We often hear about the founder of the United Nations – the United Nations (UN) in various information about international issues. As the largest international organization in the world, the United Nations has a central role in maintaining relations between countries in the world, including relations between countries and individuals who are citizens of the countries concerned.
The United Nations also has a major role in maintaining world peace which in this case includes preventing any potential conflicts that might arise between its member countries.
In addition, the United Nations has a major role in protecting the human rights of every individual in the world, not only because it considers the individual as a citizen, but also because it recognizes that every individual is a person with human rights inherent in himself as a human being.
Through the United Nations, countries in the world that are members have seriously committed to creating a cooperative atmosphere between countries, not only in the political and military fields, but also in the economic, social and cultural fields. The cooperation built by UN member states now is not only meaningful as maintaining national security stability, but also includes increasing the prosperity and welfare of each member country, which in this case has an impact on the progress of all civilizations in the world.
In this article, we will briefly describe how the UN was formed as a reaction to the second world war and has survived to this day as the largest international organization in the world. Next, we will discuss the characteristics of the United Nations as an international organization in terms of various classification aspects.
We will also discuss the role of the UN as an international organization that maintains the stability of world peace, including protecting the human rights of every individual or group of people in the world. Apart from that, to make it easier to understand how the UN works, we will also discuss the organizational structure of the UN and the functions of each of the bodies in it. Here’s the full discussion.
A Brief History of the United Nations as an International Organization
Long before the United Nations was formed, the League of Nations (LBB) had been born as a reaction to World War I. LBB was the result of the Versailles Peace Conference on April 28, 1919 which then prompted the formation of an international organization that had higher power than the state. Here, LBB has the goal of maintaining international solidarity and preventing a repeat of world wars.
In its development, the LBB failed in carrying out its role, partly because it did not have the authority to punish the aggressor , authoritarian countries such as Japan and Germany left the LBB, the LBB’s covenants contained many weaknesses and the country’s lack of political will for peace. -member countries, member countries still adhere to the doctrine of absolute sovereignty, and are unable to prevent the Japanese aggression against Manchuria, the German aggression against Austria, and the conquest of Ethiopia by Italy, triggering World War II.
LBB’s failure to maintain world peace eventually prompted the formation of a new international organization, namely the UN or United Nations (UN) on June 26, 1945, where the UN Charter itself came into effect on October 24, 1945. The UN was born with improvements in several aspects, including: structure cooperation; work procedures and authorities; technical cooperation/special institution which is revived; detailing purposes more or less the same but improved.
The formation of the United Nations itself has been planned since World War II, when United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt opened a discourse regarding an international organization to succeed the LBB with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill aboard the warship Augusta in Newfoundland Bay. The General Assembly was first held on January 10, 1946 in London and was attended by representatives from 51 countries after previously the United Nations Charter was ratified by five permanent security members, namely France, the United States, the Soviet Union, China and the United Kingdom, as well as 46 other countries.
As an institution that plays a major role in the international world, the United Nations recognizes several official languages that can be used in its institutional activities, including English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Arabic. The main headquarters of the United Nations itself is located in New York, United States. The number of countries that are members of the United Nations itself has so far reached 193 countries.
United Nations Specialized Agencies
In an effort to achieve its goal of maintaining world peace as well as the welfare of member countries, the United Nations has various special agencies that have roles and tasks in their respective fields. Some of these specialized agencies include the following:
1. International Labor Organization (ILO)
The ILO has the task of formulating international standards in the field of labor. This body also plays a role in helping workers around the world to organize and negotiate with the companies where they work and local governments. The agency, which is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, also provides support for the movement to abolish forced labor and strives for equal rights and opportunities for every worker from various backgrounds.
2. International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
This special agency headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland handles a variety of communications, technology and information affairs in an international scope. ITU also has a big role to play in connecting various communities spread across the world.
3. World Health Organization (WHO)
WHO is a UN special agency that deals with international health issues which aims to achieve equal and quality health standards for all member countries. This special agency headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland also has an important role in assisting various health problems faced by member countries.
4. International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Headquartered in Washington DC, United States of America, the IMF has a role in providing loan funds for UN member countries that have financial difficulties. This special agency contributes to investing in various projects planned and to be implemented by member countries.
5. United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
UNESCO has a role to play in supporting the advancement of education and science throughout the world. In addition, this special agency headquartered in Paris, France also has a role in protecting various cultural and historic sites around the world.
6. United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
UNWTO plays a role in promoting tourism destinations around the world. This special agency is based in Madrid, Spain.
7. United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
UNIDO plays a role in industrial development to alleviate poverty while promoting sustainable globalization in member countries. This special agency is headquartered in Vienna, Austria.
8. World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
WMO plays a role in facilitating the exchange of information and meteorological data for aviation, goods delivery, security, and agriculture between member countries. This UN special agency is based in Geneva, Switzerland.
9.Universal Postal Union (UPU)
Headquartered in Bern, Switzerland, UPU accommodates all the activities and operations of postal companies in each member country. This special agency is tasked with ensuring that postal products and services are up-to-date.
10. World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
WIPO plays a role in protecting intellectual property rights for individuals and organizations originating from UN member countries.
11. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
FAO has a role in fighting hunger worldwide, connecting developed and developing countries in terms of food supply and agriculture, and supporting the development of agricultural technology in member countries. This special agency is based in Rome, Italy.
12. International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
ICAO plays a role in the development of international standards for the aviation industry in member countries. This special agency is headquartered in Montreal, Canada.
13. International Maritime Organization (IMO)
IMO plays a role in drafting regulations related to the framework for shipping and shipping goods by international sea routes. This special agency also has a focus on security, legality, technical, security, and efficiency issues. In carrying out its duties, IMO is headquartered in London, England.
14. International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
IFAD is tasked with overcoming poverty in underdeveloped and underdeveloped areas, hunger in poor countries, and malnutrition in the international community by increasing productivity, quality and standard of living. This special agency is based in Rome, Italy.
The World Bank has a role in providing loans with low or no interest to developing countries so that these loans can be used as capital to improve the welfare of the country concerned. It is hoped that the role of the loan can also encourage the borrowing country to improve the economy. This special agency is headquartered in Washington DC, United States of America.
Characteristics of the United Nations as an International Organization
As an international organization, the United Nations has several characteristics in terms of several aspects of classification, starting from the aspect of time, membership, member recruitment mechanism, organizational nature, and scope of functions which are detailed as follows:
1. Classification Based on Time
The United Nations is a permanent international organization, which is established for an indefinite period. In general, the articles of association do not mention a clause when the organization will be disbanded. This is the opposite of non-permanent international organizations, which are established within a predetermined period of time, for example in 3 years, 5 years or if the goals of the organization have been successfully achieved then the organization will disband. In this kind of international organization, generally the articles of association include the rules regarding the dissolution of the organization.
2. Classification based on who is a member
PPB is included in a public international organization, which was founded by countries in the world or its members are the legitimate governments of countries in the world. This type of organization has three characteristics, namely being established based on international agreements, having equipment/organs, and the law that applies is international law. This is different from private international organizations whose membership is not a state, but are international corporations and international non-governmental organizations.
3. Classification Based on Member Recruitment Mechanism
The United Nations is an example of an organization of universal character , whose membership consists of various countries without distinguishing their government system or economic system. This type of organization is the opposite of closed organizations, where membership is based on certain criteria, for example based on region, the same background, and limited functions and goals.
4. Classification Based on the Nature of the Organization
The United Nations is part of supranational organizations, which have the authority to make decisions or issue regulations that are directly binding on member countries, and some are even directly binding on individuals from member countries or member state companies.
This type of international organization has conditions, including: having the authority to make decisions so that it is not entirely dependent on the cooperation of all members; the organization has the power to make rules binding on member states; the organization can enforce its decisions; and has an autonomous financial organization. This type of international organization is the opposite of intergovernmental organizations, in which the organization obtains legal status from its member countries and is coordinative in nature.
5. Classification Based on Scope of Function
The United Nations is included in an international organization that has a versatile ( comprehensive ) function, which is an organization whose goals cover all the problems faced by its member countries.
United Nations Organizational Structure
The United Nations has six main organs in carrying out its functions, including:
1. General Assembly (General Assembly)
The General Assembly is the main deliberative assembly of the UN which consists of all UN member states. This assembly meets annually under a leader who is elected from member countries with the provision of one vote per member (one vote for one member).
2. Security Council (Security Council)
The Security Council consists of 15 member countries, each of which comes from 5 permanent members who have veto rights (absolute rights), namely China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States and 10 non-permanent members, which are replaced every two years , which is currently Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Colombia, Gabon, Japan, Germany, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, Portugal, and South Africa. The Security Council has a role in maintaining international peace and security among UN member states.
3. Secretariat (Secretariat)
The UN Secretariat is led by a UN Secretary General who in carrying out his duties is assisted by a staff of international civil servants who come from all over the world. The Secretary-General has several duties, including providing research, information and facilities required by UN agencies for their meetings.
In addition, the Secretary-General is tasked with assisting in resolving international disputes, administering peacekeeping operations, organizing international conferences, gathering information on implementing Security Council decisions, and consulting member governments on various initiatives. In carrying out his duties, the Secretary General serves for five years.
4. Economic and Social Council (Social and Economic Council)
The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) assists the General Assembly in promoting international economic and social cooperation and development. ECOSOC consists of 54 members, all of whom are elected by the General Assembly for a term of three years. The President of ECOSOC is elected for a term of one year. ECOSOC’s institutional functions include gathering information, advising member countries, and making recommendations.
5. Trusteeship Council
The United Nations Trusteeship Council is a further international trusteeship system that has been established by members of the United Nations to administer local governments placed under United Nations supervision through individual trusteeship agreements. The council which consists of five members regulates that areas without self-government are managed by paying attention to the local population so as to achieve international security and peace.
6. International Court of Justice (International Court)
The International Court of Justice or ICJ has a role in adjudicating and resolving disputes between UN member states and providing advisory opinions to the official organs and specialized agencies of the United Nations to resolve problems. The ICJ judges consist of 15 judges, who are elected for nine-year terms by the General Assembly and the Security Council. These judges are assisted by the Registry, their administrative organ. Apart from that, ad hoc judges can also be formed to handle several cases where it is deemed necessary to present them.
We have seen how the UN can be formed, including knowing the characteristics of the UN as an international organization. In addition, Sinaumed’s is also familiar with the various organs that are part of the United Nations, including a number of special agencies that support the role of the United Nations. Hopefully this article is useful.
Author: Savero Aristia Wienanto