the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See. The Prefecture of the Papal Household is responsible for the organization of the papal household, audiences, and ceremonies (apart from the strictly liturgical part). The Holy See does not dissolve upon a Pope's death or resignation. It instead operates under a different set of laws sede vacante. During this interregnum, the heads of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia (such as the prefects of congregations) cease immediately to hold office, the only exceptions being the Major Penitentiary, who continues his important role regarding absolutions and dispensations, and the Cardinal Camerlengo, who administers the temporalities (i.e., properties and finances) of the See of St. Peter during this period. The government of the See, and therefore of the Catholic Church, then falls to the College of Cardinals. Canon law prohibits the College and the Camerlengo from introducing any innovations or novelties in the government of the Church during this period.


Foreign relations with the Holy See
     Diplomatic relations      Other relations      No relations

Since medieval times the episcopal see of Rome has been recognized as a sovereign entity. The Holy See (not the State of Vatican City) maintains formal diplomatic relations with 177 sovereign states, the European Union, and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta; 69 of the diplomatic missions accredited to the Holy See are situated in Rome, though those countries then have two embassies in the same city, since, by agreement between the Holy See and Italy, the same person cannot be accredited simultaneously to both. Dual accreditation with a country other than Italy is acceptable, whether the mission is situated in Rome or elsewhere. The Holy See also has relations of a special nature with Russia (Mission with an Ambassador) and the Palestine Liberation Organization (Office with a Director). The Holy See maintains 179 permanent diplomatic missions abroad, of which 73 are non-residential, so that it has in all 106 concrete missions, some of which are accredited not only to the country in which they are situated, but also to one or more other countries or international organizations. The diplomatic activities of the Holy See are directed by the Secretariat of State (headed by the Cardinal Secretary of State), through the Section for Relations with States. There are 16 internationally-recognized states with which the Holy See does not have relations. Nine are Muslim (Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Brunei, Comoros, Malaysia, the Maldives, Mauritania, Oman, and Somalia), four are communist states (the People's Republic of China, North Korea, Laos, and Vietnam), two declare Buddhism to be the only stateand legal- religion, Bhutan, Myanmar, as well as Tuvalu. The Holy See has the oldest continuous diplomatic service in the world, tracing its origins to at least as far back as 325 with its original legation to the first Council of Nicaea. The Holy See is the only European subject of international law that has diplomatic relations with Taiwan. It held official relations with China since 1942, and when victory in the Chinese Civil War went to the Communist Party of China, the Holy See’s diplomatic representative chose not to withdraw to Taipei with the Kuomintang government. However, the Communist government expelled him, and the Holy See’s diplomatic mission was then transferred to Taipei. When in 1971 the seat of China at the United Nations was adjudicated to the government of the People’s Republic of China, the Holy See downgraded its mission in Taipei: since then, it has been headed only by a charg� d'affaires. Talks between the mainland government and the Holy See on diplomatic relations have been  reported to be ongoing, with the main issue being the treatment of Catholics in mainland China. The government rejects the Holy See’s spiritual authority over these, and uses the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association as a means to exclude it.

International organizations
The Holy See is especially active in international organizations and is a member of the following groups:
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International Grains Council (IGC) International Committee for Military Medicine (ICMM) International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) International Telecommunication Union (ITU) International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (ITSO) Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO)* Universal Postal Union (UPU) International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT) United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

* Note: In 1971, the Holy See announced the decision to adhere to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in order to "give its moral support to the principles that form the base of the treaty itself". The Holy See is also a permanent observer of the following international organizations:
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Council of Europe in Strasbourg International Organization for Migration (IOM) International Labour Organization (ILO) International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Latin Union (LU) Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington Organisation of African Unity(OAU) United Nations UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) United Nations Centre for Human Settlements UNCHS Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) World Tourism Organization (WTO) World Trade Organization (WTO) World Health Organization (WHO) World Food Programme (WFP)

* Note: the Holy See has been a permanent observer in the United Nations since 1964 and, in July 2004, gained all the rights of full membership except voting. According to Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See Permanent Observer, "We have no vote because this is our choice." He added that the Holy See considers that its current status "is a fundamental step that does not close any path for the future. The Holy See has the requirements defined by the UN statute to be a member state and, if in the future it wished to be so, this resolution would not impede it from requesting it." The Holy See is an observer on an informal basis of the following groups:
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Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO) International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (ISDR, 1990s) International Maritime Organization (IMO) International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS)


World Meteorological Organization in Geneva (WMO)

The Holy See sends a delegate to the Arab League in Cairo. It is also a guest of honour to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Relationship with the Vatican City and other territories
Although the Holy See is closely associated with the Vatican City, the independent territory over which the Holy See is sovereign, the two entities are separate and distinct. After the Italian takeover of the Papal States in 1870, the Holy See had no territorial sovereignty. In spite of some uncertainty among jurists as to whether it could continue to act as an independent personality in international matters, the Holy See continued in fact to exercise the right to send and receive diplomatic representatives, maintaining relations with states that included the major powers of Russia, Prussia and Austria-Hungary. Where, in accordance with the decision of the 1815 Congress of Vienna, the Nuncio was not only a member of the Diplomatic Corps but its Dean, this arrangement continued to be accepted by the other ambassadors. In the course of the 59 years during which the Holy See held no territorial sovereignty, the number of states that had diplomatic relations with it, which had been reduced to 16, actually increased to 29. The State of the Vatican City was created by the Lateran Treaty in 1929 to "ensure the absolute and visible independence of the Holy See" and "to guarantee to it an indisputable sovereignty in international affairs" (quotations from the treaty). Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, the Holy See’s former Secretary for Relations with States, said that the Vatican City is a "minuscule support-state that guarantees the spiritual freedom of the Pope with the minimum territory". The Holy See, not the Vatican City, maintains diplomatic relations with states and participates in international organizations.Foreign embassies are accredited to the Holy See, not to the Vatican City, and it is the Holy See that establishes treaties and concordats with other sovereign entities. When necessary, the Holy See will enter a treaty on behalf of the Vatican City. Under the terms of the Lateran Treaty, the Holy See has extraterritorial authority over 23 sites in Rome and five Italian sites outside of Rome, including the Pontifical Palace at Castel Gandolfo. The same authority is extended under international law over the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See in a foreign country.

The terms "Holy See" and "Apostolic See"
Every episcopal see is considered holy. In Greek, the adjective "holy" or "sacred" is constantly applied to all such sees as a matter of course. In the West, the adjective is not commonly added, but it does form part of an official title of two sees: as well as Rome, the Bishopric of Mainz (the former Archbishopric of Mainz), which was also of electoral and primatial rank, bears the title of "the Holy See of Mainz" (Latin: Sancta Sedes Moguntina). The term "see" comes from the Latin word "sedes", meaning "seat", which refers to the Episcopal throne cathedra). The term "Apostolic See" can refer to any see founded by one of the Apostles, but, when used with the definite article, it is used in the Catholic Church to refer specifically to the see of the Bishop of Rome, whom that Church sees as successor of Saint Peter, the chief of the apostles.

The United Nations (UN) is an international organization whose stated aims are to facilitate cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achieving 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. There are currently 192 member states, including nearly every recognized independent state in the world. From its headquarters on international territory in New York City, 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:
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The The The The The

General Assembly (the main deliberative assembly; Security Council (decides certain resolutions for peace and security); Economic and Social Council (assists in promoting international economic and social cooperation and development); Secretariat (provides studies, information, and facilities needed by the UN); 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) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The UN's most visible public figure is the Scretary-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.

The UN was founded as a successor to the League of Nations, which was widely considered to have been ineffective in its role as an international governing body, as it had been unable to prevent World War II. The term "United Nations" was first used by Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt, in the 1942 Declaration by United Nations, which united the Allied countries of WWII under the Atlantic Charter, and soon became a term widely used to refer to them. Declarations signed at wartime Allied conferences in 1943 espoused the idea of the UN, and in 1944, representatives of the major Allied powers met to elaborate on the plans at the Dumbarton Oaks Conference. Those and later talks outlined the organization's proposed purposes, membership, organs, and ideals in regards to peace, security, and cooperation. On 25 April 1945, the UN Conference on International Organization began in San Francisco, attended by 50 governments and a number of non-governmental organizations involved in drafting the Charter of the United Nations. The UN officially came into existence on 24 October 1945 upon ratification of the Charter by the five permanent members of the Security Council ( France, the Republic of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States ) and by a majority of the other 46 signatories. The first meetings of the General Assembly, with 51 nations represented, and the Security Council, took place in Westminster Central Hall in London in January 1946.


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 headquarters located on international territory in New York City. The International Court of Justice is located in The Hague, while other major agencies are based in the UN offices at Geneva,Vienna, and Nairobi. Other UN institutions are located throughout the world. 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 later in 1973. The United Nations Editorial Manual states that the standard for English language documents is British usage and Oxford spelling, and the Chinese writing standard is Simplified Chinese. This replaced Traditional Chinese in 1971 when the UN representation of China was changed from the Republic of China to People's Republic of China. The Republic of China is now commonly known as "Taiwan".

General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly The General Assembly is the main deliberative assembly of the United Nations. Composed 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-week period at the start of each session, all members have the opportunity to address 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 representatives 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 questions are decided by majority vote. Each member country has one vote. Apart from approval of budgetary matters, resolutions are not binding on the members. The Assembly 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 comprising just eight percent of the world population to pass a resolution by a two-thirds vote. However, as no more than recommendations, it is difficult to imagine a situation in which a recommendation by member states constituting just eight percent of the world's population, would be adhered to by the remaining ninety-two percent of the population, should they object.

Security Council
United Nations Security Council The Security Council is charged with maintaining peace and security among countries. While other organs of the United Nations can only make 'recommendations' to member governments, the Security Council has the power to make binding decisions that member governments have agreed to carry out, under the terms of Charter Article 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 members - China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States - and 10 non-permanent members, currently Austria, Burkina Faso, Costa Rica, Croatia, Japan, Libya, Mexico, Turkey, Uganda, and Vietnam. The five permanent members hold veto power over substantive but not procedural resolutions allowing a permanent member to block adoption but not to block the debate of a resolution unacceptable 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 Turkey for the month of May 2009.

United Nations Secretariat The United Nations Secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General, assisted by a staff of international civil servants worldwide. It provides studies, information, and facilities needed by United Nations bodies for their meetings. It also carries 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 Charter provides that the staff be chosen by application of the "highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity," with due regard for the importance of 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 the international character of the Secretariat and not seek to influence its staff. The Secretary-General alone is responsible for staff selection. The Secretary-General's duties include helping resolve international disputes, administering peacekeeping operations, organizing international conferences, gathering information on the implementation of Security Council decisions, and consulting with member governments regarding various initiatives. Key Secretariat offices in this area include the Office of the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. The Secretary-General may bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter that, in his or her opinion, may threaten international peace and security.

Secretary-General of the United Nations The Secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General, who acts as the de facto spokesman and leader of the UN. The current SecretaryGeneral is Ban Ki-moon, who took 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 defined 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 maintenance of international peace and security", giving the position greater scope for action on the world stage. The position has evolved into a dual role of an administrator of the UN organization, and a diplomat and mediator addressing disputes between member states and finding consensus to global issues.

The Secretary-General is appointed by the General Assembly, after being recommended by the Security Council. The selection can be vetoed by any member of the Security Council, and the General Assembly can theoretically override the Security Council's recommendation if a majority vote is not achieved, although this has not happened so far. There are no specific criteria for the post, but over the years it has become accepted that the post shall be held for one or two terms of five years, that the post shall be appointed based on geographical rotation, and that the Secretary-General shall not originate from one of the five permanent Security Council member states.

Secretaries-General of the United Nations[13] No. Name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Trygve Lie Dag Hammarskj�ld U Thant Kurt Waldheim Javier P�rez de Cu�llar Boutros Boutros-Ghali Kofi Annan Ban Ki-moon Country of origin Took office  Norway  Sweden  Burma  Austria  Peru  Egypt  Ghana 2 February 1946 10 April 1953 Left office Note

10 November 1952 Resigned 18 September 1961 Died while in office First Secretary-General from Asia

30 November 1961 1 January 1972 1 January 1972 1 January 1982 1 January 1992 1 January 1997 1 January 1982 1 January 1992 1 January 1997 1 January 2007 Incumbent

First Secretary-General from South America First Secretary-General from Africa

 South Korea 1 January 2007

International Court of Justice
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 United Nations Charter, the Court began work in 1946 as the successor to the Permanent Court of International Justice. The Statute of the International Court of Justice, similar to that of its predecessor, is the main constitutional document constituting 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 international law. Several of the Court's current judges are either alumni or former faculty members of the Academy. Its purpose is to adjudicate disputes among states. The court has heard cases related to war crimes, illegal state interference 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 most 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 the 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 legally.

Economic and Social Council
United Nations Economic and Social Council The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) assists the General Assembly in promoting international economic and social cooperation and development. ECOSOC has 54 members, all of whom 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 middle powers represented on ECOSOC. ECOSOC meets once a year in July for a four-week session. Since 1998, it has held another meeting each April with finance ministers heading key committees of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Viewed separate from the specialized bodies it coordinates, ECOSOC's functions include information gathering, advising member nations, and making recommendations. In addition, ECOSOC is well-positioned to provide policy coherence and coordinate the overlapping functions of the UN�s subsidiary bodies and it is in these roles that it is most active.

Specialized institutions
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 Energy Agency, the Food and Agriculture Organization, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), the World Bank and the World Health Organization. The United Nations Charter stipulates that each primary organ of the UN can establish various specialized agencies to fulfill its duties.

United Nations member states With the addition of Montenegro on 28 June 2006, there are currently 192 United Nations member states, including all fully recognized independent states apart from Vatican City, which has observer status. The United Nations Charter outlines the rules for membership: 1. Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgment 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 the Security Council. �United Nations Charter, Chapter 2, Article 4,

Group of 77

The Group of 77 at the UN is a loose coalition of developing nations, designed to promote its members' collective economic interests and create an enhanced joint negotiating capacity in the United Nations. There were 77 founding members of the organization, but the organization has since expanded to 130 member countries. The group was founded on 15 June 1964 by the "Joint Declaration of the Seventy-Seven Countries" issued at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (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.

Peacekeeping and security
The UN, after approval by the Security Council, sends peacekeepers to regions where armed conflict has recently ceased or paused to enforce the terms of peace agreements and to discourage combatants from resuming hostilities. Since the UN does not maintain its own military, peacekeeping forces are voluntarily provided by member states of the UN. The forces, also called the "Blue Helmets", who enforce UN accords are awarded United Nations Medals, which are considered international decorations instead of military decorations. The peacekeeping force as a whole 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 due to the division of the world into hostile camps. Following the end of the Cold War, there 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 globe. A 2005 RAND Corp study found the UN to be successful in two out of three peacekeeping efforts. It compared UN nation-building efforts to those of the United States, and found that seven out of eight UN cases are at peace, as opposed to four 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 since the end of the Cold War, and presented evidence, albeit circumstantial, that international activism Ã¯Â¿Â½ mostly spearheaded by the UN  � has been the main cause of the decline in armed conflict since the end of the Cold War. Situations where the UN has not only  acted to keep the peace but also occasionally intervened include the Korean War (1950-1953), and the authorization of Intervention in Iraq after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990. The UN has also drawn criticism for perceived failures. In many cases, member states have shown reluctance to achieve or enforce Security Council resolutions, an 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 independent 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, failed to intervene in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre and protect a refugee haven by the authorising the peacekeepers to use force, failure to deliver food to starving people in Somalia, failure to implement provisions of Security Council resolutions related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and continuing failure to prevent genocide or provide assistance in Darfur. In addition to peacekeeping, the UN is also active in encouraging disarmament. Regulation 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 weeks after the signing of the charter and immediately halted concepts of arms limitation and disarmament, resulting in the first resolution of the first ever General Assembly meeting calling for specific proposals for "the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and of all other major weapons adaptable to mass 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 security. The UN is one of the official supporters of the World Security Forum, a major international conference on the effects of global catastrophes and disasters, taking place in the United Arab Emirates, in October 2008.

Human rights and humanitarian assistance
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 must work to prevent any similar tragedies in the future. An early objective was creating a legal framework for considering and acting on complaints about human rights violations. The UN Charter obliges all member nations to promote "universal 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 legally 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 support by the UN for countries in transition to democracy. Technical assistance in providing free and fair elections, improving judicial structures, drafting constitutions, 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 democratic history, including recently in Afghanistan and East Timor. The UN is also a forum to support the right of women to participate fully in the political, economic, and social life of their countries. The UN contributes to raising consciousness of the concept of human rights through its covenants and its attention to specific abuses through its General Assembly, Security Council resolutions, or International 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 United Nations Commission on Human Rights, which was often criticised for the high-profile positions it gave to member states that did not guarantee the human rights of their own citizens. The council has 47 members distributed by region, which 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 member state's human rights record. The rights of some 370 million indigenous peoples around the world is also a focus for the UN, with a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples being approved by the General Assembly in 2007. The declaration outlines the individual and collective rights to culture, language, education, identity, employment and health, thereby addressing post-colonial issues which had confronted indigenous peoples for centuries. The declaration aims to maintain, strengthen and encourage the growth of indigenous institutions, cultures and traditions. It also prohibits discrimination against indigenous peoples and promotes their active participation in matters which concern their past, present and future. In conjunction with other organizations such as the Red Cross, the UN provides food, drinking water, shelter and other humanitarian services to populaces suffering from famine, displaced by war, or afflicted by other disasters. Major humanitarian branches of the UN are

the World Food Programme (which helps feed more than 100 million people a year in 80 countries), the office of the High Commissioner for Refugees with projects in over 116 countries, as well as peacekeeping projects in over 24 countries.

Social and economic development
Millennium Development Goals 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and develop a global partnership for development.

The UN is involved in supporting development, e.g. by the formulation of the Millennium Development Goals. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) is the largest multilateral 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 diseases around the world, especially in poor countries. The UN Population Fund is a major 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 World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF), for example, are independent, specialized agencies and observers within the UN framework, according to a 1947 agreement. They were initially formed as separate from the UN through the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1944. The UN annually publishes the Human Development Index (HDI), a comparative measure ranking countries by poverty, literacy, education, life expectancy, and other factors. The Millennium Development Goals are eight goals that all 192 United Nations member states have agreed to try to achieve by the year 2015.This was declared in the United Nations Millennium Declaration, signed in September 2000.

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