After World War I, the League of Nations was established on 10th January 1920 as an attempt by the world community to end all forms of war and establish peace and security. Unfortunately, it failed to prevent yet another great war – World War II.
The Second World War once again compelled the nations to create an international organization which could prevent future war and maintain global peace and security. As a result, the United Nations (UN) was established on 24 October 1945 following the ratification of the charter by the five permanent members of the security council and other 46 signatories.
At its establishment, the UN had 51 founding members. Now, it consists of 193 sovereign countries. United Nations is the universal platform where leaders of the world assemble and discuss global issues, particularly related to peace, prosperity and development.
The UN is best known for peacekeeping, peace building, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance. It affects the lives of people all over the world.
Principles of the United Nations
Article 2 of the Charter of the United Nations contains the following principles:
- All members are equal in terms of sovereignty.
- All members are to fulfill in good faith their obligations.
- They are to settle their international disputes by peaceful means and without endangering international peace, security and justice.
- They are to refrain from the threat or use of force against any other state.
- They are to give the UN assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the Charter.
- Nothing in the Charter is to authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state.
Purposes of the United Nations
The purposes of the United Nations, as laid down in Article 1 of the Charter, are:
- To maintain international peace and security.
- To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.
- To cooperate in solving international economic, social, cultural, and humanitarian problems and in promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
- To be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations in attaining these common ends.