UN Facts

UN Headquarters

The United Nations headquarters are located in New York, between First Avenue and E. 42nd Street and E. 48th Street. The General Assembly building, conference and Library buildings are interconnected. The Dag Hammarskjold Library was built by a $6,200,000 grant from the Ford Foundation. It has room for 400,000 volumes. To build the headquarters The US Govt. advanced an interest free loan of $ 6,500,000. Joan D. Rockerfeller, Jr. contributed $ 800,000 for land and the City of New York contributed an estimated $ 26,500,000 for adopting the site. The United Nations has a post office originating its own stamps.

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Languages at UN

There are six official languages recognized by the United Nations. Theses are 1. Chinese, 2. English, 3. French, 4. Russian, 5. Spanish, which have been in use since the world body formed. A sixth language, Arabic, was added to the General Assembly in 1973, the Security Council in 1982 and the Economic and Social Council in 1983. The major documents in the United Nations and the minutes of the meetings of these bodies are published in all the six working languages.

UN Structure

  • General Assembly: The General Assembly is the main deliberative body of the UN and consists of all members of the UN. While each member can send five delegates and six alternates to the assembly, it has only one vote. A two third majority is needed to pass resolutions on important questions. Other questions are decided by simple majority votes. No member nation in the General Assembly has veto power.

  • Security Council: The Security Council has the basic responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. It is also responsible for carrying out the functions of the UN in the trust territories classed as "Strategic Areas". The of the strength of the Security Council is 15 members; five of which- United States, Britain, China, France and Russia - are permanent members. Its non permanent members are elected by the general Assembly by 2/3 of majority for a two year term. Retiring members are not eligible to immediate re-election. The Presidency of the Security Council is alternated on a monthly basis by its member states (in English alphabets).

  • Economic and Social Council: The ECOSOC, reporting to the General Assembly, works on Economic, Social, Cultural and Humanitarian problems. It is made up of representatives of 54 member states. Any country not a member of ECOSOC, involved in problem under discussion is invited to participate without the right to vote. At least two regular sessions of ECOSOC are held each year- one at UN Headquarters in New York and other in Geneva, Switzerland. Each ECOSOC member has one vote and resolutions are passed by a majority vote.

  • Trusteeship Council: The Trusteeship Council prepares people for self-government or independence. Membership consists of permanent members of Security Council plus those nations which administer trust territories, and the needed additional members to maintain the equal balance between administering and non-administering nations.. The Trusteeship Council supervises the administrations of various territories governed by nations designated by the UN as trustees. The administrative power and the council see that social, economic and educational progress is made and that the territories are prepared for effective self government.

  • International Court of Justice: The International Court of Justice settles international legal problems. All members of UN come under the rules of this court although they are not required to bring cases before it. The court is made up of 15 judges, chosen without regard to nationality, who are elected by the General Assembly and the Security Council. No two judges may represent the same country, but judges can, when their nine year term expires, be re-elected.

  • Secretariat: The Secretariat is Headed by Secretary General. He is appointed by the General Assembly, on recommendation of the Security Council, for a term of five years and is the chief administrative officer of the United Nations. The Secretary General may bring any matter before the security council which he considers a threat to international peace. He presides over as Secretary General or authorises a deputy to do so, over all meetings of the General Assembly and other major UN organs. He must also carry out all functions entrusted to him by these organs and submit an annual report to the General Assembly on the work of the UN.

Member states

The total number of members of the United nations is 190 after admitting Switzerland as the youngest member of UN on 10th September 2002.

To become member of the UN, the country:
  • Must be peace loving and willing to accept the aims, objects and rules of the UN charter,

  • Must be judged by the UN as being able to carry out these aims and objects,

  • Must be recommended by the UN Security Council for the membership, and

  • The member must be confirmed by the UN General Assembly by a two third majority votes.

Click here for Complete List of Members of UN

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