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United Nations

The United Nations is an intergovernmental organization whose mission is to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among countries, realize international cooperation and become the center of coordinating national actions. The United Nations is headquartered in Manhattan, New York City, with extraterritorial jurisdiction. Other major offices are located in Geneva, Nairobi, Vienna and the Hague. The organization is funded from voluntary contributions assessed by its member states. Its objectives include the maintenance of international peace and security, the protection of human rights, the provision of humanitarian assistance, the promotion of sustainable development and the maintenance of international law. The United Nations is the largest, most familiar, most internationally representative and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. On 24 October 1945, at the end of the Second World War, the organization was established to prevent future wars. At the beginning of its establishment, the United Nations had 51 member states. Now there are 193. The United Nations is the successor to an invalid international coalition.

On April 25, 1945, 50 governments met in San Francisco to begin drafting the Charter of the United Nations, which was adopted at the San Francisco Opera House on June 25, 1945, and signed the memorial hall at the Herbst theatre auditorium during the war of veterans on June 26, 1945. The Charter came into force on 24 October 1945, when the United Nations became operational.

In the early days of the cold war between the United States, the Soviet Union and its allies, the mission of the United Nations to maintain world peace was very complex. It is mainly composed of unarmed military observers and light armed forces, and is mainly responsible for monitoring, reporting and confidence building roles. After the beginning of extensive decolonization in the 1960s, the membership of the organization increased significantly. Since then, 80 former colonies have gained independence, including 11 trust territories, under the supervision of the Trusteeship Council. By the 1970s, its budget for economic and social development programmes was far more than it had spent on peacekeeping. After the end of the cold war, the United Nations shifted and expanded its field operations, undertaking a variety of complex tasks.

The six principal organs of the United Nations: the general assembly; the Security Council; the economic and Social Council; the Trusteeship Council; the International Court of justice; and the United Nations Secretariat. Agencies of the United Nations system include the World Bank Group, the World Health Organization, the world food programme, UNESCO and the United Nations Children's Fund. The most prominent official of the United Nations is the secretary general, who has been in the office of Portuguese politician and diplomat ant ó NiO Guterres since January 1, 2017. Non governmental organizations could be granted consultative status with ECOSOC and other bodies to participate in the work of the United Nations.

The organization, its officials and its institutions have won many Nobel Peace Prizes.

Other assessments of the effectiveness of the United Nations are mixed. Some commentators see the organization as an important force for peace and human development, while others say it is ineffective, biased or corrupt.