The United Nations (UN) is an international organization. It was started after Second World War with the idea of making a stronger version of the League of Nations. (The League had been supposed to stop wars from happening, but it failed.) Most nations are members of the UN and send people to the headquarters to hold meetings and pass resolutions (make decisions) about global issues. There are 193 member countries of the United Nations which includes all the internationally recognized countries except for Vatican City and Palestine which are observer countries.

The goals of the United Nations are:

  • to keep world peace
  • to help countries get along
  • to improve living conditions for people all over the world
  • and to make the world a better place.


After World War I, the nations of the world formed the League of Nations. This organization was a place where nations could talk through their differences calmly. However, some countries like Germany, Italy and Japan ignored the League and tried to solve their problems through war. Because members of the League of Nations did not want to go to war to protect other members, the League failed and the Second World War began. During World War II, the Allied Powers often called themselves "the United Nations" (united against the Axis Powers). After the War, the winners formed a new organization for world peace. On 25th April 1945 in San Francisco, they decided on the name 'United Nations'. The UN was created on 24th October 1945 and its first meeting was held in January 1946. Since 1947 the 24th of October has been called 'United Nations Day'.


The main building for the United Nations is in New York City in the United States of America, but the UN also has important offices in Geneva (Switzerland), Nairobi (Kenya) and Vienna (Austria). The UN tries to be peaceful, but sometimes when talks do not work the UN, unlike the League of Nations, will fight too. In the early 1950s the UN helped South Korea in a war against North Korea, and in the 1990s the UN helped to force Iraqi soldiers out of Kuwait. At other times, the UN has formed 'peacekeeping' forces. UN peacekeepers travel to troubled places in the world and try - sometimes successfully, sometimes not - to keep the peace. Today there are UN peacekeepers working in Afghanistan, Cyprus, Haiti, Liberia and several other countries. Through a series of goals, resolutions and declarations adopted by member nations of the United Nations, the world has a set of commitments, actions and goals to stop and reverse the spread of HIV and scale up towards universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services.

Esperanto and the UNEdit

The United Nations and UNESCO has official consultative status with the Universal Esperanto Association, whose language Esperanto is recognized by the UN and UNESCO as a resource for international understanding since 1954.

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