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United Nations

Finding UN documents and information about the UN.

UN Structure

UN organizational chart

The UN is composed of six main bodies:

  1. The General Assembly - the UN's main body for discussion and deliberation. Each member state has 1 vote in the GA (assuming their contributions are paid up!). The GA has six committees, organized by topic, and meets annually.
  2. The Security Council - a group of member states responsible for international peace and security. UN sanctions, peacekeeping, and military action is supervised by the SC. The SC has 5 permanent and 10 rotating members.
  3. Economic and Social Council - ECOSOC sets UN development goals and crafts UN policy on economic, social, and environmental topics. ECOSOC has 54 members, allocated according to geography.
  4. The UN Secretariat - The Secretariat, led by the UN Secretary-General, is the executive office of the UN and administers its work.
  5. The International Court of Justice - The ICJ decides questions of international law and adjucates disputes between member states. The Court has 15 judges, elected to nine-year terms, and sits in The Hague.
  6. The Trusteeship Council - oversees UN trust territories and prepares them for self-government. (The UN has not administered any territories since 1994.)

The UN also has many specialized agencies, programmes, and subsidary bodies.

UN Websites

More Information about the UN

Books and E-Resources about the UN

League of Nations

The UN was preceded by the League of Nations (1920-1946). Information about the League:

Lauinger also has an extensive set of League documents in microfilm.

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