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March 10, 2017

GK : International Organizations - United Nations (UN)

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  • In 1945, representative of 50 countries met in San Francisco at the United Nations Conference on International Organization to draw up the United Nations Charter. 
  • The United Nations officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, when the charter had been ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and majority of other signatories. 
  • Original founding members of UN are 51 (Poland signed it later but is considered as original member). India is also a founding member.
  • The original members of UN are those countries which signed the January 1942 declaration by UN or took part in the San-Francisco Conference or which signed and ratified the charter. 
  • United Nations Day is celebrated on 24 October. 
  • The Charter is the constituting instrument of the Organization, setting out the rights and Obligations of member states and establishing the United Nations organs and procedures.
  • The main purpose of the United Nations is to maintain international peace and security.
  • The United Nations family however, is much larger, encompassing 15 agencies and several program-mes and bodies.
  • The United Nations family of organizations (the United Nations  system) consists of the United Nations Secretariat, the United Nations funds and programmes (such as UNICEF and UNDP), the specialized agencies (such as UNESCO and WHO) and related organizations.
  • The funds and programmes are subsidiary bodies of the General Assembly. 
  • The specialized agencies are linked to the United Nations through special agreements and report to the Economic and social Council and/or the General Assembly. 
  • The related organizations including IAEA and the World Trade Organization address specialized areas and have their own legislative bodies and budgets. 
  • Headquarters of UN are in New York City (USA). 
  • US president Franklin D. Roosevelt devised the name United Nations. 
  • Its total membership is 193 at present.  
  • Vatican City and Taiwan are not members of the UN.
  • Vatican City (Holy See) and Palestine have been given permanent observer status by the UN.
  • UN flag consists of the global map projected from the North Pole and embraced in Twin olive branches (symbol of peace). The flag was adopted on October 20, 1947 by the General Assembly. 
  • New members can be admitted to the General Assembly on the recommendation of Security Council and members can be suspended also. 
  • The United Nations Commission on Human Rights was set up in 1945.
  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by General Assembly of the UN on December 10, 1948. It is observed as Human Rights Day every year. 
  • There are six official languages of UN, namely Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish and Arabic. Arabic was added by General Assembly in 1973 and by the Security Council 1982. Although, Arabic is not used as its working language.
  • The Charter established six principal organs of the United Nations. They are: 
    • The General Assembly
    • The Security Council 
    • The Economic and Social Council
    • The Trusteeship Council 
    • The International Court of Justice
    • The Secretariat 
General Assembly
  • It is called as the "Town meeting of the world" or "Parliament of the world".
  • The General Assembly meets at Its total membership is 193 at least once in a year, and the present. session commences on the third Tuesday of September. 
  • The Assembly can also meet for special emergency sessions. 
  • The Presidency of the Assembly rotates each year among the five geographical groups of the countries viz. African, Asian, East European, Latin American and West European & other States. 
  • It appoints the Secretary General of UN Secretariat on the recommendation of the Security Council. It is also empowered to admit new members.
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