Transcript Slide 1

The United Nations

Global History and Geography IV

Formation of the United Nations

  Officially came into existence on October 24, 1945 when the UN Charter was ratified by a majority of the original 51 Member States Day now celebrated each year around the world as

United Nations Day

Aims of the United Nations:

    Keep peace throughout the world. Develop friendly relations between nations. Work together to help people live better lives • eliminate poverty, disease and illiteracy in the world • stop environmental destruction • encourage respect for each other's rights and freedoms To be a centre for helping nations achieve these aims

Principals of the United Nations

 All Member States have sovereign equality.  All Member States must obey the Charter.  Countries must try to settle their differences by peaceful means.  Countries must avoid using force or threatening to use force.  The UN may not interfere in the domestic affairs of any country.  Countries should try to assist the United Nations.

Early International Organization

 The International Telecommunication Union was founded in 1865 as the International Telegraph Union  The Universal Postal Union was established in 1874. Both are now United Nations specialized agencies.

Foundation Building

 In 1899, the International Peace Conference was held in The Hague to elaborate instruments for settling crises peacefully • Sought to prevent wars and codified rules of warfare • Adopted the Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes • Established Permanent Court of Arbitration, which began work in 1902

The Predecessor: The League of Nations

   Founded immediately after the First World War Originally consisted of 42 countries • 26 were non-European • At its largest, 57 countries were members • Created because people in France, South Africa, the UK and the US believed a world organization of nations could keep the peace and prevent war An effective world body seemed possible • communications were better • increasing experience of working together in international organizations • Coordination and cooperation for economic and social progress were becoming important

Two Basic Aims of League

1. It sought to preserve peace through collective action.

Disputes referred to the League's Council for arbitration and conciliation If necessary, economic and then military sanctions could be used In other words, members undertook to defend other members from aggression 2. Aimed to promote international cooperation in economic and social affairs

The Covenant of the League of Nations begins...

 “In order to promote international cooperation and to achieve international peace and security by the acceptance of obligations not to resort to war, by the prescription of open, just and honorable relations between nations, by the firm establishment of the understandings of international law as the actual rule of conduct among Governments, and by the maintenance of justice and a scrupulous respect for all treaty obligations in the dealings of organized peoples with one another, Agree to this Covenant of the League of Nations."

Ineffectiveness of the League

 As the Second World War unfolded, it became clear that the League had failed in its chief aim of keeping the peace.

 Had no military power of its own  Depended on its members' contributions  Members not willing to use sanctions, economic or military action  Moral authority was insufficient

Big Powers Failed to Support League

 The United States never joined  Germany was a member for only seven years from 1926  The USSR was a member for only five years from 1934  Japan and Italy both withdrew in the 30s  League then depended mainly on Britain and France, who were hesitant to act forcefully


 Signed in London on 12 June 1941 • Agreement “to work together, with other free peoples, both in war and in peace”  Each representative pledged not to sign a separate peace document and declared: "The only true basis of enduring peace is the willing cooperation of free peoples in a world in which, relieved of the menace of aggression, all may enjoy economic and social security…. “  Ten days later, Hitler launched his attack against the Soviet Union.

The Atlantic Charter of 14 August 1941

 British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill and US President Franklin D. Roosevelt met aboard the USS Atlanta  First indication that the two powers would strive for creation of a new world organization once peace was restored  Announced "certain common principles … of their respective countries … for a better future for the world: • the need for a secure peace • the abandonment by all nations of the use of force • the disarmament of aggressors and the Prince of Wales

Declaration of the United Nations January 1, 1942

 "to a common program of purposes and principles embodied in the … Atlantic Charter"  Representatives of 26 nations pledged their Governments to continue fighting together against the Axis Powers  signed a declaration whose preamble called for subscription  explicitly referred to need for promoting respect for human rights on an international basis  Phrase "united nations" was first used  coined by FDR to express the unity of the signatory nations in their determination to withstand the onslaught of the Axis powers  Declaration subsequently signed by 21 additional governments

Conference of Allied Ministers of Education

 Met in London in the Fall of 1942  Drafted plans for a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)  Formed the basis for a conference held in 1944 which drafted UNESCO constitution

United Nations Conference on Food and Agriculture Spring 1943

 Held in Hot Springs, Virginia  Set up Interim Commission on Food and Agriculture  Drew up a Constitution for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)  FAO formally organized in October 1945

Moscow Declaration October 30, 1943

    Constructed blue print of a new world body (General Assembly) to replace the League of Nations Met at a time when victory seemed in sight Recognized • "the necessity of establishing at the earliest practicable date a general international organization based on the principle of sovereign equality of all peace-loving States, and open to membership by all such States, large and small, for the maintenance of international peace and security." Reaffirmed at the Tehran Conference December 1943

United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration

 Created in November 1943 by an agreement signed by 44 nations (Washington D.C.)  Set up to provide assistance to victims of war  Formally first U.N. agency to come into being  Operated until 1949 when its functions were divided among other agencies • FAO, UNICEF, International Refugee Organization

Bretton Woods Agreement July 1944

 730 delegates from all 44 Allied nations gathered at the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire  The United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference • Basis for the establishment of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) • Articles of agreement came into force in December 1945

Dumbarton Oaks Conference, Washington, August 21st to October 7th, 1944

 First big-power meeting convoked to make concrete plans of the structure and functioning of the world organization  Delegations offered widely differing proposals, but eventually reached agreement 1) Favored a strong role for the General Assembly in which all member states would be represented (most democratic) 2) Agreement that a small Security Council should be "primarily responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security" 3) That the big powers should have the right of veto in that body 4) Deadlock developed over a Soviet proposal that a big power might exercise this right in disputes in which it was itself involved

Yalta Conference, February 1945

  "Yalta formula" - compromise proposed by US and rejected by the USSR at Dumbarton Oaks provided that if any of the Big Five powers was involved in a dispute, it would not have the right to veto Security Council recommendations for peaceful settlement of the issue but would be able to veto a Security Council decision to invoke sanctions against it Agreement of the Trusteeship: formed to oversee decolonization of dependent territories to be placed under international trusteeship system as a successor to the League of Nations mandate system.


 On 25 April 1945, delegates of 50 nations met in San Francisco for the United Nations Conference on International Organization.  Delegates drew up the 111-article Charter, which was adopted unanimously on June 25, 1945 in the San Francisco Opera House  Next day, they signed charter in the Herbst Theatre auditorium of the Veterans War Memorial Building

International Court of Justice (ICJ)

     Established in 1945 by the UN Charter whose seat is at The Hague, Netherlands Principle judicial organ of the United Nations • began work in 1946 as the successor to the Permanent Court of International Justice Has jurisdiction over all cases referred to it by parties concerning matters within the Charter and over various treaties or conventions in force Submission of states is based on their consent, thus no force to submit to cases The Charter provides that Members of the United Nations may entrust the solution of their differences to other tribunals

United Nations Day October 24, 1945

   The United Nations charter was ratified by the five permanent members of the Security Council and the majority of other 51 signatories, and comes into force. The day is celebrated each year as United Nations Day January 10, 1946, the First General Assembly, with 51 nations represented opens in Central Hall, Westminster, London.

First Official Meetings January 1946

 Security Council meets for the first time in London, adopting its rules of procedure.

 General Assembly adopts its first resolution.

• Main focus: peaceful uses of atomic energy and the elimination of atomic and other weapons of mass destruction.