By Diane Forrest
One of my favorite action movies with George Clooney is the Peacekeepers. It is a story about the theft of a nuclear bomb, and the person who now has control of it has traveled to New York in an attempt to blow up the United Nations building in retaliation of the death of his wife and child. Luckily that didn't happen, but that gave me some knowledge about the United Nations, and what they do.
According to Wikipedia, the United Nations was established to replace the flawed League of Nations in 1945 in order to maintain international peace and promote cooperation in solving international economic, social and humanitarian problems. The earliest concrete plan for a new world organization was begun under the aegis of the U.S. State Department in 1939. Franklin D. Roosevelt first coined the term 'United Nations' as a term to describe the Allied countries. The term was first officially used on 1 January 1942, when 26 governments signed the Atlantic Charter, pledging to continue the war effort. On 25 April 1945, the UN Conference on International Organization began in San Francisco, attended by 50 governments and a number of non-governmental organizations involved in drafting the United Nations Charter. The UN officially came into existence on 24 October 1945 upon ratification of the Charter by the five then-permanent members of the Security Council—France, the Republic of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States—and by a majority of the other 46 signatories. The first meetings of the General Assembly, with 51 nations represented, and the Security Council, took place in Westminster Central Hall in London in January 1946.
Out of the 196 countries in the world, there are only 3 that are not members of the UN. These are Kosovo, Taiwan, and the Vatican City.
Today is United Nations Day, and they are celebrating with week-long activities. United Nations Day is devoted to making known to peoples of the world the aims and achievements of the United Nations Organization. United Nations Day is part of United Nations Week, which runs from 20 to 26 October. United Nations Day has traditionally been marked throughout the world with meetings, discussions and exhibits about the achievements and goals of the organization. In 1971, the General Assembly recommended that member states observe it as a public holiday.
To learn more about the UN and what they do, visit this site: http://www.un.org/en/members/index.shtml