United Nations Day: Understanding the U.N.
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United Nations Day 2023: Understanding The U.N.

As the General Assembly convenes, here is the United Nations 101

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Multiple countries flags on poles

For an organization that literally unites the nations, it amazes me how little is taught about the United Nations in schools, or at least where I went to school. It wasn't until I went to college and got a higher education that I learned the basics of the United Nations. I believe that every American should know at least the basics of what the United Nations does, especially since our country is one of the 5 permanent members, and what better day to do that than United Nations Day (today!). So here are the main "organs" of the United Nations:

United Nations organizational overview

The visual above is a much more complex look at the organs of the United Nations, and what we can expect from United Nations Day 2023 can be found below.

​Hope For A Better Future

Painted rocks and pebbles on the groundblue and white happy birthday print stonePhoto by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

This is the theme for the 2023 United Nations Day and it stands for and symbolizes the collective efforts of nations to create a safer, fairer, and more sustainable future.

In a world faced with numerous challenges, the UN remains a source of inspiration, offering solutions and unity in times of crisis.

The United Nations serves as a critical forum for fostering collaboration and addressing these pressing challenges.

What is the United Nations General Assembly?

Each of the states (countries) in the United Nations is a member of the General Assembly. They make important decisions about peace and security. For something to get passed or at least given a second look it must get 2/3 votes.

What is the Key Statics of the United Nations

Map of the world with different curreny notes and pins placed ontop of itU.S. dollar banknote with mapPhoto by Christine Roy on Unsplash
  • United Nations Founded: 24 October 1945, San Francisco, California, United States;
  • United Nations Headquarters: New York, New York, United States;
  • United Nations Founders: United States, Brazil, United Kingdom, India, France, Iran;
  • United Nations Secretary general: António Guterres.
  • What is the United Nations Security Council?

    The Security Council is much more powerful than the General Assembly. It is made up of 5 permeant members: China, Soviet Union (now Russia), France, the United Kingdom, the United States, and 10 non-permeant members that are elected every two years from the General Assembly. Each of these 15 states has one vote and the permanent member states can veto any substantive issue.

    What is the United Nations Economic and Social Council?

    United Nations logo in Blue on a white backround

    United Nations - Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) 2023

    ECOSOC

    There are 54 members who are voted in and out by the General Assembly. They vote on all things that involve the world economy and social issues.

    Who is the UN Security General?

    They have a five-year term, are nominated by the Security Council, and elected by the General Assembly. The Secretary General is elected from states that aren't as powerful so there is proper global representation. António Guterres is the current Secretary General.

    What is the International Court of Justice?

    Large long table with chairs next to eachother with microphones

    Peace Palace, International Court of Justice of the United Nations 2023

    Peace Palace

    The ICJ is the world court in the UN. There are 15 justices, who each have 9 year terms. They don't have much power, they mostly just advise countries.

    The United Nations is a lot more complex than what I've described here, but after reading this you'll know more than the average American about the UN.

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