United Nations (un)


The UN is the largest (193 members), most familiar, and most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world with headquarters in New York City.
- It was founded in 1945 (by 51 member states) after WWII to prevent future wars and succeeded in the ineffective League of Nations.
- The UN system is based on 5 Principal Organizations: General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council, International Court of Justice, Secretariat and (Trusteeship Council).
 
- General Assembly:
  • The main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the UN.
  • All 193 Member States of the UN are represented in the General Assembly, making it the only UN body with universal representation.
  • At its annual sessions, decisions on important questions, such as those on peace and security, admission of new members and budgetary matters, require a two-thirds majority of the General Assembly and decisions on other questions are by a simple majority.UPSC Prelims 2024 dynamic test series
- Security Council:
  • The Security Council has primary responsibility, under the UN Charter, for the maintenance of international peace and security. It has 15 Members (5 permanent and 10 non-permanent members). Each Member has one vote.
  • Under the Charter, all Member States are obligated to comply with Council decisions.
- International Court of Justice:
  • The International Court of Justice is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. Its seat is at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands).
  • It is the only one of the principal organs of the United Nations not located in New York (United States of America).
  • The Court’s role is to settle, per international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies.
  • Composition of the International Court of Justice
- The International Court of Justice is composed of 15 judges elected to nine-year terms of office by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council.
- These organs vote simultaneously but separately. In order to be elected, a candidate must receive an absolute majority of the votes in both bodies. This sometimes makes it necessary for a number of rounds of voting to be held.
- In order to ensure a degree of continuity, one-third of the Court is elected every three years. Judges are eligible for re-election. If a judge dies or resigns during his or her term of office, a special election is held as soon as possible to choose a judge to fill the unexpired part of the term.
- Recently, Justice Dalveer Bhandari was re-elected as a judge at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) making him the third Indian to secure a prominent position in a United Nations (UN) body.
- It was for the first time that a candidate from a permanent member of the UN Security Council (P-5) did not found a seat at the ICJ. It is not a mandate for permanent members of UNSC to get a seat in ICJ.
- The UN Charter also stipulates that each primary organ of the United Nations can establish various specialized agencies like World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Intl. Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to fulfill its duties.
- The main objectives of UN are: Maintain International Peace and Security, Protect Human Rights, Deliver Humanitarian Aid, Promote Sustainable Development, Uphold International Law
- India was one of the 51 founding members of the UN despite it being a British colony.

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