Direct Link to a Larger Chart that Explains the UN(external link)

The United Nations Organization (UNO) or simply United Nations (UN) is an international organization / supranational organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and the achieving of world peace. The UN was founded in 1945 after World War II to replace the League of Nations, to stop wars between countries, and to provide a platform for dialogue. It contains multiple subsidiary organizations to carry out its missions.

There are currently 192 member states, including nearly every sovereign state in the world. From its offices around the world, the UN and its specialized agencies decide on substantive and administrative issues in regular meetings held throughout the year.

The organization has six principal organs:
-the General Assembly (the main deliberative assembly);
-the Security Council (for deciding certain resolutions for peace and security);
-the Economic and Social Council (for assisting in promoting international economic and social cooperation and development);
-the Secretariat (for providing studies, information, and facilities needed by the UN);
-the International Court of Justice (the primary judicial organ);
-and the United Nations Trusteeship Council (which is currently inactive).

Other prominent UN System agencies include
-the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Food Programme (WFP)
-and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

The UN's most visible public figure is the Secretary-General, currently Ban Ki-moon of South Korea


General Assembly
The General Assembly is the main deliberative assembly of the United Nations. Composed of all United Nations member states, the assembly meets in regular yearly sessions under a president elected from among the member states. Over a two-week period at the start of each session, all members have the opportunity to address the assembly. Traditionally, the Secretary-General makes the first statement, followed by the president of the assembly. The first session was convened on 10 January 1946 in the Westminster Central Hall in London and included representatives of 51 nations.

When the General Assembly votes on important questions, a two-thirds majority of those present and voting is required. Examples of important questions include: recommendations on peace and security; election of members to organs; admission, suspension, and expulsion of members; and, budgetary matters. All other questions are decided by majority vote. Each member country has one vote. Apart from approval of budgetary matters, resolutions are not binding on the members. The Assembly may make recommendations on any matters within the scope of the UN, except matters of peace and security that are under Security Council consideration.

Security Council
The Security Council is charged with maintaining peace and security among countries. While other organs of the United Nations can only make 'recommendations' to member governments, the Security Council has the power to make binding decisions that member governments have agreed to carry out, under the terms of Charter Article 25.7 The decisions of the Council are known as United Nations Security Council resolutions.

The Security Council is made up of 15 member states, consisting of 5 permanent members – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States – and 10 non-permanent members. The five permanent members hold veto power over substantive but not procedural resolutions allowing a permanent member to block adoption but not to block the debate of a resolution unacceptable to it.

Secretariat
The United Nations Secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General, assisted by a staff of international civil servants worldwide. It provides studies, information, and facilities needed by United Nations bodies for their meetings.

Secretary-General
The Secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General, who acts as the de facto spokesman and leader of the UN


International Court of Justice
Peace Palace, seat of the International Court of Justice at The Hague, Netherlands.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ), located in The Hague, Netherlands, is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. This court brings people to justice at an international level. The US does not particpate in this program. Established in 1945 by the United Nations Charter, the Court began work in 1946 as the successor to the Permanent Court of International Justice. The Statute of the International Court of Justice, similar to that of its predecessor, is the main constitutional document constituting and regulating the Court.

Peacekeeping and security
UN peacekeeping missions. Dark blue regions indicate current missions , while light blue regions represent former missions.
The UN, after approval by the Security Council, sends peacekeepers to regions where armed conflict has recently ceased or paused to enforce the terms of peace agreements and to discourage combatants from resuming hostilities. Since the UN does not maintain its own military, peacekeeping forces are voluntarily provided by member states of the UN. The forces, also called the "Blue Helmets", who enforce UN accords are awarded United Nations Medals, which are considered international decorations instead of military decorations. The peacekeeping force as a whole received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1988.

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Human rights and humanitarian assistance
The pursuit of human rights was a central reason for creating the UN. World War II atrocities and genocide led to a ready consensus that the new organization must work to prevent any similar tragedies in the future. An early objective was creating a legal framework for considering and acting on complaints about human rights violations. The UN Charter obliges all member nations to promote "universal respect for, and observance of, human rights" and to take "joint and separate action" to that end. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, though not legally binding, was adopted by the General Assembly in 1948 as a common standard of achievement for all. The Assembly regularly takes up human rights issues.

Social and economic development
The UN is involved in supporting development, e.g. by the formulation of the Millennium Development Goals. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) is the largest multilateral source of grant technical assistance in the world. Organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO), UNAIDS, and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria are leading institutions in the battle against diseases around the world, especially in poor countries. The UN Population Fund is a major provider of reproductive services. It has helped reduce infant and maternal mortality in 100 countries.

WHO Agenda (mainly health related issues):
1. Promoting development
-During the past decade, health has achieved unprecedented prominence as a key driver of socioeconomic progress
2. Fostering health security
-Shared vulnerability to health security threats demands collective action.
3. Strengthening health systems
-For health improvement to operate as a poverty-reduction strategy, health services must reach poor and underserved populations.
4. Harnessing research, information and evidence
-Evidence provides the foundation for setting priorities, defining strategies, and measuring results.
5. Enhancing partnerships
-WHO carries out its work with the support and collaboration of many partners
6. Improving performance
-WHO participates in ongoing reforms aimed at improving its efficiency and effectiveness

Millennium Development Goals
1. eradicate extreme poverty and hunger;
2. achieve universal primary education;
3. promote gender equality and empower women;
4. reduce child mortality;
5. improve maternal health;
6. combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases;
7. ensure environmental sustainability; and
8. develop a global partnership for development.