Victoria Fern Mitchell
July 17, 2014
The United Nations
It's history, functions, successes, and failures
The United Nations is well known as an organization which functions primarily for the promotion of peace and cooperation on an international level. Originating in 1919 as a group known as the League of Nations, the UN has evolved into what it is today, a proactive coalition of one hundred and ninety-three nations existing to make the enforcement of international law, security, economic development, social progress, and human rights easier for countries world-wide. Since its first days, the UN has proven its abilities to be effectual many times over, but it has also showcased the depravity of human nature and the flaws of its system. The principles of our present-day United Nation began post-WWI when President Woodrow Wilson first proposed a forum that would manifest his Fourteen Points in attaining a stable peace corps, preventing further global wars and strife ("The League"). Wilson said that the times called for for a “general association of nations…formed on the basis of covenants designed to create mutual guarantees of the political independence and territorial integrity of States, large and small equally" ("The League"). His ideas were very appealing to both his own fellow Americans and the war-torn citizens of Europe and the League was established under the Treaty of Versailles. However, the difficulties in forming a strong organization for global equity were more prominent than the zealous attitude of those who desired it; in the end, the League was never able to reach any substantial international standing or execute Wilson's humanitarian dream for a truly effective peace corps. Later, the League of Nations was reborn as the United Nations when President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill coined the term in the Declaration of the United Nations which was signed by 26 countries on the first day of 1942, signifying that the signing nations covenanted together to fight the Axis Powers in Europe (Briney). From that era to today, the United Nations has become an important role in world politics and an effective force for the good of hundreds of countries over the globe. Today, the UN is divided into five branches in which every nation is represented and involved, making the benefits of a symbiotic environment more easily attainable. These five branches are the UN General Assembly, the UN Security Council, the International Court of justice, the Economic and Social Council, and the Secretariat. The General Assembly is the representative, decision-making branch, lead by an elected president. While the General Assembly has no real power, the congregation is primarily commissioned to uphold UN principles by their policies and proposals when the nations meet together once a year in New York City from September to December. The Security Council is the main body of the UN, as well as the most active and authoritative branch. Its fifteen members (five of which are permanent and ten of which rotate every two years) meet nearly every day and formulates orders which every UN member country must obey. The Security Council holds the power to veto, deploy member nations' militaries, order a cease-fire during times of international strife, send out peacekeepers to settle disputes in countries during trouble. The UN's judicial and dispute-settling branch is the International Court of Justice, located in The Hague, Netherlands. True to its name, the Economic and Social Council actively work with the General Assembly to create socially developed and economically balanced status and cooperative relationships for every UN nations. Lastly, the Secretariat of the UN is the branch headed by the Secretary General, responsible for making informative data available to the other UN branches and their commissions. Every part of the United Nations has one common and important duty: to utilize its role in the building and...
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