United Nations

Article

May 28, 2022

The United Nations, abbreviated to the United Nations, is an international organization of which most of the world's internationally recognized states are members (with the exception of the Vatican, for example). As of May 2022, the UN had 193 member states.

General information

The United Nations was founded on October 24, 1945 in San Francisco (United States of America) following the adoption of the United Nations Charter by 51 states, including what was then Czechoslovakia, and significant support from the Rockefeller Fund. It replaced the League of Nations, which failed as a guarantor of collective security and peaceful conflict resolution. The first UN General Assembly was held on January 10, 1946 in London. The UN aims to maintain international peace, security and ensure international cooperation. UN membership is based on the principle of sovereign equality, states have their own representations, so-called permanent missions, especially at the UN headquarters in New York, but also, for example, in Geneva or Vienna. Each Member State has its representatives in the General Assembly and has one equally valid vote. The executive body is the UN Security Council, which has the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security and whose resolutions are legally binding. The other main UN bodies are UN Economic and Social Council - ECOSOC, UN Board of Trustees, International Court of Justice Secretariat headed by the UN Secretary-General. In 2001, the UN received the Nobel Peace Prize. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (1954 and 1981), the United Nations Children's Fund (1965) and the United Nations Peacekeeping Force (1988) have previously received the same award. The official languages ​​are English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish.

Security Council

The Security Council (SC) has 15 members. The UN Charter designates 5 of them as permanent, the General Assembly elects 10 other states as non-permanent members for a two-year term. The permanent members of the Security Council with a veto over the proposed resolutions are: China, France, Russia, the United States of America and the United Kingdom. 10 non-permanent members (end of term in brackets): Albania (2023), Brazil (2023), Gabon (2023), Ghana (2023), India (2023), Ireland (2022), Kenya (2022), Mexico (2022) , Norway (2022) and the United Arab Emirates (2023). The Czech Republic was a member of the UN Security Council for the first and last time in the period after the disintegration of Czechoslovakia in 1994–1995. In 2003, it hosted the 57th session of the General Assembly, which was chaired by the then Chairman of the General Assembly, Jan Kavan. The Czech Presidency of the UN Economic and Social Council in 1997 was also significant. Decisions of the Security Council (Global Regulations) are directly valid in each Member State.

Economic and Social Council

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has 54 members, elected for a three-year term by the General Assembly. The term of office of a Member State shall expire on 31 December of the last year.

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees has 5 members: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The Council formally ceased operations on 1 November 1994, when Palau, the last territory under UN administration, became an independent state and a member of the UN. By a resolution adopted that day, the Council amended its Rules of Procedure to the effect that it would not meet annually, but only as necessary when the situation called for it. The convening may be decided by its chairman or, if requested by a majority of the members of the Board of Trustees, the General Assembly or the Security Council.

International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice is based in The Hague. It has 15 members elected by the General Assembly and the Security Council. Judges are elected for a nine-year term. The choice must take into account the principle that all regions of the world should be represented as well