Evolution Of The UN

Evolution of United Nations started with the failure of League of Nations. It failed since it could not prevent the catastrophic World War II. However, United Nations has been able to not only prevent another world war, but also continuously strives to solve myriads of problems faced by Nations across the globe. This article helps one understand the evolution of UN in terms of its organisational structure, growth in membership and objectives.

Aspirants would find this article very helpful while preparing for the IAS Exam.

United Nations (UN) – Successor to League of Nations

The First World War encouraged the world to invest in an International Organisation to deal with conflict. Many believed that such an organisation would help the world to avoid war. As a result, the League of Nations was born. However, despite its initial success, it could not prevent the Second World War (1939-45).

  1. The UN was founded as a successor to the League of Nations.
  2. It was established in 1945 immediately after the Second World War.
  3. United Nations (UN) was set up through the signing of the United Nations Charter by 51 states. It tried to achieve what the League could not between the two world wars.
  4. The UN’s objective is to prevent international conflict and to facilitate cooperation among states. It was founded with the hope that it would act to stop the conflicts between states escalating into war and, if war broke out, to limit the extent of hostilities.
  5. Furthermore, since conflicts often arose from the lack of social and economic development, the UN was intended to bring countries together to improve the prospects of social and economic development all over the world.
  6. Currently the UN has 193 member states. These included almost all independent states.
  7. In the UN General Assembly, all members have one vote each.
  8. In the UN Security Council, there are five permanent members. These are: the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and China. These states were selected as permanent members as they were the most powerful immediately after the Second World War and because they constituted the victors in the War.
  9. The UN’s most visible public figure, and the representative head, is the Secretary-General.
  10. The UN consists of many different structures and agencies. War and peace and differences between member states are discussed in the General Assembly as well as the Security Council. Social and economic issues are dealt with by many agencies including the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC), the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), among others.

Founding Of The United Nations(UN) – Chronology of Events

The below details shares brief chronology of important events in the founding of United Nations, all the way up to India joining the United Nations (UN).

1941 August: Signing of the Atlantic Charter by the US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British PM Winston S. Churchill
1942 January: 26 Allied nations fighting against the Axis Powers meet in Washington, D.C., to support the Atlantic Charter and sign the ‘Declaration by United Nations’
1943 December: Tehran Conference Declaration of the Three Powers (US, Britain and Soviet Union)
1945 February: Yalta Conference of the ‘Big Three’ (Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin) decides to organise a United Nations conference on the proposed world organisation
April-May: The 2-month long United Nations Conference on International Organisation at San Francisco
1945 June 26: Signing of the UN Charter by 50 nations (Poland signed on October 15; so the UN has 51 original founding members)
1945 October 24: The UN was founded (hence October 24 is celebrated as UN Day)
1945 October 30: India joins the UN

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