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The United Nations
The major powers, particularly the US and UK, recognised that they would have to act fast to avert an even more destructive Third World War. This time, though, it was vital that they act more effectively. The League of Nations, the body set up after the First World War to resolve outstanding issues between the two sides, had not been a success. It had, in fact, succeeded in alienating Germany to the extent that this initiative was no small contributor to the Second World War. The solution that President Roosevelt of the US introduced was similar in name but not in character to its predecessor. So on 24 October 1945, the United Nations was born.
Earlier in that year of 1945 fifty countries had come together in San Francisco to discuss and plan this new organization. They drafted a document that remains the basis of the UN as we know it today, The United Nations Charter. The purposes of the United Nations, as set forth in the Charter, are;
1. To maintain international peace and security;
2. To develop friendly relations among nations;
3. To co-operate in solving international economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems
4. To promote respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
5. To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in attaining these ends.
This document also sets out the rights and obligations of Member States. It establishes the Organisation's organs and procedures. It was then when the majority of the fifty countries had ratified the Charter, that the UN officially came into being. These countries included China France, the Soviet Union, the UK and the US.
It was no coincidence that these five countries had signed the Charter before the 24th of October. They played and continue to play, a significant role in the functioning of the United Nations. They comprise the permanent members of the "Security Council", one of the six principal organs of the UN and the most powerful. The Council is the only UN...