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LE MONDE 75 YEAR ANNIVERSARY UNITED NATIONSTHE UNITEDNATIONS (UN)is the largest, most familiar,most internationallyrepresented and mostpowerful intergovernmentalorganization in theworld. The UN aims tomaintain internationalpeace and security, developfriendly relations amongnations, achieveinternational cooperationand be a center forharmonizing the actions ofnations (cf. Charter of UNChapter I).The UN is headquartered inNew York - other mainoffices are located inGeneva, Nairobi andVienna. The InternationalCourt of Justice is locatedin The Heague.A view of the Secretariatbuilding at United NationsHeadquarters.Secretary-GeneralAntónio Guterres (left)converses with DeputySecretary-GeneralAmina Mohammed.Foundation: was foundedin 1945. The UN Charterwas signed 26 June 1945and entered into force 24October 1945.Membership: 193 MemberStates - 2 observer statesEach of the 193 states is amember of the GeneralAssembly. States areadmitted to membership inthe UN by a decision of theGeneral Assembly upon therecommendation of theSecurity Council.Secretary-General:António GuterresDeputy Secretary-General:Amina J. MohammedStaff: The UN Secretariathad 37.505 staff as at31.12.2018Budget: The UNSecretariat budget for2020 is $3 billion.This does not include UNpeacekeeping which has aseparate budget. Theapproved budget for UNPeacekeeping operationsfor the fiscal year 1 July2019 - 30 June 2020 is$6.5 billion.It should have been all about the 75th anniversaryof the biggest and most important intergovernmentalorganisation in the world, yet it turnedout being a warning. His face was serious, he seemedvery concerned: António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, gave a very clear statement at the end ofMarch about the status quo of the current worldspanning situation: “Covid-19 is the greatest test wehave faced together since the formation of the UnitedNations. This human crisis demands coordinated,inclusive and innovative action from the leadingeconomies. Yet, a lack of leadership and differingnational approaches had helped spread the virus.“The UN chief also called for “an immediate coordinatedhealth response to suppress transmissionand end the pandemic” that “scales up health capacityfor testing, tracing, quarantine and treatment,while keeping first responders safe, combined withmeasures to restrict movement and contact.”The Secretary-General also underscored that developedcountries must assist those less developed,or potentially “face the nightmare of the diseasespreading like wildfire in the global South with millionsof deaths and the prospect of the disease ree-merging where it was previously suppressed.”A new period began75 years ago, when World War II ended, a newtime period began and most of the important leadingcountries agreed on the fact that something importanthas to be done, that worldwide conflicts likeWW II could never happen again.Then US-President Franklin D. Roosevelt andBritish Prime Minister Winston Churchill met andcreated the idea of an intergovernmental organisation.The UN was established with the aim of preventingfuture wars, succeeding the ineffectiveLeague of Nations, an international diplomaticgroup developed after World War I. In April 1945,50 governments met for a conference in San Franciscoand started drafting the UN Charter, whichwas adopted on 25 June 1945 and took effect on 24October 1945, when the UN began operations. Pursuantto the Charter, the organisation‘s objectivesinclude maintaining international peace and security,protecting human rights, delivering humanitarianaid, promoting sustainable development, andupholding international law. At its founding, thePHOTOS: UN PHOTO/ESKINDER DEBEBE; MANUEL ELIAS; YUTAKA NAGATAUN had 51 member states; this number grew to 193in 2011, representing the vast majority of theworld‘s sovereign states. The organisation is financedby assessed and voluntary contributionsfrom its member states.The UN is headquartered on international territoryin New York City – other main offices are in Geneva,Nairobi, Vienna and The Hague.At its founding, the UN had 51 member states;this number grew to 193 in 2011, representing thevast majority of the world‘s sovereign states.The organisation‘s mission to preserve worldpeace was complicated in its early decades bythe Cold War between the United States and SovietUnion and their respective allies. Its missions haveconsisted primarily of unarmed military observersand lightly armed troops with primarily monitoring,reporting and confidence-building roles. Bythe 1970s, the UN‘s budget for economic and socialdevelopment programmes far outstripped its spendingon peacekeeping. After the end of the Cold War,the UN shifted and expanded its field operations, undertakinga wide variety of complex tasks.In 1971, the Security Council held a closed meeting to consider the question of the recommendation for theappointment of the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Discussing a document, in the foreground, are (left toright): Abdulrahim Abby Farah (Somalia), George Bush (United States; later US-President), Carlos Oritiz de Rozas(Argentina) and Agha Shahi (Pakistan).un.orgunov.org40 Cercle Diplomatique 2/2020Cercle Diplomatique 2/202041