United Nations

Members of the United Nations
1943 sketch by Franklin Roosevelt of the UN original three branches: The Four Policemen, an executive branch, and an international assembly of forty UN member states
The UN in 1945: founding members in light blue, protectorates and territories of the founding members in dark blue
Dag Hammarskjöld was a particularly active secretary-general from 1953 until his death in 1961.
Kofi Annan, secretary-general from 1997 to 2006
Flags of member nations at the United Nations Headquarters, seen in 2007
Mikhail Gorbachev, Soviet general secretary, addressing the UN General Assembly in December 1988
Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, demonstrates a vial with alleged Iraq chemical weapon probes to the UN Security Council on Iraq war hearings, 5 February 2003
Current secretary-general, António Guterres
The ICJ ruled that Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008 did not violate international law.
Under Sukarno, Indonesia became the first and only country to leave the United Nations.
A Nepalese soldier on a peacekeeping deployment providing security at a rice distribution site in Haiti during 2010
The UN Buffer Zone in Cyprus was established in 1974 following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
Eleanor Roosevelt with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1949
Three former directors of the Global Smallpox Eradication Programme reading the news that smallpox has been globally eradicated in 1980
In Jordan, UNHCR remains responsible for the Syrian refugees and the Zaatari refugee camp.
The 2001 Nobel Peace Prize to the UN—diploma in the lobby of the UN Headquarters in New York City
Marking of the UN's 70th anniversary – Budapest, 2015

Intergovernmental organization whose purpose is to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.

- United Nations

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Members of the United Nations

Member states of the United Nations

Members of the United Nations
Switzerland has been neutral in international conflicts since the early 19th century and joined the UN as a full member only in 2002. Despite this, the Palace of Nations in Geneva has hosted the United Nations Office at Geneva since 1946 and also previously served as the headquarters of the League of Nations.
The United Nations in 1945, after World War II. In light blue, the founding members. In dark blue, protectorates and territories of the founding members.
Areas controlled by the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China
The presidency of Ma Ying-jeou saw the first participation of the Republic of China on a United Nations body in almost 40 years.
The USSR as its borders and republics were configured upon entry to the UN. Border changes and the dissolution of various republics happened over the course of its membership.
Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser (seated right) and Syrian president Shukri al-Quwatli sign the accord to form the United Arab Republic in 1958. The short-lived political union briefly represented both states and was used as the name of Egypt following Syria's withdrawal in 1961.
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia disintegrated into several states starting in the early 1990s. By 2006, six UN member states existed in its former territory. Kosovo declared independence in 2008.
Indonesian president Sukarno's decision to withdraw from the United Nations in 1965 is the only instance of a withdrawal of membership in UN history. Indonesia rejoined the UN a year later.

The United Nations member states are the sovereign states that are members of the United Nations (UN) and have equal representation in the UN General Assembly.

Peace Palace

International law administrative building in The Hague, the Netherlands.

International law administrative building in The Hague, the Netherlands.

Aerial view of the Peace Palace, 1920–1940; Nederlands Instituut voor Militaire Historie
Main hall of the Peace Palace. The background is the entrance of the Courtroom of the International Court of Justice.
Inside the Peace Palace
Visitors Centre of the Peace Palace with a permanent exhibition
Carnegie and the original plan of the Peace Palace
Vase given by Russia
Andrew Carnegie
William Randal Cremer
Ruy Barbosa
Nelson Mandela
Mahatma Gandhi
Bernard Loder
Jean Monnet
Jawaharlal Nehru
Bertha Von Suttner

It houses the International Court of Justice (which is the principal judicial body of the United Nations), the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), The Hague Academy of International Law and the Peace Palace Library.

A soldier from the Italian Army stands guard during the UNIFIL mission in Lebanon

Peacekeeping

Peacekeeping comprises activities intended to create conditions that favour lasting peace.

Peacekeeping comprises activities intended to create conditions that favour lasting peace.

A soldier from the Italian Army stands guard during the UNIFIL mission in Lebanon
Canadian CH135 Twin Hueys assigned to the Multinational Force and Observers non-UN peacekeeping force, at El Gorah, Sinai, Egypt, 1989.
Members of the Azerbaijani peacekeeping forces in full combat uniform during the 2020 Moscow Victory Day Parade.
United Nations peacekeeping missions as of 2012
Norwegian Peacekeeper during the Siege of Sarajevo, 1992 - 1993, photo by Mikhail Evstafiev.
Irish UNMIL troops on patrol in Liberia, July 2006.
Ghanaian women serve in UN Peacekeeping
Memorial in Kigali, Rwanda to ten Belgian peacekeepers of UNAMIR who were massacred by Hutu paramilitaries in 1994

Within the United Nations (UN) group of nation-state governments and organisations, there is a general understanding that at the international level, peacekeepers monitor and observe peace processes in post-conflict areas, and may assist ex-combatants in implementing peace agreement commitments that they have undertaken.

A UNICEF worker is distributing high-calorie food during an emergency situation in Goma, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in 2008.

Humanitarian aid

Material and logistic assistance to people who need help.

Material and logistic assistance to people who need help.

A UNICEF worker is distributing high-calorie food during an emergency situation in Goma, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in 2008.
Humanitarian Aid being distributed in Haiti
Henry Dunant
Henry Dunant at Solferino
Cover of the original edition of A Memory of Solferino (1862).
Original Geneva Conventions
A contemporary print showing the distribution of relief in Bellary, Madras Presidency. From the Illustrated London News (1877).
RAF C-130 airdropping food during 1985 famine
Ban Ki-moon
United Nations
Truck for delivery of aid from Western to Eastern Europe
World Food Programme distributing food in Liberia
An American soldier gives a young Pakistani girl a drink of water as they are airlifted from Muzaffarabad to Islamabad following the 2005 Kashmir earthquake.
UNICEF humanitarian aid, ready for deploying. This can be food like Plumpy'nut or water purification tablets.
Wanda Błeńska, Polish leprosy expert and missionary who successfully developed the Buluba Hospital in Uganda
Bangladeshi citizens offload food rations from a US Marine CH-46E helicopter of 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit after Tropical Cyclone Sidr in 2007
Logo of the Core Humanitarian Standard

In reaching out to international communities, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) of the United Nations (UN) is responsible for coordination responses to emergencies.

Chiang Kai-shek, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill met at the Cairo Conference in 1943 during World War II.

United Nations Security Council

Chiang Kai-shek, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill met at the Cairo Conference in 1943 during World War II.
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Soviet general secretary Joseph Stalin at the Yalta Conference, February 1945
Church House in London where the first Security Council Meeting took place on 17 January 1946
US Secretary of State Colin Powell holds a model vial of anthrax while giving a presentation to the Security Council in February 2003.
United Nations Security Council members of September 2021 by political orientation of the country's head of government. Dark red: International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties Red: Progressive Alliance Yellow: Liberal International Blue: International Democrat Union Gray: No international affiliation or independent.
US President Barack Obama chairs a United Nations Security Council meeting.
The meeting room exhibits the United Nations Security Council mural by Per Krohg (1952).
South African soldiers patrolling as part of MONUSCO in 2018
The G4 nations: Brazil, Germany, India, Japan
The Uniting for Consensus: Italy, Pakistan, Spain, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Turkey, South Korea and others

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN) and is charged with ensuring international peace and security, recommending the admission of new UN members to the General Assembly, and approving any changes to the UN Charter.

United Nations Economic and Social Council

The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC; Conseil économique et social des Nations unies, CESNU) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations, responsible for coordinating the economic and social fields of the organization, specifically in regards to the fifteen specialised agencies, the eight functional commissions, and the five regional commissions under its jurisdiction.

Viewed across the East River from Roosevelt Island in 2008; from left to right: Secretariat, Conference Building, and General Assembly. In the background are the Empire State Building, Tudor City, and other high-rise buildings.

Headquarters of the United Nations

Viewed across the East River from Roosevelt Island in 2008; from left to right: Secretariat, Conference Building, and General Assembly. In the background are the Empire State Building, Tudor City, and other high-rise buildings.
Map of the United Nations headquarters in Dutch. The green rectangle is the Dag Hammarskjöld Library, the purple rectangle is the Secretariat, the blue trapezoid is the Conference Building, and the grey shape is the General Assembly Building
UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld in front of the General Assembly building (1950s)
Flags of the member states, arranged in alphabetical order
View from First Avenue towards the library, Secretariat and General Assembly buildings
United Nations General Assembly hall
Dag Hammarskjöld Library
Japanese Peace Bell, made out of coins donated by children
Non-Violence sculpture in front of UN headquarters
United Nations Logo in Headquarters
View of the headquarters in the 1959 MGM thriller North by Northwest by Alfred Hitchcock

The United Nations is headquartered in New York City, United States, in a complex designed by a board of architects led by Wallace Harrison and built by the architectural firm Harrison & Abramovitz, with final projects developed by Oscar Niemeyer and Le Corbusier.

Member states of the United Nations (UN), as defined by the UN.

Sovereign state

Political entity represented by one centralized government that has supreme legitimate authority over territory.

Political entity represented by one centralized government that has supreme legitimate authority over territory.

Member states of the United Nations (UN), as defined by the UN.
De facto map of control of the world, May 2019

Currently, the international community includes more than 200 sovereign states, most of which are represented in the United Nations.

United Nations Secretariat

António Guterres is the current UN secretary-general

The United Nations Secretariat (Secrétariat des Nations unies) is one of the six major organs of the United Nations (UN), with the others being (a) the General Assembly, (b) the Security Council, (c) the Economic and Social Council, (d) the defunct Trusteeship Council, and (e) the International Court of Justice.

World Food Programme

Executive Director David Beasley meets women and men restoring degraded land in Burkina Faso. Photo: WFP/George Fominyen
Supplies are unloaded from an UNHAS helicopter for flood victims in Goonda province. Mozambique. Photo: WFP/Marco Frattini
WFP took pre-emptive action to reduce the impact of floods in Bangladesh. Photo: WFP/Sayed Asif Mahmud
A child holds a WFP supplementary, specialized food to treat malnutrition among children, at a WFP-supported nutrition clinic in Yemen. Photo: WFP/Issa-Al-Raghi.
A child eats a WFP school meal in Lao. Photo: WFP/Vilakhone Sipaseuth
A beneficiary shows the humanitarian assistance card she used to receive money at a WFP cash transfer point in Niger. Photo: WFP/Simon Pierre Diouf

The World Food Programme (WFP) is the food-assistance branch of the United Nations.