The United Nations (abbreviated UN in English, and ONU in French and Spanish), is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace. The UN was founded in 1945 after World War II to replace the League of Nations, to stop wars between countries, and to provide a platform for dialogue. It contains multiple subsidiary organizations to carry out its missions.
There are 193 member states, including every internationally recognized sovereign state in the world but Vatican City. From its offices around the world, the UN and its specialized agencies decide on substantive and administrative issues in regular meetings held throughout the year. The organization has six principal organs: the General Assembly (the main deliberative assembly); the Security Council (for deciding certain resolutions for peace and security); the Economic and Social Council (for assisting in promoting international economic and social cooperation and development); the Secretariat (for providing studies, information, and facilities needed by the UN); the International Court of Justice (the primary judicial organ); and the United Nations Trusteeship Council (which is currently inactive). Other prominent UN System agencies include the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The UN's most prominent position is Secretary-General which has been held by Ban Ki-moon of South Korea since 2007.
The United Nations Headquarters resides in international territory in New York City, with further main offices at Geneva, Nairobi, and Vienna. The organization is financed from assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states, and has six official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.
Famous quotes containing the words united nations, united and/or nations:
“Emblem: the carapace of the great crowned snail is painted with all the flags of the United Nations.”
—Mason Cooley (b. 1927)
“The United States is the only great nation whose government is operated without a budget. The fact is to be the more striking when it is considered that budgets and budget procedures are the outgrowth of democratic doctrines and have an important part in developing the modern constitutional rights.... The constitutional purpose of a budget is to make government responsive to public opinion and responsible for its acts.”
—William Howard Taft (18571930)
“All nations love the same jests and tales, Jews, Christians, and Mahometans, and the same translated suffice for all.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)