This is the UN

A short overview

The UN is an international organization, not a world government. The United Nations is an organization of sovereign States. These States voluntarily join the UN to work for world peace, promote friendship among all nations and support economic and social progress. It formally came into being on 24 October 1945. At that time, it had 51 countries as Members. As of March 2007, 192 countries were UN members.

The UN is a forum, a meeting-place, for virtually all nations of the world. It provides them with the mechanism to help find solutions to disputes or problems, and to act on virtually any matter of concern to humanity.

Though sometimes described as a “parliament of nations”, the UN is neither a supra-State nor a government of governments. It does not have an army and it imposes no taxes. It depends on the political will of its Members to have its decisions implemented and relies on the contributions of its Members to carry out its activities.

The United Nations plays a central role in reducing international tensions, preventing conflicts and putting an end to fighting already under way. It deals with our environment, outer space and the sea-bed. It has helped wipe out many diseases and expand food production. It cares for and protects refugees, expands literacy and responds quickly to natural disasters. It also protects and promotes rights of individuals by setting a global standard for human rights.

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