2. Evolution of the UN
The League of Nations (LoN) was established in 1920 after the WW1 to prevent another World War
World War 1- 1914-1918 between Allies ( France, Great Britain, Italy, Russia, US) and Axis (Austria-
Hungary, Germany, Ottoman Empire (present Turkey)).
The main cause for the WW I was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand who was the heir
apparent to the throne of Austria-Hungary, and his wife, Sophie, by a Serbian nationalist in 1914.
Even though LoN was established to prevent another WW, ironically the WWII started making the
LoN a failure as the powerful states wanted to achieve their personal agendas ignoring the objective
of the LoN.
3. WWII- 1939-1945 between Allies (Great Britain, Soviet Union, United States) and Axis
(Germany, Italy, Japan).
The main cause for WWII was Hitler's invasion of Poland and growing Nazism.
The Allies invaded Germany and Japan ending the WWII.
The world was in a dire need of a regulatory body to control the states in the international
system after seeing the misery two world wars brought to the world.
The world leaders got together during the WWII and discussed on forming a new, strong
and a long-lasting international organization.
US President franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Premier
of the Soviet Union Joseph Stalin took the initiative in forming the United Nations.
4. Major Milestones in Establishing the UN
1. The Declaration of St. James’s
Decided to fight against aggression
2. The Atlantic Charter (1941)
President Roosevelt & PM Churchill
confirmed to work for the
betterment of the world.
3. The Declaration of the United
26 nations signed the document
4. The Tehran Conference (1943)
US President franklin D. Roosevelt,
British Prime Minister Winston
Churchill and Premier of the Soviet
Union Joseph Stalin discussed the
political and military issues.
5. The Dumbarton Oaks
Leaders discussed on the structure,
armed forces, roles and
responsibilities for the world
6. The Yalta Conference (1945)
Decided on the military plans to
defeat the Axis and the issues
regarding the voting system within
the UN was resolved.
7. The San Francisco Conference
50 states from all around the world
got together to prepare the UN
Charter in April 1945 and the
Charter was unanimously adopted
by the states on 26th June 2945.
8. 24th October 1945 the United
Nations was formed.
5. The United Nations Charter
The Charter of the United Nations is the founding document of the United Nations.
It was signed on 26 June 1945, in San Francisco, at the conclusion of the United Nations Conference on
International Organization and came into force on 24 October 1945.
The United Nations can take action on a wide variety of issues due to its unique international character and the
powers vested in its Charter, which is considered an international treaty.
As such, the UN Charter is an instrument of international law, and UN Member States are bound by it.
There are six official languages of the UN. These are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
The UN Charter codifies the major principles of international relations, from sovereign equality of States to the
prohibition of the use of force in international relations.
The UN Charter consists of 19 Chapters which pay attention to purposes and principles of UN, Membership,
Organs and Settlement of Disputes.
6. Main Organs of the
◦ The General Assembly
◦ The Security Council
◦ The Economic and Social
◦ The Trusteeship Council
◦ The International Court of
◦ The UN Secretariat
7. The General Assembly
◦ The General Assembly is 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
◦ Each year, in September, the full UN
membership meets in the General Assembly
Hall in New York for the annual General
Assembly session, and general debate, which
many heads of state attend and address.
◦ 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.
◦ Decisions on other questions are by simple
◦ The General Assembly, each year, elects a GA
President to serve a one-year term of office.
8. The 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- France, UK,
USA, Russia and China) and 10 non-permanent
◦ Each Member has one vote – Veto Power
◦ Under the Charter, all Member States are
obligated to comply with Council decisions
◦ The Security Council takes the lead in
determining the existence of a threat to the
peace or act of aggression.
◦ It calls upon the parties to a dispute to settle it by
peaceful means and recommends methods of
adjustment or terms of settlement.
◦ In some cases, the Security Council can resort
to imposing sanctions or even authorize the use
of force to maintain or restore international peace
◦ The Security Council has a Presidency, which
rotates, and changes, every month.
9. The Economic and
◦ The Economic and Social Council is the
principal body for coordination, policy review,
policy dialogue and recommendations on
economic, social and environmental issues,
as well as implementation of internationally
agreed development goals.
◦ It serves as the central mechanism for
activities of the UN system and its
specialized agencies in the economic, social
and environmental fields, supervising
subsidiary and expert bodies.
◦ It has 54 Members, elected by the General
Assembly for three-year terms.
◦ It is the United Nations’ central platform for
reflection, debate, and innovative thinking
on sustainable development.
◦ All the UN Specialized agencies are
functioned under the ECOSOC.
10. The Trusteeship
◦ The Trusteeship Council was established in 1945 by the UN Charter, to
provide international supervision for 11 Trust Territories that had been
placed under the administration of seven Member States and ensure that
adequate steps were taken to prepare the Territories for self-government
1. Western Samoa- New Zealand
2. Tanganyika- United Kingdom
3. Rwanda-Urundi- Belgium
4. Cameroons under British administration
5. Cameroons under French administration
6. Togoland under British administration
7. Togoland under French administration
8. New Guinea- Australia
9. Nauru- Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom
10.Strategic Trust Territory/ Trust territory of the Pacific Islands- United States
11.Italian Somaliland- Italy
◦ By 1994, all Trust Territories had attained self-government or
◦ The Trusteeship Council suspended operation on 1 November 1994. By a
resolution adopted on 25 May 1994, the Council amended its rules of
procedure to drop the obligation to meet annually and agreed to meet as
occasion required -- by its decision or the decision of its President, or at the
request of a majority of its members or the General Assembly or the
11. The International Court of
◦ 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 six
principal organs of the United
Nations not located in New York
(United States of America).
◦ It is presided over by 15 judges
elected for a 9-year term.
◦ The Court’s role is to settle, in
accordance with 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
12. The UN Secretariat
◦ The Secretariat comprises the Secretary-
General and tens of thousands of
international UN staff members who carry
out the day-to-day work of the UN as
mandated by the General Assembly and the
Organization's other principal bodies.
◦ The Secretary-General is Chief
Administrative Officer of the Organization,
appointed by the General Assembly on the
recommendation of the Security Council for
a five-year, renewable term.
◦ The Secretary-General is also a symbol of
the Organization's ideals, and an advocate
for all the world's peoples, especially the
poor and vulnerable.
◦ UN staff members are recruited
internationally and locally, and work in duty
stations and on peacekeeping missions all
around the world.
13. Functions of the UN
According to the UN Charter Preamble the main functions of the UN are,
to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of
nations large and small, and
to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can
be maintained, and
to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors, and
to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and
to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest,
to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all people
14. Reforms to the UN
Make the General
Council a worthy
and an active organ
capacity of the
◦ Perera, S. (2018). The United Nations Security Council Reforms. Global Scientific Journals, 6(5),
◦ United Nations, 2021. Welcome to the United Nations. [online] Available at: <https://www.un.org/>
[Accessed 25 March 2021].
◦ United Nations - Functions | Britannica. (2019). In: Encyclopædia Britannica. [online] Available at:
<https://www.britannica.com/topic/United-Nations/Functions> [Accessed 25 March 2021].
◦ United Nations Peacekeeping. (n.d.). United Nations Peacekeeping. [online] Available at:
<https://peacekeeping.un.org/> [Accessed 25 Mar. 2021].
◦ UN Documentation(2020). Research Guides. [online] Available at: <https://research.un.org/.>
[Accessed 25 Mar. 2021].