Revision Notes: United Nations Organization UPSC Notes | EduRev

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The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization to promote international co-operation.

A replacement for the ineffective League of Nations, the organisation 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 inManhattan, New York City, and experiences extraterritoriality. Further main offices are situated in Geneva, Nairobi and Vienna.

The organisation 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.

In the century prior to the UN’s creation, several international treaty organisations and conferences had been formed to regulate conflicts between nations, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 Following the catastrophic loss of life in the First World War, the Paris Peace Conference established the League of Nations to maintain harmony between countries.

Specialised organisations and agencies of the United Nations
No.AcronymsAgencyHeadquartersHeadEstablished
1.FAOFood and Agriculture OrganisationRome, ItalyJosé Graziano da saliva1945
2.IAEAInternational A tomic Energy AgencyVienna, AustriaYukiya Amano1957
3.ICAOInternational Civil Aviation OrganisationMontreal, CanadaRaymond Benjamin1947
4.IFADInternational Fund for Agricultural Development Rome, ItalyKanayo  F. Nwanze1977
5.ILOInternational Labour OrganisationGeneva, SwitzerlandGuy Ryder1919
6.IMOInternational Maritime OrganisationLondon, United KingdomKoji Sekimizu1948
7.IMFInternational Monetary FundWashington, D.C.,USAChristine Lagarde1945
8.ITUInternational Telecommunication UnionGeneva, SwitzerlandHamadoun Touré1865
9.UNESCOUnited Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural OrganisationParis, FranceIrina Bokova1945
10.UPUUniversal Postal UnionBern, SwitzerlandBishar Abdirahman Hussein1947
11.WBGWorld Bank GroupWashington, D.C, USAJim Yong Kim1945
12.WIPOWorldIntellectual Property OrganisationGeneva, SwitzerlandFrancis Gurry1974
13.WMOWorld Meteorological OrganisationGeneva, SwitzerlandDavid Grimes1950
14.UNWTOUnited Nations World Tourism OrganisationMadrid, SpainTaleb Rifai1974
15.UNODCUnited Nations Office on Drugs and CrimeVienna, AustriaYuri Fedotov1997
16.WHOWorld Health OrganisationGeneva, SwitzerlandMargaret Chan1948

This organisation resolved some territorial disputes and created international structures for areas such as postal mail, aviation, and opium control, some of which would later be absorbed into the UN.

However, the League lacked representation for colonial peoples (then half the world’s population) and significant participation from several major powers, including the US, USSR, Germany, and Japan; it failed to act against the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931, the Second Italo-Ethiopian War in 1935, the Japanese invasion of China in 1937, and German expansions under Adolf Hitler that culminated in the Second World War.

The United Nations Charter established six principal bodies of the Organisation: the General Assembly, the United Nations Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the United Nations Trusteeship Council Trusteeship Council (this Council suspended operations in 1994), the International Court of Justice, and the Secretariat. The Charter allowed for the creation of any other entities that were seen as required. Since its creation of the United Nations is now considerably larger, encompassing numerous specialised organisations and agencies, programmes and funds, training and research bodies as well as other service providers.

There are also numerous subsidiary bodies, including committees, commissions, boards, councils, panels, and working groups.

Specialised organisations and agencies

The United Nations maintains and administers a number of specialised organisations and agencies. These differ from the programmes and funds in that they are headed by an executive board of member states, separate from the General Assembly.Sometimes they do not report to the General Assembly or Security Council but only to their own member states. Some of these bodies also predate the United Nations as is the case for the ITU formed in 1865 to administer an international treaty and the ILO created as part of the League of Nations.

Departments and Offices of the United Nations Secretariat
No.AcronymsAgencyHeadquartersHeadEstablished
1.UNOCHAOffice for the Coordination of Humanitarian AffairsNew York, USAValerie Amos1991
2.UNOOSAUnited Nations Office for Outer Space AffairsVienna, AustriaSimonetta Di Pippo19 58

Treaty organisations 

The United Nations maintains, administers or has a working relationship with a number of organisations dedicated to the administration of a variety of international treaties and conventions. At times these perform specific administrative functions while also providing a specific forum for discussing issues around a particular treaty. The organisations themselves generally report to the member states of the treaty rather than to the General Assembly.

Organisations with a working relationship with the United Nations
No.AcronymsAgencyHeadquartersHeadEstablished

1

2

3

ISA

CTBTO

OPCW

International Seabed Authority

Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

 

Kingston , Jamaica
Vienna, Austria The Hague, Netherlands
Nii Allotey Odunton
Lassina Zerbo Ahmet Üzümcü

1994
1997(preparato ry commission)

1997

Research and training institutes

There are only five officially recognised training bodies of the United Nations System. Irrespective of what does or does not constitute a United Nations organisation, many other institutions serve a research or training purpose, and some are part of other organisations and funds. These are also contained below.

Research and training bodies of the United Nations
No.AcronymsAgencyHeadquartersHeadEstablished
1.UNIDIRUnited Nations Institute for Disarmament ResearchGeneva, SwitzerlandTheresa Hitchins1980
2UNUUnited Nations UniversityTokyo, JapanDavid M. Malone1969
3UNITARUnited Nations Institute for Training and ResearchGeneva, SwitzerlandSally Fegan-Wyles1965
4UNRISDUnited Nations Research Institute For Social DevelopmentGeneva, SwitzerlandSarah Cook1963
5UNICRIUnited Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research InstituteTurin, ItalyJonathan Lucas1968
6UNSSCUnited Nations System Staff CollegeTurin, ItalyJafar Javan2002
UPEACEUniversity for PeaceSan José, Costa RicaFrancisco Rojas Aravena1980
8ICTPInternational Centre for Theoretical PhysicsTrieste, ItalyFernando Quevedo1964
9IRCInnocenti Research Centre–International Child Development CentreFlorence, ItalyMarie-Claude Mar tin1988

Subsidiary bodies of the General Assembly

The following entities were established by the General Assembly.

No.AcronymAgencyHeadquartersHeadEstablished
1.ICSCInternational Civil Service CommissionNew York, USAJohn P. Hamilton1975
2.ACPAQAdvisory Committee on Post AdjustmentNew York, USAWolfgang Stöckl 

 

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