League Of Nations:

  1. United Nations was preceded by League of Nations. (Formed in 1920).
  2. Objectives of League of Nation: To maintain global peace and avoid war. 


Establishment Of United Nations

  1. United Nations was formed with the aim of preventing future wars in 1945. There were 51 Founding Members.
  2. Present Membership: 193 Countries. 


Objectives of UN:

  1. Peace Keeping & Security.
  2. Preservation of Human Rights.(Universal Declaration of Human Rights,1948)
  3. Economic Development & Humanitarian Assistance. (MDG;SDG;UNDP)
  4. Environment Protection. (UNEP-1972); Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (1988)


Principal Organs of UN

There are 5 (earlier 6) Principal organs of UN:

  1. United Nations General Assembly.
  2. United Nations Security Council
  3. International Court of Justice
  4. United Nations Secretariat
  5. Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC)
  6. Trusteeship Council (closed)


United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)


  1. Formed in: 1945
  2. It is the main deliberative, policy making and a representative organ of all 193 members. It meets annually in September in its HQ New York. 
  3. Decisions are taken by majority. (Some by special & some by simple majority).
  4. The UNGA President holds a 1 Year Term.


United Nations Security Council (UNSC)

  1. Formed in: 1945
  2. Objective: To maintain international peace & security.
  3. Membership: 15 (5 Permanent & 10 Non Permanent).
  4. All member states are obligated to comply with council decisions.
  5. Powers:
  6. Can impose sanctions.
  7. Authorise the use of force to maintain or restore international peace. 
  8. Presidency changes every month. 



  1. It is the Principal judicial organ of UN. 
  2. HQ: Hague, Netherlands.
  3. Members: 15. (Decision by relative majority)
  4. Role:  
    1. To settle, in accordance with international law,legal disputes, submitted to it by states. 
    1. Give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorised UN Organs & specialised agencies. 


Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC)

  1. It is the principal body for coordination, policy review, policy dialogue & recommendations on economic, social & environmental issues and implementation of internationally agreed development goals. It serves as a central mechanism for activities of the UN system & its specialised agencies in the economic, social & environmental fields. (Sustainable development).
  2. Members: 54 (elected by UNGA)


Specialised Agencies under UN

These are autonomous organisations, working with UN & each other  through the coordinating machinery of UN ECOSOC at inter governmental level and through Chief Executive Board for coordination. 


List of Specialised Agencies

  1. Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
  2. International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)
  3. International Fund for agriculture development.
  4. International Labour Organisation (ILO)
  5. International Maritime Organisation (IMO)
  6. International Monetary Fund (IMF)
  7. International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
  8. United Nations Educational , Scientific & Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
  9. United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO)
  10. International Postal Union (IPU)
  11. World Bank Group
  12. World Health Organisation (WHO)
  13. World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)
  14. World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)
  15. UN World Tourism Organisation


Criticism of UN organisation

  1. UN’s incapacity during the war situations. (Cold War, instabilities in west Asia, the Russia-Ukraine crisis)
  2. Veto power to the UNSC plus underrepresented UNSC
  3. Biases towards the ‘north’ (or the west)
  4. Inefficiency & corruption.


3 major Reforms needed in UNO

  1. An increase in funding, with high-income countries contributing at least $40 per capita annually, upper middle-income countries giving $8, lower-middle-income countries $2, and low-income countries $1. With these contributions – which amount to roughly 0.1% of the group’s average per capita income – the UN would have about $75 billion annually with which to strengthen the quality and reach of vital programs, beginning with those needed to achieve the SDGs. 
  2. Ensuring that the UN is fit for the new age of sustainable development. Specifically, the UN needs to strengthen its expertise in areas such as ocean health, renewable energy systems, urban design, disease control, technological innovation, public-private partnerships, and peaceful cultural cooperation. Some UN programs should be merged or closed, while other new SDG-related UN programs should be created.
  3. UN’s governance, starting with the Security Council, the composition of which no longer reflects global geopolitical realities. Indeed, the Western Europe and Other Group (WEOG) now accounts for three of the five permanent members (France, the United Kingdom, and the US). That leaves only one permanent position for the Eastern European Group (Russia), one for the Asia-Pacific Group (China), and none for Africa or Latin America.
  4. The rotating seats on the Security Council do not adequately restore regional balance. Even with two of the ten rotating Security Council seats, the Asia-Pacific region is still massively under-represented. The Asia-Pacific region accounts for roughly 55% of the world’s population and 44% of its annual income but has just 20% (three out of 15) of the seats on the Security Council.

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