United Nations (Intergovernmental organization) – Dailymi

United Nations (Intergovernmental organization)

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Neptuul / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:United_Nations_Headquarters_in_New_York_City,_view_from_Roosevelt_Island.jpg


The United Nations Organization, are an intergovernmental alliance of 193 countries and as a global international Organization a fully recognized subject of international law.

According to its charter, the most important tasks of the organization are to ensure world peace , to comply with international law , to protect human rights and to promote international cooperation. The focus is also on support in the economic, social, humanitarian and ecological areas .

Official languages: Arabic; Chinese; English; French; Russian; Spanish;
Founded: October 24, 1945, San Francisco, California, United States
Headquarters: New York, New York, United States
Subsidiaries: World Health Organization, …
Secretary general: António Guterres
Founders: United States, India, Australia, United Kingdom, Brazil, …

The United Nations itself and many of its sub-organizations have received the Nobel Peace Prize for their work, and together they are the most awarded .


The United Nations has its roots in the Hague Peace Conferences and in the League of Nations , which was founded after the First World War with the aim of permanently securing peace in the world. However, due to a lack of interest in accession (for example, the USA was not a member of the League of Nations  for domestic political reasons ), the League of Nations did not have the necessary influence to be able to achieve its goals and had practically failed with the outbreak of the Second World War .

US President Franklin D. Roosevelt undertook after the failure of the League of Nations even during the Second World War a second attempt to create an organization to secure peace, and worked together with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill , the Atlantic Charter . On January 1, 1942, 26 states referred to the principles of the Atlantic Charter in the United Nations Declaration .

The participation of the Soviet Union and the Republic of China in the new peace order led to the Moscow Declaration of the Four Powers on October 30, 1943 , with the aim of establishing a general peace-building organization based on the principle of sovereign equality of all peace-loving states as quickly as possible and aimed at international security. The Dumbarton Oaks conference continued to discuss the establishment of the UN.

After France was included in the group of major powers, the United Nations Charter was finalized at the Yalta Conference in 1945 . It was signed by 50 states at the San Francisco Conference on June 26, 1945 . The United States was the first state to ratify the charter and offer the United Nations as its New York seat . Poland signed the charter later, but one of the 51 founding members. The Charter entered into force on 24 October 1945 after the Republic of China , France, the Soviet Union , the United Kingdom , the United States of America and the majority of the founding states had ratified the charter.

By 1960, 91 countries and by 1990 154 countries were members of the United Nations. The UN has had 193 members since 2011.

The UN celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2020.

Tasks and goals

According to Article 1 of the the United Nations Charter , the main tasks of the UN are:

  1. the maintenance of world peace and international security
  2. developing better, friendlier relations between nations
  3. the international cooperation, solve global problems and promoting human rights
  4. to be the focus at which the nations negotiate these goals together.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

On December 10, 1948, the Charter was supplemented by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights . In it, for the first time, all states jointly proclaimed fundamental human rights that apply equally to everyone. Even though this declaration is not binding on the member states, it is a milestone in the history of human rights and an important legal document for international politics. It was followed by various other human rights agreements , some of which are even binding today.

Millennium Development Goals

In 2001, the UN, the World Bank , the IMF and the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD postulated the so-called Millennium Development Goals . These are the following eight development goals, which should be achieved by 2015 and whose primary goal is to secure the future globally:

  1. Combating extreme poverty and hunger
  2. Primary education for everyone
  3. Gender equality / Strengthening the role of women
  4. Lower child mortality
  5. Improve maternal health care
  6. Combating HIV / AIDS , malaria and other serious diseases
  7. Ecological sustainability
  8. Building a global partnership for development.


The peacekeeping is one of the main tasks of the United Nations. They are committed to avoiding and ending international conflicts . The high priority is made clear by the fact that the aim of the first article of the UN Charter is to:

“… to maintain world peace and international security and to do this, take effective collective measures to prevent and eliminate threats to peace, to suppress acts of aggression and other breaches of peace, and to resolve international disputes or situations that could lead to a breach of peace through peaceful ones To clean up or settle funds in accordance with the principles of justice and international law. “

– UN Charter , Art. 1 no. 1

The United Nations has created a system of collective security through the voluntary involvement of its member states. The core of this collective security system is the general ban on violence:

“In their international relations, all states refrain from any threat or use of force that is directed against the territorial integrity or political independence of a state or is otherwise incompatible with the goals of the United Nations.”

– UN Charter , Art. 2 no. 4th

Despite the general ban on violence, the Charter does not completely rule out the use of violence. In addition to the individual right of self-defense of each country, it is concentrated on the Security Council: collective measures against peacekeepers taking into account Chapter VII, such as economic, communicative and other non-military ones sanctions up to the use of force if necessary. The Security Council thereby becomes the bearer of the “monopoly on violence”. Before the Security Council can take appropriate action, it must first identify a threat, a breach of peace, or an act of aggression. If this is the case, he has two options: he can make recommendations to the UN members as well as coercive measures against the peace-killer himself and against all other member states.

In the case of coercive measures, both non-military sanctions and direct military intervention by the UN itself or by appropriately mandated members are possible. The Charter does provide for troops under the direct command of the UN, but never came about. Non-military sanctions include “complete or partial interruption of economic relations, rail, sea and air traffic, postal, telegraph and radio links and other forms of transport, and the termination of diplomatic relations” ( UN Charter , Art. 41 ) .

A sculpture on the Visitor’s Plaza in front of the UN building in New York symbolizes the goal of peacekeeping by depicting a revolver with a knotted barrel. The sculpture was created by the Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd and bears the name “Non-Violence” ( non-violence ). It is a gift from the Luxembourg government to the organization.

Blue helmets

The blue helmets are the peacekeepers of the UN. They were not included in the Charter as a means of passive peacekeeping. But Dag Hammarskjöld and Lester Pearson came up with the idea of ​​peacekeepers in crisis situations. Blue helmet soldiers wear either a blue helmet or a blue one in addition to their country’s uniform for easier identification beret in with a UN badge. The weapons that are carried should only be used for self-defense. A mandate to deploy blue helmets can only be given by the UN Security Council, but the government of each country is free to decide whether to send soldiers to do so. By 1990, the UN had already deployed 500,000 soldiers and civilians to peacekeeping operations – but not peacebuilding.


According to Article 7 of the UN Charter, the United Nations is composed of six main organs that are responsible for the decision-making process. In addition to the main organs, the United Nations system also has a number of subsidiary organs and specialized agencies that deal with specific tasks.

Main organs

UN General Assembly

Assembly of all UN member states (one vote per state)

  • Forum for international diplomacy , central place for debates on global political issues
  • can make non-binding recommendations to states or proposals to the UNSC (no parliament !)
  • decides on the admission of new members
  • passes the budget
  • elects the non-permanent members of the UNSC , all members of the ECOSOC , on the proposal of the UNSC the UN Secretary General and the 15 judges of the IGH  

Security Council

for global political security issues

  • responsible for the maintenance of world peace and international security
  • most powerful body of the UN, as it is the only one that can issue binding UN resolutions
  • decides on peacekeeping and peace-enforcing measures as well as non-military pressure, such as B. Trade embargoes
  • has 15 members , including China , Russia , France , the United Kingdom and the USA as so-called permanent members with veto rights

UN Secretariat

Administrative body of the UN (chaired by the UN Secretary General )

  • supports the other UN organs administratively, e.g. B. when organizing conferences, writing studies or reports and preparing a budget
  • In addition to its headquarters in New York City, it has three branches in Geneva , Nairobi and Vienna
  • The chair – the UN Secretary General – is elected by the UN General Assembly for a five-year term and is the most important representative of the UN

Economic and Social Council

for global economic and social affairs

  • responsible for the cooperation of states in the economic and social field (raising the general standard of living , solving economic, social and health problems, promoting human rights , culture and education as well as humanitarian aid )
  • has set up numerous specialist and regional commissions
  • coordinates cooperation with the numerous specialized agencies of the United Nations
  • has 54 members who are elected by the UN General Assembly for 3 years

International Court of Justice

Universal international law court (based in The Hague )

  • settles legal disputes between states that recognize its jurisdiction and issues legal opinions
  • The 15 judges are elected by the UN General Assembly for a period of nine years. They make their judgments with a relative majority of votes
  • Parties before the ICJ can only be states, but not international organizations and other international law subjects (not to be confused with the ICC )

Trustee Council

for the administration of trust areas (currently not active)

  • was originally intended to manage colonial possessions as League of Nations mandates
  • has its duties suspended as there is no such since 1994 Trust Territories are more

Subsidiary organs

Subsidiary bodies of the UN can be set up by the General Assembly in accordance with Article 22 of the Charter and by the Security Council in accordance with Article 29 of the Charter. They mostly report to their main organs, some to the Economic and Social Council. Although they often act autonomously towards partners outside the UN, they do not have their own international legal status.

Your tasks can be broken down into the following areas:

  • Development aid programs
    • Human Rights Council ( HRC ) in Geneva (Switzerland)
    • Development program ( UNDP ) in New York (USA)
    • Environment program ( UNEP ) in Nairobi (Kenya)
    • Children’s Fund ( UNICEF ) in New York (USA)
    • Trade and Development Conference ( UNCTAD ) in Geneva (Switzerland)
    • World Food Program ( WFP ) in Rome (Italy)
    • World Food Council ( WFC ) in Rome (Italy)
    • New York City Population Program ( UNFPA )
    • Disarmament Conference ( UNCD ) in Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Humanitarian affairs
    • High Commissioner for Human Rights ( UNHCHR ) in Geneva (Switzerland)
    • High Commissioner for Refugees ( UNHCR ) in Geneva (Switzerland)
    • Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs ( OCHA )
    • Aid Program for Palestine Refugees ( UNRWA ) in Gaza (Palestinian Territory)
    • Disaster Relief ( UNDRO ) in Geneva (Switzerland)
    • Drug Control Program ( UNODC ) in Vienna (Austria)
    • World Settlement Conference ( HABITAT ) in Nairobi (Kenya)
  • Security subsidiary bodies
    • Peacekeeping missions such as B. UNAMA and UNTAC
    • Territorial administrative missions such as B. UNMIK and UNTAET
    • Ad hoc criminal courts such as B. ICTY in The Hague (Netherlands) and ICTR in Arusha (Tanzania)
  • Training and research activities
    • United Nations University ( UNU ) with its headquarters in Tokyo (Japan)
    • Institute for Education and Research ( UNITAR ) in Geneva (Switzerland)

Specialized agencies

The specialized agencies are legally, organizationally and financially independent organizations which are linked to the UN through international agreements concluded under Article 63 of the Charter . There are currently 17 organizations (2017). Their cooperation with the UN and among themselves is coordinated by the Economic and Social Council.

UN specialized agencies

abbreviationSurnameSeatChairFoundedBudget in US $ (2016)
1FAOFood and Agriculture OrganizationRomeQu Dongyu19451.201.818.140
2ndICAOInternational civil aviation organizationontrealLiu Fang1947192.346.640
3rdIFADInternational Fund for Agricultural DevelopmentRomeGilbert Houngbo1977169.727.000
4thILOInternational labor organizationGenevaGuy Ryder1946 (1919)674,937,000        
5IMOInternational Maritime OrganizationLondonKitack Lim194857,821,457
6IMFIMFWashington, DCKristalina Georgiewa1945 (1944)?
7ITUInternational Telecommunication UnionGenevaHoulin Zhao1947 (1865)183,604,878        
8thUNESCOOrganization for education, science and cultureParisAudrey Azoulay1946663.683.714
9UNIDOIndustrial Development OrganizationViennaLi Yong1967235 511 425
10thUPUUniversal Postal UnionBernBishar Abdirahman Hussein1947 (1874)77.403.536
11IBRDInternational Bank for Reconstruction and DevelopmentWashington, DCDavid Malpass1945 (1944)?
12thIDAInternational development organizationWashington, DCDavid Malpass1960?
13IFCInternational Finance CorporationWashington, DCDavid Malpass1956?
14WHOWorld Health OrganizationGenevaTedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus19482,471,062,278
15WIPOWorld Intellectual Property OrganizationGenevaFrancis Gurry1974347 037 073
16WMOWorld Meteorological OrganizationGenevaPetteri Taalas1950 (1873)98.226.341
17thUNWTOWorld tourism organizationMadrid Zurab Pololikashvili197423.171.332

General Secretaries

The Secretary General of the United Nations is the Chairman of the UN Secretariat and therefore the highest official of the United Nations. He also represents the UN to the outside world and is therefore usually the best-known face of the organization.

Term of officeSecretary General
1946-1952Trygve Lie (1896-1968)
1953-1961Dag Hammarskjöld (1905-1961)
1961-1971U Thant (1909-1974)
1972-1981Kurt Waldheim (1918-2007)
1982-1991Javier Pérez de Cuéllar (1920-2020)
1992-1996Boutros Boutros-Ghali (1922-2016)
1997-2006Kofi Annan (1938-2018)
2007-2016Ban Ki-moon (* 1944)
since 2017António Guterres (* 1949)



193 states are currently members of the United Nations.

The 51 founding members of the UN in 1945 were:

Egypt , Ethiopia , Argentina , Australia , Belgium , Bolivia , Brazil , Chile , Republic of China (now the People’s Republic of China ), Costa Rica , Denmark , Dominican Republic , Ecuador , El Salvador , France , Greece , Guatemala , Haiti , Honduras , India , Iraq , Iran,Yugoslavia , Canada , Colombia , Cuba , Lebanon , Liberia , Luxembourg , Mexico , New Zealand , Nicaragua , Netherlands , Norway , Panama , Paraguay , Peru , Philippines , Poland , Saudi Arabia , Soviet Union , South Africa , Syria , Czechoslovakia , Turkey ,Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic , United States , United Kingdom , Uruguay , Venezuela and Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic .

In 1955 Italy and Austria , among others, joined the United Nations. 1973 followed the basic treaty , the German Democratic Republic as the 133rd and the Federal Republic of Germany as the 134th member. Liechtenstein finally 1990, Switzerland after a popular initiative in 2002.

Belarus and Ukraine were founding members on an equal footing with the Soviet Union, and the membership of the Soviet Union extended to the entire USSR, including Belarus and Ukraine. The Soviet Union was effectively represented in the United Nations with three votes. Since the dissolution of the USSR in December 1991, Soviet membership of the exercised Russian Federation ; the other former Soviet republics successfully applied for independent membership shortly before and partly after the dissolution.

The Vatican City (whose international legal representation, the Holy See has observer status ) and the not-recognized states of Palestine (since November 29, 2012 also have observer status), (Western) Sahara (Democratic Arab Republic of Sahara) are not members ) and Kosovo as well as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNZ), the Caucasian republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia , the Cook Islands and the Republic of China (Taiwan). However, the Republic of China occupies a special position here, since from 1945 to 1971 it represented the founding member China within the United Nations and thus held the Chinese seat on the UN Security Council. In 1971, following a resolution of the General Assembly, the representation of China was changed so that China has only been represented by delegates from the People’s Republic of China . In fact, this led to Taiwan’s withdrawal from the United Nations; membership is not expected due to the one-China policy of the People’s Republic of China.


The Charter is the “constitution” and legal basis for the United Nations and was signed on June 26, 1945 in the theater of the Veterans War Memorial Building in San Francisco . The charter entered into force on October 24, 1945. Poland , the 51st founding member, had been unable to attend the conference and later signed. The Charter is an international treaty that is not limited in time and has only been amended in four places since its inception, namely Articles 23, 27, 61 and 109. It consists of a preamble and 19 chapters with 111 articles. (In contrast, the statute of the League of Nations only 26 articles.) The chapters deal, among other things, with the various main organs of the UN, the peaceful settlement of disputes, the measures in the event of a threat or breach of peace, and acts of aggression, as well as their goals and principles.


The United Nations is headquartered in New York and has three additional offices in Geneva ( United Nations Office in Geneva ), Nairobi ( United Nations Office in Nairobi ) and Vienna ( United Nations Office in Vienna ). Geneva is the largest UN location with the most staff because of its numerous UN organizations.  In The Hague is the International Court of Justice. According to official language, the UN headquarters are not in the respective state, but are only surrounded by these states. There are rules of their own in the UN, and the state power of the respective country of residence may not exercise any coercive measures there, so that their sovereignty is not in question. International law does not recognize that UN institutions would constitute a kind of “international territory”. However, their institutions enjoy international immunity , much like embassies.

Official languages

Although the United Nations is a world organization, for practical reasons not all languages ​​of the world are used officially. In fact, there are six official languages : Arabic , Chinese , English , French , Russian and Spanish .  Of these six, two – English and French – are working languages. This is in the resolution 2, which was adopted by the General Assembly in 1946.

Official language means that in every official meeting one translation must be made in and out of these languages ​​and that all documents preparing for the session, all draft resolutions and all minutes and reports must be available in these languages ​​within a reasonable period of time. It applies to the working languages ​​that all internal work processes (oral and written) can be carried out in these two languages. When dealing with the United Nations Secretariat, each delegate has the right to express himself orally and in writing in the working language of his choice. All official statements by the Secretariat must also be made in the two working languages ​​(advertisements, signage, such as the well-known “Security Council / Conseil de securité” in New York, brochures, tours, etc.). This set of rules basically excludes monolingual appearances. The German translation service of the United Nations, jointly financed by Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, offers the most important documents promptly in German.

Some interesting details were seen in the popular film The Interpreter – a 2005 thriller by Sydney Pollack – for which permission was first granted to film at the UN headquarters.

Budget and funding

Top 10 United Nations Financiers 2017

Member StateContribution
 United States22.0%
 People’s Republic of China7.9%
 United Kingdom4.5%
remaining UN members31.1%

a total of $ 2,776,529,900

The UN is mainly financed by contributions from its member states. A distinction is made between compulsory contributions, compulsory contribution contributions and voluntary contributions.

The compulsory contributions of the individual member states serve to finance the regular budget of the organization and partly the administrative tasks of its subsidiary bodies. The amount of the compulsory percentage of all member states is calculated using a contribution key. This is redefined every three years by the General Assembly on the recommendation of a contribution committee. The last and currently applicable change to the calculation key was decided in December 2000 and entered into force on January 1, 2001. The amount of the contributions has since been based on the gross domestic product a country on average over the past four and a half years (previously six years) as well as depending on the debt burden Per capita income and currency fluctuations are calculated. It stipulates that each country must contribute at least 0.001% to the regular budget and a maximum of 22% of the budget.  Countries such as South Korea, Singapore and Brazil had to adopt a higher percentage of the UN budget after a transition phase from 2004 onwards. Japan could expect a slight reduction in premiums due to its declining economic development. The United States’ contributions were reduced, and Germany’s share remained roughly the same. Loss of revenue that resulted from the three-year transition was offset by a $ 34 million private donation from media entrepreneur Ted Turner (CNN) . The largest financiers in the contribution years 2004–2006 are the USA with 22%, Japan with 19.5%, Germany with 8.7%, the United Kingdom with 6.1% and France with 6%. All other countries contribute less than 5%, about half only pay the minimum contribution of 0.001%. The deadline for paying the contributions of the individual member states is January 31 of the respective year.  The UN’s two-year budget (mandatory contributions only) for 1998/1999 was $ 2.8 billion. However, the UN’s regular budget revenue fell from $ 405 million in 1997 to only $ 279 million in 1998. As of the 1998 reporting date, only 27 out of 185 member states had paid their contributions in full. About 75% of the arrears on the regular budget and about 50% of the contributions to Peacekeeping at this time was due to the withholding of contributions from the United States.

The compulsory contribution contributions are also compulsory contributions to be paid by the Member States. However, these only serve to finance peace operations. The currently applicable contribution rates for the compulsory contribution contributions were determined in 1973 by the General Assembly. The economically least developed UN countries therefore only pay 10% of their compulsory contribution to the regular UN budget, i.e. 0.0001%. The remaining developing countries have to pay 20% of their compulsory contribution. The industrialized countries pay an amount equal to their full mandatory contribution. The five permanent members of the Security Council pay amounts equal to their mandatory contributions plus the shortfall in income resulting from the relief provided to developing countries. The latter are weighted according to the ratio of the amount of the individual mandatory contributions. Accounts that are separate from the ordinary budget are used for the compulsory contribution contributions.

Voluntary contributions will be used to fund secondary agencies of the UN such as the UNDP (United Nations Development Program), UNICEF (Children’s Fund), UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund ), UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) and WFP ( World Food Program). By freely deciding the amount of their voluntary benefits, states can exert considerable influence on the focus of the UN’s activities.

The special role of the USA

With the beginning of Reagan’s reign (1981-1989), the United States began to withhold an increasing portion of its mandatory contributions to the UN budget and the UN peacekeeping budget. The US initially justified this violation of the agreements with political criticism of some UN programs, and since the late 1980s under President George Bush they have accused the UN of inefficiency and wasted money. By 1992, the US debt to the United Nations had grown to $ 1.5 billion. The US Congress put the amount of debt in 1997 at $ 926 million, referring to allegedly non-monetary payments to UN peacekeeping operations, and used the payment as a means of pressure to reduce the percentage of the United States’ duty. In addition, they took advantage of the reluctance of its budget contribution as in the case of the former Director General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons José Bustani , the Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali personnel or in the case of the occupation of UN agencies in 2001 as a means of exerting pressure Force changes within the United Nations.  The US government under Bill Clinton acted on June 10, 1997 in the so-called Helms-Biden Agreement to reduce the US contribution to the regular UN budget from 25% to 20% and to reduce the US contribution to peacekeeping operations from 31% to 25%.

Media work

International radio broadcasts have been broadcast on the United Nations Radio since 1946 . The programs can be received daily via WRN broadcast . An internet audio live stream is also broadcast daily.

In summer 2019, the UN planted an Anne Frank tree to celebrate 90th birthday and in memory of Anne Frank .


The UN is said to have several notable successes , including:

  • They participated in the establishment of the State of Israel from 1947 to 1949
  • They defused the Berlin crisis 1948-1949
  • They defused the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962
  • They defused the 1973 Middle East crisis
  • They worked in Rhodesia in 1976 to introduce the right to vote for black people
  • End of the First Gulf War in 1988

They directly secured peace in, among other things

  • Cambodia (1993)
  • Mozambique (1994)
  • Angola (1995)
  • Guatemala (1996)
  • Cyprus

The United Nations has already achieved many goals :

  • Elaboration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948
  • Eradication or containment of diseases (e.g. smallpox )
  • Refugee Protection ( UNHCR )
  • Training of minesweepers
  • 70 percent of the UN’s activities are development aid and humanitarian aid
  • The World Food Program of the UN annually, more than half of the world total food aid provided

The main areas of activity are peacekeeping , human rights policy and development cooperation.


Security Council

Critics criticize the composition and organization of the Security Council . The five permanent members of the Security Council have exercised their veto right in the past to avert convictions and sanctions against themselves or friendly states. From 1946 to 1964 the Soviet Union vetoed 103 other majorities. The United States vetoed 69 conventions on Israel in 20 cases. Among other things, the war of aggression on Iraq by the USA in 2003 had no legal consequences through their veto.

Democratic legitimation

The UN is an international governmental organization and therefore shares the democratic weaknesses of this form of organization. As an association of states represented by their governments, the UN is only indirectly democratically legitimized . There was generally no referendum on UN membership, with the exception of Switzerland. The members of the organs of the UN are also appointed by the governments of the respective states. For example, the delegates from the democratic states can be regarded as indirectly elected by the people, but the representatives of the dictatorial and authoritarian states in the UN are just as little democratically legitimized as the governments of these states. Because of this, it is not correct that To designate the UN General Assembly as a parliament because it is neither democratically elected nor can it actually make binding, albeit far reaching, decisions. Rather, it is a negotiating forum for diplomats from all over the world as well as a trendsetter in the negotiation of international contracts and the issue of global affairs. Since only representatives of the respective governments take part in the General Assembly, the views of the opposition parties are currently not taken into account in the UN system. However, organizations such as the Committee for a Democratic UN, the European Parliament or the Pan-African Parliament have long been committed to one Parliamentary assembly at the United Nations , which should consist of democratically elected members. A comparable, already existing institution – but without any political competence – is the Interparliamentary Union .

The distribution of votes in the organs of the UN is also criticized, in particular in the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council . The votes in the UN General Assembly follow the principle of international law “one country – one vote”. However, this principle conflicts with the democratic principle “one person – one vote”. So Nauru with a population of 10,000 has exactly as many votes as China with 1,358,100,000 citizens (namely one). The most powerful body of the UN, the Security Council, also has five statesthe right to permanent membership, while the remaining Member States can only indirectly elect representatives to this body for two years. This is reinforced by the fact that these states can block any majority decision by means of a veto right.


One of the central problems of the United Nations is and remains the lack of skills. The United Nations was able to unite almost all states of the world under one roof, above all because the Charter can be interpreted so flexibly at crucial points that it is based on practically all cultural beliefs and political ideologies – even if they differ from one another. T. mutually exclude – in their sense and in their favor can be interpreted according to the situation. In order for the concept of a world organization capable of action to work completely, a massive transfer of national competencies to this organization would be necessary in all three areas of state violence ( executive , legislative and judicial)) necessary. Hardly any state is willing to do this at the moment.

Ultimately, national solo efforts frustrate most of the attempts to make the UN more binding. This applies in particular to the five permanent Security Council members (especially the United States in the recent past), who often lack a will to submit to the Security Council’s monopoly on the use of force under international law and instead try to assert their military interests on their own or with coalitions under their leadership. At the same time, it has so far been shown that the United Nations is hardly – or not at all – able to pursue its own policies that run counter to the interests of the United States, since they are closely intertwined with them financially, in terms of personnel and historically.

Although the UN was only able to define the unified cultural and political ideas of mankind at a very rudimentary level, some UN missions were successful, and it can also be doubted whether international conflict resolution would work better without UN mediation.

Sexual exploitation and abuse by UN staff

Human rights organizations see the deployment of United Nations peacekeepers as the cause of the rapidly increasing trafficking in women and forced prostitution in the respective regions. For example, during the UN mission in Cambodia in 1992/93, the number of prostitutes rose from 6,000 to 25,000. The Kosovo was after the posting of international peacekeeping forces ( KFOR ) and establishment of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) to the main destination for women and girls.

In 2002, an investigative report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) found that UNHCR staff had sexually abused young women and children in refugee camps in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. For example, sex was requested in return for food and money. Blue helmet soldiers have repeatedly raped, abused and sexually exploited women and children during their deployment in Haiti.  According to a 2008 study by the children’s rights organization Save the Children , members of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) were involved in rape, human trafficking in Haiti, Ivory Coast and southern Sudan, Forced and child prostitution, verbal sexual violence and child pornography.  The MINUSCA peacekeeping mission , which started in the Central African Republic in 2014 , also reports of rape and sexual exploitation by UN personnel. Many of the victims are minors. The allegations concerned units from Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Georgia, Morocco, France, Chad and the Congo.  2016, MONUSCO launched an investigation into blue helmet soldiers from Tanzania in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on suspicion of sexual abuse of minors.

Few of the alleged perpetrators have to fear legal proceedings because they are protected by immunity worldwide under the UN flag. Civilian employees can only be indicted on the spot if immunity is waived by the United Nations, although this only happens in exceptional cases. In the case of blue helmets, the respective home countries are responsible for law enforcement, but they are rarely interested in investigating and prosecuting the accused.

The World Association of Societies for the United Nations (WFUNA) reports in the recent past of 850 documented accusations against UN personnel and a number of unreported cases, which is significantly higher.  Political scientist Gisela Hirschmann points out that the official statistics of the UN, which show a steady decline in the number of abuse cases during peace operations, are embellished, and speaks of a “culture of looking away and suppressing”.  Human rights defenders complain that impunity and silence are the norm.

Further criticism

  • Many commentators criticize the development aid concept drawn up in 1960 . Third world countries were given money to develop, but the establishment of a successful trading system was largely avoided. In many cases, their increasing dependence on transfer services is seen as a result of unequal trading relationships.
  • UN accused that they have switched over time only in those conflicts that found the most attention in the media, and insufficiently in conflicts in Sudan , Armenia , Bangladesh , Myanmar , Colombia , Rwanda and Peru were involved .
  • Donation abuse by rebels or military regimes. For example, a UN monitoring group found that half of the food aid in the World Food Program in the Somali Civil War went to the warlords, their business partners and local staff.
  • The industrialized countries are often accused of a relative lack of interest in general economic and social activities of the UN; if problems do arise that are taken seriously, they would often be dealt with outside or in passing in the United Nations after tacit agreement.
  • In 1946, the United States ‘ plan to put nuclear weapons under UN control failed . On the one hand, the United States did not want to do without the atomic bombs until they could be sure that no other country could build them; on the other hand, the Soviet Union did not want to stop its research as long as Washington had the monopoly on nuclear weapons . During the Cold War , every world power tried to pull other states on their side, they were lured with generous economic aid and equipment. As a result, many wars broke out which these states waged on behalf of the superpowers ( proxy wars).
  • Another controversial point of criticism is that the UN is disproportionately concerned with condemning Israel . With the votes of the Arab states, so many resolutions against Israel and so many special meetings on the topic of the Middle East conflict have been convened in general assemblies than on any other topic. These draft resolutions are usually not accepted in the Security Council, since the United States vetoed Israel most of the time. They are therefore not binding under international law. This would violate human rights rarely addressed in the Arab world. Item 7 of the agenda of the Council meetings provides for dealing with the “human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories”, whereby this is never about human rights violations by Hamas in Gaza or Fatah in the West Bank , but only about Israel and its alleged crimes in the “occupied territories”. Israel is the only country that the UN Human Rights Council regularly treats separately.  A draft resolution that for the first time in the history of the UN explicitly recognizes anti-Semitismwas condemned, was also rejected with the votes of the Arab states. This culminated at a UN organized convention in Durban in 1975 where Zionism was defined as a form of racism . However, this resolution was repealed on December 16, 1991, against the resistance of the Arab states.
  • UN member states such as B. the Federal Republic of Germany or Japan are still registered in the UN hostile clause . Articles 53 and 107 of the UN Charter allow any signatory state to take action against an enemy country, provided that such action is the result of the Second World War. However, these provisions are indisputably no longer effective in substantive law.
  • The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2013 that persons who are on a “black list” due to UN sanctions or counter-terrorism measures have no way of defending themselves against the sanctions at an independent international body. To alleviate this problematic situation under the rule of law, the Court ruled that the person concerned has the right to have the legality of the sanctions reviewed by a national court. A state that implements UN sanctions without any scrutiny disregards the right to a fair trial and thus violates the European Convention on Human Rights .

Works of art

In July 2019, the German artist Roland Eugen Beiküfner produced an art object with the title “UNO-ROLLER” for the exhibition “Waves and Thoughts” with a blue children’s helmet, a white painted wooden roller, a United Nations children’s flag, a mini -Globe, a box with the inscription “Right to laziness” on a black stone tile with the note “In memory of Rwanda and Srebrenica”.


For the reasons mentioned in the “Criticism” section, many organizations and states (including above all the disadvantaged Third World countries, but also industrialized countries such as Germany) are striving for reform of the United Nations , some of which will involve restructuring the Security Council, but some will The establishment of a parliamentary assembly at the United Nations .

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