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United Nations

Date: 22 September 2020 Tags: International Organizations

Issue

The United Nations has completed 75 years this year. In order to commemorate the historic moment, world leaders come together at a one-day high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly. 

 

Background

For the first time in 75 years, the 193-member body would be holding the session virtually on account of the Covid-19 outbreak.

 

Details

  • The declaration adopted at the meeting looks back at the glorious years of the UN and remarked upon its achievements as well as failures. It also set out its goals for the next decade. 

  • The goals listed out for the next ten years include protection of the planet and environment, promoting peace, gender equality and women empowerment, digital cooperation, and sustainable financing.

  • The United Nations was born out of the horrors of World War II. At the time of its foundation, it was primarily tasked with the goal of maintaining world peace and saving future generations from the evils of war.

  • The UN was born out of the ashes of yet another international organisation created with the intention of keeping war away. The League of Nations was created in June 1919, after World War I, as part of the Treaty of Versailles.

  • On January 1, 1942, representatives of 26 allied nations met in Washington DC to sign the declaration of the United Nations, which basically spelled out the war objectives of the Allied powers.

  • The United Nations finally came into existence on October 24, 1945 after being ratified by 51 nations, which included five permanent members (France, the Republic of China, the Soviet Union, the UK, and the US) and 46 other signatories.

  • The four main goals of the UN included maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations, achieving international cooperation in solving international problems, and being at the center for harmonising the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.

  • The UN boasts of several significant achievements in the last 75 years. It has also expanded its scope to resolve over a large number of global issues such as health, environment, women empowerment among others.

  • Soon after its formation, it passed a resolution to commit to the elimination of nuclear weapons in 1946.

  • In 1948, it created the World Health Organisation (WHO) to deal with communicable diseases like smallpox, malaria, HIV. At present the WHO is the apex organisation dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

  • In 1972, the UN environment programme was created. More recently in 2002, the UN established the UN criminal court to try those who have committed war crimes, genocide, and other atrocities.