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Humanities 9 Classwork S. Price The United Nations: An Introduction for Students / (a Yaa WEY The UN emblem shows ane world in the “olive branches of peace.” The Predecessor: The League of Nations 37 million people died in World War |. In the aftermath of the war, leading nations were asking what they needed to do to prevent such horror from ever happening again. The League of Nations was their solution. The goal of the league, which had 37 countries at its height (the US never joined), was to keep the peace and to help coordination and ‘cooperation for the economic and social progress. Unfortunately, the League was weak and unwilling to use any real economic or military power to prevent World War I ‘The experiment of the first global peacekeeping body was an epic failure. ‘Although the League of Nations was abandoned, most of its ideals and some of its structure were kept by the United ‘Nations and outlined its Charter. The ideals of peace and social and economic progress remained the basic goals of the —new world organization. However, these were developed to fit the new and more complex post-war world. The Beginning of the United Nations Towards the end of World War Il, representatives of 50 countries gathered in San Francisco between April and June 1945 to hammer out the final text that would lay the foundations of international cooperation. This was the Charter of the United Nations, signed on 26 June by 50 countries. The charter was designed to heavily favor the 5 winning countries in the war: Russia, China, The United States, The United Kingdom, and France. These countries are the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council. Overview of United Nations: ‘The United Nations was established on 24 October 1945 by 51 countries committed to preserving peace through international cooperation and collective security. Today, nearly every nation in the world belongs to the UN: membership totals 192 countries. They meet in the General Assembly, which is the closest thing to a world parliament. Each country, large or small, rich or poor, has a single vote; however, none of the decisions taken by the Assembly are binding. Nevertheless, the Assembly's decisions become resolutions that carry the weight of world governmental opinion. When States become Members of the United Nations, they agree to accept the obligations of the UN Charter, an international treaty that sets up basic principles of international relations. The purpose of the United Nations is to bring all nations of the world together to work for peace and development, based on the principles of justice, human dignity \__ ind the well-being of all people. It helps countries to balance global interdependence and national interests when addressing international problems. Humanities 9 Classwork S.Price The Aims of the United Nations: 1. To keep peace throughout the world, 2. To develop friendly relations between nations. 3. Towork together to help people live better lives, to eliminate poverty, disease and literacy in the world, to stop environmental destruction and to encourage respect for each other's rights and freedoms. 4, Tobe a center for helping nations achieve these aims. The Principles of the United Nation: 1. All Member States have sovereign equality. All Member States must obey the Charter. Countries must try to settle their differences by peaceful means. Countries must avoid using force or threatening to use force. The UN may not interfere in the domestic affairs of any country. Countries should try to assist the United Nations. awswn Agencies of the United Nations: ‘The United Nations has six main organs. Five of them — the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council and the Secretariat ~ are based at the UN Headquarters in New York, The sixth, the International Court of Justice, is located at The Hague in the Netherlands. The Importance of Consensus in the General Assembly: The United Nations is not a world government and it does not make laws. It does, however, provide the means to help resolve international conflicts and create policies on matters affecting all of us. At the UN, all the Member States ~ large — ‘and small, rich and poor, with differing political views and social systems — have a voice and vote in this process. However, none of the decisions taken by the General Assembly are binding, meaning if a country does not agree with a decision, they are not completed to go along with it. Because of this, UN members strive to pass resolutions that all nations willingly agree to. But even if a few countries so not sign a popular resolution, the General Assembly's decisions become resolutions that carry the weight of world governmental opinion. The Security Council: The UN Charter gives the Security Council primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. The Council may convene at any time, whenever peace is threatened. Under the Charter, all Member States are obligated to carry out the Councit's decisions. When the Council considers a threat to international peace, it first explores ways to settle the dispute peacefully. It may suggest principles for a settlement or undertake mediation. In the event of fighting, the Council tries to secure a ceasefire. It may send a peacekeeping mission to help the parties maintain the truce and to keep opposing forces apart. * There are 15 Council members. Five of these ~ China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States ~ are permanent members. The other 10 are elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms. The Security Council is the only organ that can create binding resolutions, meaning the UN enforces compliance with penalties including reprimands, sanctions, and military force. The 5 permanent members have the ability to veto any resolution, so even if every country in the world wants a binding resolution, any of these five can prevent it from going through. Humanities 9 Classwork. S. Price ‘The council can take measures to enforce its decisions. It can impose economic sanctions or order an arms embargo. On rare occasions, the Council has authorized Member States to use “all necessary means,” including collective military ‘ction, to see that its decisions are carried out. Countries that are not UN Members: There are four countries that are not members. Vatican City is not a member for ecclesiastical reasons and has full ‘observer status. Kosovo has recognition from 69 of the 192 members of the UN, but itis believed that Russia would prevent its application to the UN. The Republic of China or Talwan is excluded because China will not allow its acceptance by the UN Security Council where it holds a permanent veto right. Taiwan's 23 million citizens are not represented based on the question of its sovereignty. Mainland China maintains that Taiwan is a part of China, South Sudan as it has only recently declared independence and therefore has not had the time to process an application to the UN. Palestine is processing an application also.