The United Nations is an association of states which have pledged themselves to maintain international peace and security and cooperate in solving international, political, economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems towards achieving this end. The name United Nations was coined by President Franklin D. Roosvelt. The world body was formed on the ashes of its predecessor , The League of Nations, created in 1920 in the aftermath of World
War-I (1917-1918), with the same objective of maintaining world peace.
In 1945 representatives of 50 nations met in San Francisco (USA) to phrase the basic charter for the world organization which would "save succeeding generations from the scourge of war...". The charter was signed on June 26th 1945 by these nations. The aim of this organization were to keep peace and through collective action, eradicate illiteracy, poverty, disease and chronic ill health - often the causes of war.
Preliminary drafts of the charter, which had been worked by specialists, were drafted in the final form at San Francisco. Ratified by 29 nations - the necessary majority, including the five permanent members of the security council - it became effective on October 24 1945. This day is the official birthday of the UN and is celebrated each year as the United Nations Day each year throughout the world.
The specific purposes of the UN as outlined in the charter are to:
- Maintain international peace and security,
- Develop friendly relations among nations, based on respect for the principal of equal rights and self determination of people,
- Cooperate in finding a solution for international political, social, economic, cultural and humanitarian problems and in promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedom for all and
- Serve as a center for coordination the actions of nation to attain these common goals.
To maintain peace and security in the world, the UN adopts various measures such as:
- appointing a body of persons to help in bringing about an agreement between the opposing nations in their dispute;
- sending investigation missions to troubled areas to gain first hand information;
- securing agreements to reduce armaments and work of disarmaments; and
- preventing genocide by appealing to member countries to observe principals enunciated in the universal declaration of human rights.