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United Nations

Flag of  United Nations Arabic: الأمم المتحدةSimplified Chinese: 联合国French: Organisation des Nations uniesRussian: Организация Объединённых НацийSpanish: Naciones Unidas
Emblem of  United Nations Arabic: الأمم المتحدةSimplified Chinese: 联合国French: Organisation des Nations uniesRussian: Организация Объединённых НацийSpanish: Naciones Unidas
Flag Emblem
Map showing the member states of the United Nations[a]
Headquarters New York City (International territory)
Official languages
Type Intergovernmental organization
Membership 193 member states
2 observer states
Leaders
António Guterres
Amina J. Mohammed
Peter Thomson
Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava
Román Oyarzun Marchesi
Establishment
• UN Charter signed
26 June 1945 (1945-06-26)
• Charter entered into force
24 October 1945 (1945-10-24)
Arabic:
الأمم المتحدة
Simplified Chinese: 联合国
French: Organisation des Nations unies
Russian: Организация Объединённых Наций
Spanish: Naciones Unidas

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization to promote international co-operation. A replacement for the ineffective League of Nations, the organization was established on 24 October 1945 after World War II in order to prevent another such conflict. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193. The headquarters of the United Nations is in Manhattan, New York City, and experiences extraterritoriality. Further main offices are situated in Geneva, Nairobi, and Vienna. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, promoting human rights, fostering social and economic development, protecting the environment, and providing humanitarian aid in cases of famine, natural disaster, and armed conflict.

The United Nations Charter was drafted at a conference between April–June 1945 in San Francisco, and was signed on 26 June 1945 at the conclusion of the conference; this charter took effect 24 October 1945, and the UN began operation. The UN's mission to preserve world peace was complicated in its early decades by the Cold War between the US and Soviet Union and their respective allies. The organization participated in major actions in Korea and the Congo, as well as approving the creation of the state of Israel in 1947. The organization's membership grew significantly following widespread decolonization in the 1960s, and by the 1970s its budget for economic and social development programmes far outstripped its spending on peacekeeping. After the end of the Cold War, the UN took on major military and peacekeeping missions across the world with varying degrees of success.


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