The League of Nations which was established after the First World War (1914-1918) failed to deliver the goods. It was wound up. After the Second World War the major nations of the world felt the need for a similar body to maintain peace in the world and the United Nations Organization came into being. The charter of the U.N.O. was signed on June 26, 1945 and it came into effect from October 24, 1945.
The aims and objective of the U.N.O. are:
1. To maintain international peace and security,
2. To development the spirit of cooperation and friendliness among the nations of the world,
3. To promote and encourage respect for human right and fundamental freedoms,
4. To solve international problems of economic, social and cultural character, development of people.
The Headquarters of the U.N.O. is at New York. The languages of U.N.O. are English, French, Chinese, Russian, Arabic and Spanish. For all practical purposes, English and French languages alone are used.
To become a member of the U.N.O. a country should satisfy the following conditions:
1. Peace loving, willing to accept the aims and objects and rules of this charter and be judged by the U.N.O., as able to carry out these duties,
2. The Security Council must recommend the admission of a new member,
3. The General Assembly must confirm the re4commendation by a two thirds majority vote.
It has at present 184 members. The Assembly has to meet at least once a year. The President is to be elected every year for one year term. Each country can send four members to represent it. It is a legislative body and it can discuss matters relating to conservation of peace, disarmament, economic and social development, use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes, human rights etc. It has also the right to elect non-permanent members to the Security Council, members to Trusteeship Council and Judges to the International Court of Justice. There are seven committees which work under the General Assembly. They are 1. Political, 2. Economic, 3. Social, 4. Trusteeship, 5. Legal, 6. Administration and 7. Special Political Committee. The General Assembly is called the Town Meeting of the world.
It is the executive body of the U.N.O. It has 15 members, 5 permanent – U.S.A., U.S.S.R., U.K., France and China and 10 non-permanent members who are elected for 2 years at a time from among the members of the U.N.O. In all crucial matters there is need for 9 members to vote in favour. The 5 permanent members have got the power of veto. If any one of the five countries votes, then the resolution is not carried. The power of ‘veto’ means the power to say ‘No’. The Security Council is the most powerful body of the UNO.
The Economic and Social Council has 54 elected members. It deals with international problems relating to economic, social, cultural and humanitarian issue including human rights.
The Trusteeship Council consists of 14 elected members, who are entrusted with the well-being of dependent people of Trust Territories. All the 11 original Trust Territories have become independent.
The International Court of Justice has 15 judges. Its headquarters is at Hague. It deals with legal aspects of international disputes.
The Secretariat of the U.N.O. is at New York. The Secretary General is the head of the Secretariat. He is appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council for a period of 5 years at a time.
There are many other agencies of the U.N. dealing with specific issues.
1. Food and Agricultural Organization (F.A.O.)
2. International Labour Organization (L.L.O.)
3. World Health Organization (W.H.O.)
4. United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
5. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (I.R.D.B.) of World Bank.
6. International Finance Corporation (I.F.C.)
7. International Telecommunications Union (I.T.U.)
8. World Meteorological Organization (W.M.O.)
9. International Civil Aviation Organization (I.C.A.O.)
10. United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)
11. International Atomic Energy Agency (I.A.E.A.)
12. Technical Assistance Administration (T.A.A.)
13. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)
14. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (ESCAP).
There are many other minor organizations also.
The U.N. is to be remembered for its declaration on human rights. The U.N. took shape in 1945 and has completed 55 years. In its existence of 55 years it has solved many international problems peacefully. Some of them are: 1. The Apartheid Policy of South Africa, 2. The Israel – Palestine conflict and 3. Iraq-Kuwait conflict to mention a few. It has rescued so many suffering children in Sudan. The U.N.I.E.F. and W.H.O. are effective in their battles against epidemics. It has ended the cold war between the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. and thus paved the way for world peace. The I.R.D.B. and World Bank have liberally come forward to help developing countries and underdeveloped countries to improve their economic conditions. The U.N. is the last hope of mankind to avoid a Third World War based on nuclear power.
October 24 of every year is celebrated as the U.N.O. Day throughout the world. The U.N. has become a subject of study in all schools throughout the world. All this may lead to world citizenship, and world government.