United Nations

United Nations - The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights. Due to its unique international character, and the powers vested in its founding Charter, the Organization can take action on a wide range of issues, and provide a forum for its 192 Member States to express their views, through the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council and other bodies and committees. Membership of the United Nations is open to all peace-loving nations which accept the obligations of the UN Charter and ar willing and able to carry out these obligations. The work of the United Nations reaches every corner of the globe. Although best known for peacekeeping, peacebuilding, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance, there are many other ways the United Nations and its System (specialized agencies, funds and programmes) affect our lives and make the world a better place. The Organization works on a broad range of fundamental issues, from sustainable development, environment and refugees protection, disaster relief, counter terrorism, disarmament and non-proliferation, to promoting democracy, human rights, gender equality and the advancement of women, governance, economic and social development and international health, clearing landmines, expanding food production, and more, in order to achieve its goals and coordinate efforts for a safer world for this and future generations.

Principles of the United Nations - The United States functions by the following principles: (1) It is based on the sovereign equality of all its member naitons (2) All member nations are to fulfill in good faith their Charter obligations (3) Member nations are to settle their international disputes by peaceful means and without endangering international peace and security and justice (3) Member Nations are to refrain from the threat or use of force against any other naiton (4) Member nations are to give the United Nations every assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the Charter (5) Nothing in the Charter is to authorize the United Naitons to intervene in matters in which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any naiton.

Purposes of the United Nations - Why does the United Nations exist? The answer is found in its stated purposes: (1) To maintain international peace and security (2) To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples (3) To cooperate in solving international economic, social, cultural, and humanitarian problems and in promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms (4) To be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations in attaining these common ends.

The Structure of the United Naitons - The United Nations is organized around the following six organs (1) General Assembly (2) Security Council (3) Economic and Social Council (4) Trusteeship Council (5) International Court of Justice, and (6) Secretary-General and the Secretariat. However, the United Nations has 15 agencies and numerous programs and bodies.

1 - The General Assembly consists representatives of each membe nation, each of which gets one vote. The General Assembly's regular session occurs one-week annually. Decisions are made by a majority, and sometimes by two-thirds majority. The representatives of each member nation has the right to debate the issues during the Assembly. By majority vote, the Assembly adopts resolutions and makes action decisions. However, no Assembly decision has any legall binding force for any member nation's government.

2 -
The Security Council has the responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, The Council has 15 members, with 5 permanent members: United States, United Kingdom, China, France, and Russia. The other 10 members are elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms. Each member has one vote. Important decisions require 9 votes and the absence of a negative vote by any of the five permanent members. The 5 permanent members has the right to veto a decision. All member nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council. The Council can dispatch military observers or a peacekeeping force to key conflict areas in the world. They also can enact enforcement measures, including economic sanctions, arm embargoes, financial sactions, travel bans or collective military action.

3 - The Economic and Social Council serves to coordinate the economic, social, and related work of the UN. This Council also consults and coordinates with NGOs - non-governmental organizations.

4 - The Trusteeship Council works witb dependent territories of member nations to assist them for self-government and/or independence.

5 - The Internaitonal Court of Justice (15 Judges on a 9-year term) is located in The Hague (Netherlands). It is the primary judicial arm of the United Naitons. It is consulted on international legal questions and settles legal disputes between member nations.

6 - The Secretary-General and Secretariat consists of the UN international staff working in stations around the world. It carries out the daily work of the UN. At its head is the Secretary-General, who is appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council for a five-year, renewable term.

System of the United Nations - The United Nations family of organizations is known as the United Naitons System.

Budget of the United Nations - The regular budget is approved by the General Assembly for a two-year period. The budget for the 2007-2009 period was -----. The primary source of money for the budget is the contribution of the UN member nations. Each of these member nations are assigned a scale for giving according to their ability to pay. No nation is required to pay more than 22 per cent of the UN budget. The overall financial health of the United Nations if often not good because of the ongoing failure of member nations to pay, in full and on time, their assessed contributions. The peacekeeping budgets have continued to increase as new UN peacekeeping missions have multiplied.  

United States - Refugee Agency (UNHRC) - The UN refugee agency emerged in the wake of World War II to help Europeans displaced by that conflict. Optimistically, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly with a three-year mandate to complete its work and then disband. The following year, on July 28, the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees - the legal foundation of helping refugees and the basic statute guiding UNHCR's work - was adopted.

United Nations - Human Development Reports/Index - A measure of country development generated by the United Nations. HDI indicators are standardized and ranked against other countries values to generate an index between 0 and 1. The Human Development Index is based on three indicators: 1. Life Expectancy Index: Longevity, as measured by life expectancy at birth 2. Education Level Index: Educational attainment, as measured by a combination of adult literacy (two-thirds weight) and the combined gross primary, secondary and tertiary enrollment ratio (one-third weight) 3. Gross Domestic Product: Standard of living, as measured by real GDP per capita (PPP$).

United Nations - UNICEF - UNICEF is the driving force that helps build a world where the rights of every child are realized. We have the global authority to influence decision-makers, and the variety of partners at grassroots level to turn the most innovative ideas into reality. That makes us unique among world organizations, and unique among those working with the young.

United Nations - World Health Organization - WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends. In the 21st century, health is a shared responsibility, involving equitable access to essential care and collective defence against transnational threats.

United Nations - Millinnium Development Goal Indicators - The official MDG Indicators website. This site presents the official data, definitions, methodologies and sources for more than 60 indicators to measure progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. The data and analyses are the product of the work of the Inter-agency and Expert Group (IAEG) on MDG Indicators, coordinated by the United Nations Statistics Division. You will also find the official progress reports and documents produced by IAEG. Links to related sites and documents and constantly updated news will keep you up to date with the ongoing activities on MDG monitoring.  List of Development Goal Indicators

United Nations - Millennium Development Goals - The UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals concluded with the adoption of a global action plan to achieve the eight anti-poverty goals by their 2015 target date and the announcement of major new commitments for women's and children's health and other initiatives against poverty, hunger and disease.

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