What are the aims of the United Nations?
(a) To keep peace throughout the world;
(b) to develop friendly relations between nations;
(c) to work together to help people live better lives, to eliminate poverty, disease and illiteracy in the world, to stop environmental destruction and to encourage respect for each other’s rights and freedoms and
(d) to be a centre for helping nations achieve these aims.
What are the principles of the United Nations?
(a) All Member States have sovereign equality;
(b) All Member States must obey the Charter;
(c) Countries must try to settle their differences by peaceful means;
(d) Countries must avoid using force or the threat of force to settle disputes;
(e) The UN may not interfere in the domestic affairs of any country and
(f) Countries should try to assist the United Nations.
When did the UN come into existence and Who coined the name “United Nations” ?
(a) On October 24, 1945. The day is now celebrated each year around the world as United Nations Day.
United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was first used in the “Declaration by United Nations” of 1 January 1942 during the Second World War, when representatives of 26 nations pledged their governments to continue fighting together against the axis powers.
How many Members are there in the UN ?
Currently, 195 (January 2018)
What are the six official languages of the UN ?
Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
How many countries signed the Charter at the San Francisco Conference in 1945?
Name the country which did not sign the Charter at San Francisco but is still considered an original member.
Poland – which was not able to send a representative.
What is the opening statement of the UN Charter?
“We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.” .
What is the United Nations Charter and when and where was it signed?
The Charter is the constituting instrument of the UN, setting out the rights and obligations of Member States and establishing the UN organs and procedures. The Charter was signed on June 26, 1945 at San Francisco, USA.
Name the principal Organs of the UN.
(i) General Assembly; (ii) Security Council; (iii) International Court of Justice; (iv) Economic and Social Council; and (v) Secretariat.
Who are the members of UN General Assembly?
The General Assembly is composed of representatives of all Member States each of which has one vote.
What are the functions and powers of the General Assembly?
Under the Charter the G.A. is the main deliberative organ. Apart from discussing questions relating to peace, international cooperation, human rights and international collaboration in economic, social, cultural, educational and health fields, it receives and considers reports from the Security Council and other UN organs, it considers and approves the UN budget and apportions the contribution among members, it elects non-permanent members of the Security Council and the members of Economic and Social Council, the judges of the International Court of Justice and, on the recommendation of the Security Council, appoints the Secretary-General.
When and how is the General Assembly called in Session?
The General Assembly’s regular session begins each year on the third Tuesday in September and continues usually until mid-December.
In addition to its regular Sessions, the Assembly may meet in Special Sessions at the request of the Security Council, of a majority of the members of the UN or of one member if the majority of members concurs. Emergency Special Sessions may be called within 24 hours on a request from anyone of these.
How are decisions arrived at in the General Assembly?
Decisions on important questions, such as those on peace and security, admission of new members and budgetary matters require a two-third majority and other questions decided by a simple majority.
Are the decisions of the General Assembly binding on the Governments?
While the decisions of the GA have no legally binding force for Governments, they carry the weight of world opinion as well as the moral authority of the world community.
How many representatives can each country have in the General Assembly? .
Not more than five.
Where is the Headquarters of UN and since when?
New York, USA, since 1952.
Who is eligible to be a Member of the UN?
The Charter declares that membership of the UN is open to all the peace-loving nations who accept its obligations. The States are admitted by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council.
Does UN Charter provide for the suspension or expulsion of Member States?
Yes, for violation of the principles of the Charter.
Can the UN Charter be amended?
Yes, by a vote of two-thirds of the Members of the General Assembly and ratification by two-thirds of the Members of the United Nations including the five permanent Members of the Security Council.
What is the main function of the Security Council ?
The Security Council has primary responsibility under the Charter, for the maintenance of International Peace and Security.
Who are the members of the Security Council ?
The Council has 15 members; five permanent members – China, France, The Russian Federation, UK and USA – and 10 elected by the General Assembly for 2 year terms.
What is the ‘Veto’ power?
The power to Veto any decision by a negative vote in the Security Council. It is enjoyed by five permanent members of the Security Council- China, France, Russia, UK and USA.
Are the decisions of the Security Council binding on the Member States?
Yes, the Security Council alone has the power to take decisions which Member States are obliged under the Charter to carry out.
Who elects non-permanent members of the Security Council? The UN General Assembly.
Can any Member State which is not a member of Security Council participate in the discussion of the Security Council?
Yes, but without a vote and if the Member State considers the discussion specially affects that country’s interests and is invited by the Security Council.
Can the Security Council meet elsewhere than at its Headquarters in New York and has it so far met elsewhere?
Yes, in 1972 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and in 1973 in Panama City, Panama.
How is the President of the Security Council elected?
The members take monthly turn in the presidency in English alphabetical order.
What and where is the International Court of Justice?
The International Court of Justice is the judicial organ of the United Nations. It only deals with cases brought by nations, not individuals. It consists of 15 Judges. The court sits in permanent session at The Hague, Netherlands.
Name of present Secretary-General of the UN and his country.
Mr. Ban Ki-moon from South Korea. Assumed office on January 1, 2007 and was re-elected on January 1, 2011. His second term expires on December 31, 2016
Who appoints the UN Secretary-General and what is his diplomatic status?
The General Assembly appoints on the recommendation of the Security Council. He holds the status of a Head of the State.
What is the tenure of his office?
Five years, but may be re-appointed.
Who was the first UN Secretary-General and when was he elected?
Mr. Trygve Lie of Norway. Elected on February 1, 194
Name the UN Secretary-General who died in an air-crash?
Dag Hammarskjold of Sweden, who died on September 18, 1961 during a Congo Mission.
How many Secretary-Generals have so far served the UN ? Name them. Eight (8)
- Mr. Trygve Lie (Norway)
- Mr. Dag Hammarskjold (Sweden)
- Mr. U. Thant (Mayanmar)
- Mr. Kurt Waldheim (Austria)
- Mr. Javier Perez de Cuellar (Peru)
- Mr. Boutros Boutros Ghali (Egypt)
- Mr. Kofi Annan (Ghana)
- Mr. Ban Ki Moon (South Korea)
There is only one UN Secretary-General who resigned before completing his term. Who is he ? Mr. Trygve Lie of Norway, who was re-elected on December 13, 1951 for a three year mandate, but resigned in November 1952.
Name the UN Secretary-General who later on became the President of his country?
Mr. Kurt Waldheim of Austria.
Only one Latin American became the UN Secretary-General. Who was he and from where?
Mr. Javier Perez de Cuellar of Peru.
Name the only UN Secretary-General who was not re-elected for the second term and why?
Mr. Boutros Boutros Ghali of Egypt vetoed by USA.
Who was the President of the First Session of General Assembly?
Mr. Paul-Henri Spaak of Belgium in 1946.
Who holds the record for delivering the longest speech at the UN General Assembly?
Mr. V.K Krishna Menon of India, on January 23, 1957. His speech ran for 7 hours and 48 minutes over two sessions.
Only one Indian has so far been the President of the UN General Assembly. Who is that person ? When and at which session?
Mrs. Vijaylakshmi Pandit. At the eight session in 1953.
When and where did the first meeting of the UN General Assembly take place?
On January 10, 1946 in Central Hall, Westminster, London.
When was the first Veto used, by which country and for what?
On February 4, 1946 by Soviet Union on intervention of British troops in Greece.
China’s first Veto as permanent member of Security Council was applied on August 25, 1972, against what?
To stop the entry of Bangladesh into the UN as a Member State.
Mr. Kurt Waldheim’s re-election for the third term was vetoed in the Security Council. Who applied the Veto?
What is the significance of the Inter-Allied Declaration?
Signed in London on June 12, 1941 the Inter-Allied Declaration “to work together, with other free peoples, both in war and peace” was the first of a series of steps which led to the establishment of the UN.
Give the date and venue of the first meeting of the Security Council.
On January 17, 1946 at Westminster, London.
Why and when was the first-Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly called?
On November 6, 1956 to discuss the Suez Canal Crisis.
Give the date of India’s admission to UN
October 30, 1945.
Name the UN Secretaries-General who were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Mr. Dag Hammarskjold of Sweden for his work in helping settle the Congo Crisis. And Mr. Kofi Annan along with UN in 200l.
All about United Nations – Q & A – Part -2