United Nations Organization (UNO)

  • An intergovernmental organization established on 24 October 1945 to promote international co-operation
  • As a replacement for the ineffective League of Nations, the organization was created following the Second World War to prevent another such conflict.
  • At its founding, the UN had 51 member states committed to maintain international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights; now there are 193.
  • The Norwegian Foreign Minister, Trygve Lie, was elected as the first UN Secretary-General.
Headquarter New York
Official Languages Arabic, English, French, Chinese, Spanish, Russian
Members 193 (Latest Member South Sudan)
Secretary General Antonio Guterres succeeded Ban Ki Moon
Emblem Map of world b/w 2 olive branches (In white n Blue color)


The UNO has 4 main purposes

  • To keep peace throughout the world;
  • To develop friendly relations among nations;
  • To help nations work together to improve the lives of poor people, to conquer hunger, disease and illiteracy, and to encourage respect for each other’s rights and freedoms;
  • To be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations to achieve these goals.

Principle Organs of UNO

United Nations Organization

General Assembly (New York)

  • Composed of all United Nations member states, the assembly meets in regular yearly sessions, but emergency sessions can also be called
  • Led by a president, elected from among the member states on a rotating regional basis, & 21 vice-presidents
  • Major work area of General Assembly consists of:
  • Election of members to other UN organs
  • Admission, suspension, and expulsion of member states
  • Budgetary matters by majority of votes i.e. 2/3rd of the members present & voting
  • Make recommendations on any matters within the scope of the UN, except matters of peace and security that are under consideration by the Security Council
  • Elects the non-permanent members of the UNSC; all members of ECOSOC; the UN Secretary General (following proposal by the UNSC); and the fifteen judges of the International Court of Justice (ICJ)

Security Council (Policemen of the world) (New York)

  • Charged with maintaining peace and security among countries
  • While other organs of the UN can only make “recommendations” to member states, the Security Council has the power to make binding decisions on member states
  • 5 permanent members (Veto power) + 10 Non-permanent for 2 years
  • The five permanent members hold veto power over UN resolutions, allowing a permanent member to block adoption of a resolution, though not debate
  • The ten temporary seats are held for two-year terms, with member states voted in by the General Assembly on a regional basis
  • The presidency of the Security Council rotates alphabetically each month.

Secretariat (New York)

  • Headed by Secretary-General who acts as the de factospokesperson and leader of the UN
  • Secretary-General is appointed by General Assembly, after being recommended by the Security Council
  • Carries out tasks as directed by the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, and other UN bodies.

International Court of Justice (The Hague, Netherland) 

  • Composed of 15 judges who serve 9-year terms; appointed by the General Assembly;
  • Every sitting judge must be from a different nation
  • Hear cases related to war crimes, illegal state interference, ethnic cleansing, and other issues
  • ICJ’s primary purpose is to adjudicate disputes among states

Economic and Social Council (New York)

  • Assists the General Assembly in promoting international economic and social co-operation and development
  • Has 54 members, which are elected by the General Assembly for a three-year term
  • The president is elected for a one-year term and chosen amongst the small or middle powers represented on ECOSOC

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