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The United Nations: 70 years on

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The United Nations: 70 years on


As the United Nations marks its 70th anniversary, euronews looks back at its formation and the roles of its different bodies.

It is at its headquarters in New York that the UN, made up of 193 member countries, works to solve disputes and to preserve peace, security and international justice – in accordance with the founding charter of the United Nations.

Drafted in San Francisco in 1945, the charter was adopted unanimously on June the 25th that year, following a vote chaired by Lord Halifax.

“It is now my duty, my honour and my privilege in the chair to call for a vote and the approval of the Charter of the United Nations,” said Lord Halifax at the time.

The charter was signed the next day, but could not come into force until a formal ratification process was completed. It was on 24 October that the UN became a reality.

The formation of the main UN bodies then followed. They include:

UN General Assembly: the policy-making and representative body of the UN.

UN Security Council: it has responsibility for maintaining peace and international security.

ECOSOC: it coordinates economic, social and environmental policies and development goals.

Trusteeship Council: set up to oversee the administration of Trust Territories.

International Court of Justice: with headquarters in The Hague, it settles legal disputes.

UN Secretariat: headed up by the Secretary-General, it oversees the day-to-day work of the UN.

Over the past 70 years, the organisation has brought about dialogue between its members and hosted negotiations. And now, in 2015, as the world is confronted with a number of challenges, it is an organisation that is firmly in the spotlight.

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