UN(United Nations) | UPSC

  • The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.
  • It is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world.
  • The UN is headquartered on international territory in New York City.
  • The UN was established after World War II with the aim of preventing future wars, succeeding the ineffective League of Nations on 25 April 1945.


  • Peacekeeping and security
  • Human rights
  • Economic development and humanitarian assistance
  • Others
    • Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples
    • Environmental Issues - UN Environmental Programme (UNEP)

Main Organs of UN

  • General Assembly - The General Assembly is the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the UN. All 193 Member States of the UN are represented in the General Assembly, making it the only UN body with universal representation.
  • Security Council - The Security Council has primary responsibility, under the UN Charter, for the maintenance of international peace and security. It has 15 Members (5 permanent and 10 non-permanent members).
  • Economic and Social Council - The Economic and Social Council is the principal body for coordination, policy review, policy dialogue and recommendations on economic, social and environmental issues, as well as implementation of internationally agreed development goals.
  • Trusteeship Council - The Trusteeship Council was established in 1945 by the UN Charter, under Chapter XIII, to provide international supervision for 11 Trust Territories that had been placed under the administration of seven Member States, and ensure that adequate steps were taken to prepare the Territories for self-government and independence.
  • International Court of Justice - The International Court of Justice is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. Its seat is at the Peace Palace in the Hague (Netherlands). It is the only one of the six principal organs of the United Nations not located in New York (United States of America).
  • Secretariat - The Secretariat comprises the Secretary-General and tens of thousands of international UN staff members who carry out the day-to-day work of the UN as mandated by the General Assembly and the Organization's other principal organs.

Agencies of the United Nations

  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) - formulates policies and programs to improve working conditions and employment opportunities, and defines international labor standards as guidelines for governments.
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) - works to raise levels of nutrition and standards of living, to improve agricultural productivity and food security, and to better the conditions of rural populations.
  • The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) - promotes education for all, cultural development, protection of the world's natural and cultural heritage, press freedom, and communication.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) - coordinates programs aimed at solving health problems and the attainment by all people of the highest possible level of health; it works in areas such as immunization, health education, and the provision of essential drugs.
  • The World Bank - group provides loans and technical assistance to developing countries to reduce poverty and advance sustainable economic growth.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) - facilitates international monetary cooperation and financial stability, and provides a permanent forum for consultation, advice, and assistance on financial issues.
  • The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) - sets international standards necessary for the safety, security, efficiency, and regularity of air transport, and serves as the medium for cooperation in all areas of civil aviation.
  • The Universal Postal Union (UPU) - establishes international regulations for the organization and improvement of postal services, provides technical assistance, and promotes cooperation in postal matters.
  • The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) - fosters international cooperation for the improvement and use of telecommunications of all kinds, coordinates usage of radio and TV frequencies, promotes safety measures, and conducts research.
  • The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) - promotes scientific research on the atmosphere and on climate change, and facilitates the global exchange of meteorological data and information.
  • The International Maritime Organization (IMO) - works to improve international shipping procedures, encourages the highest standards in marine safety, and seeks to prevent marine pollution from ships.
  • The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) - promotes international protection of intellectual property and fosters cooperation on copyrights, trademarks, industrial designs, and patents.
  • The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) - mobilizes financial resources for better food production and nutrition among the poor in developing countries.
  • The UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) - promotes the industrial advancement of developing countries through technical assistance, advisory services, and training.
  • The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) - an autonomous intergovernmental organization under the aegis of the UN, works for the safe and peaceful uses of atomic energy.

Official Languages of UN

  • Arabic (18 December)
  • Chinese (20 April)
  • English (23 April)
  • Spanish (23 April))
  • French (20 March)
  • Russian (6 June)

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