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Other action for justice and equal rights

In 1945, 750 million people lived in Non-Self-Governing Territories. Today, that number has been reduced to just over 1 million, in large measure due to the crucial role played by the UN in encouraging the aspirations of dependent peoples and helping speed their independence. Since 1960, when the General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, some 60 former colonial Territories have attained independence and joined the UN as sovereign Members.

A UN-led campaign lasting more than 30 years helped end the system of racial segregation in South Africa known as apartheid. In 1994, a UN mission observed that country's first all-race elections.

The UN has also contributed to the elaboration of conventions relating to international humanitarian law, such as the 1948 Convention on Genocide and the 1980 Inhumane Weapons Convention (concerning weapons which are excessively injurious or have indiscriminate effects).