United Nations

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United Nations

The Secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General, who acts as the de facto spokesperson and leader of the UN. The current Secretary-General is Ban Ki-moon,The position is defined in the UN Charter as the organization's chief administrative officer, but the Charter also states that the Secretary-General can bring to the Security Council's attention any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security. The position has evolved into a dual role of an administrator of the UN organization, and a diplomat and mediator addressing disputes between member states and finding consensus to global issues.

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.

The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims include promoting and facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, civil rights, civil liberties, political freedoms, democracy, and the achievement of lasting world peace.


Current Peacekeeping and Security MissionsAfter approval from the Security Council, the UN sends peacekeepers to regions where armed conflict has recently ceased or paused to enforce the terms of peace agreements and to discourage combatants from resuming hostilities. Below are the countries in which the UN currently has peacekeeping forces.


There are five principle organs within the United Nations: The General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Secretariat, and the International Court of Justice. Four out of the five principle organs are housed in the UN Headquarters on international territory in New York City.

The General Assembly is the main deliberating assembly of the UN. It includes a representative from each member nation and meets annually to adopt budgets, decide on the admission of new members, and elect members for special committees. The Security Council is responsible for maintaining international peace and security. As the most powerful organ in the UN, it adopts resolutions. It's decisions include peacekeeping/peace-enforcing missions and non-military pressures such as embargos.

The Secretariat is the adminstrative organ of the UN. It is responsible for organizing conferences, writing reports and publishing studies. It's chairman is the UN Secretary General, who is elected by the General Assembly for 5 years.

The Economic and Social Council is responsible for cooperation between states in economic and social fields including raising the standard of living, human rights, and social, health, culture, and education problems.

The International Court of Justice is the universal court for international law. It decides disputes between states that recognize it's jurisdiction.

At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193. 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.

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