The UN was born as a result of a collapse of the League of Nations, an organization formed after World War One with the aim to facilitate international cooperation and world peace. As The League had failed to prevent the Second World War, the United Nations was the international community second attempt at bringing all nations together under the same efforts to secure world peace and advance development. Near the end of World War II the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union began formulating the original U.N. Declaration, signed by 26 nations in January 1942. The name "United Nations", determined by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt was first used in the Declaration. The United Nations officially emerged on 24 October 1945, with the approval of five sponsors: China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States alongside a majority of other signatories. The principles of the U.N. Charter were first enacted at the San Francisco conference which convened on April 25, 1945. This was done in authority by President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin, and attended by representatives of 50 nations, including 9 continental European states, 21 North, Central, and South American republics, 7 Middle Eastern states, 5 British Commonwealth nations, 2 Soviet republics (in addition to the USSR itself), 2 East Asian nations, and 3 African state. The Charter was signed on 26 June 1945 by the representatives of the 50 countries. When the UN was set up these issues were reflected in its structure. For example, the Security Council had 5 permanent members including the USA and the Soviet Union. They had the power of veto, indicating that the support of the superpowers was essential for any action to be effective. The General Assembly was the debating chamber where every member had equal status. The number of the members has trebled since World War 2, reflecting the massive changes which have taken place because of decolonization and globalization. The UN also established the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to ensure every individual had the right to enjoy basic and inherent rights. Specialized Agencies such as WHO and UNESCO were established to tackle specific problems such as health and education.
The United Nations has better means of r solving the international conflict and negotiating peace than its predecessor, the League of Nations. It has formed a new structure of organizations to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war,… to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights,…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 conclude, United Nations nowadays functions as a tool to maintain peace, protect human rights, deliver humanitarian aid, uphold international law and promote sustainable development. However, the UN labors are under significant influence from five competing superpowers: the US, Russia, France, China, and the UK. The liberal use of veto power by these countries has limited the decision-making power of the UN. The equilibrium between the essentially of maintaining peace and the risk of violating nations’ sovereignty has been a delicate issue. Nevertheless, by giving every country a voice in international decision-making, the UN still plays a significant role in global diplomacy.
"History of the United Nations." United Nations. Accessed March 17, 2019. http://www.un.org/en/sections/history/history-united-nations/.
"The United Nations Is Born." HISTORY. November 15, 2009. Accessed March 17, 2019. https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-united-nations-is-born.
“What We Do.” United Nations. Accessed March 17, 2019. http://www.un.org/en/sections/what-we-do/.