About Us

One place where the world's nations can
gather together, discuss common problems
and find shared solutions.

 

The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945. Currently made up of 193 Member States, the UN and its work are guided by the purposes and principles contained in its founding Charter.

The UN has evolved over the years to keep pace with a rapidly changing world.

But one thing has stayed the same: it remains the one place on Earth where all the world’s nations can gather together, discuss common problems, and find shared solutions that benefit all of humanity.

 

The World We Want - 75 photos curated from more than 50,000 images from over 130 countries in response to the Secretary-General’s call to hear directly from the peoples of the world about their priorities for the future.

Member
States

The UN’s Membership has grown from the original 51 Member States in 1945 to the current 193 Member States.

All UN Member States are members of the General Assembly.  States are admitted to membership by a decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.

Photo of António Guterres, UN Secretary-General

Secretary-General

In the end, it comes down to values [...] We want the world our children inherit to be defined by the values enshrined in the UN Charter: peace, justice, respect, human rights, tolerance and solidarity.

António Guterres
United Nations Secretary-General

The Secretary-General is Chief Administrative Officer of the UN – and is also a symbol of the Organization's ideals and an advocate for all the world's peoples, especially the poor and vulnerable.

The Secretary-General is appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council for a 5-year, renewable term.

The current Secretary-General, and the 9th occupant of the post, is António Guterres of Portugal, who took office on 1 January 2017.

Main Bodies

Wide view of the General Assembly Hall at an event in 2016.

©UN Photo/Cia Pak

The main bodies of the UN are the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, the International Court of Justice, and the UN Secretariat.

All were established in 1945 when the UN was founded.

UN Main Bodies

 

Secretariat

A view of the UN Secretariat building with flags of UN Member States flying in the foreground.

©UN Photo/Manuel Elías

The Secretariat carries out the day-to-day work of the UN as mandated by the General Assembly and the Organization's other main bodies.

The Secretary-General is the head of the Secretariat, which has tens of thousands of international UN staff members working at duty stations all over the world. 

UN Secretariat

 

UN System

 A family picking up food from World Food Programme distribution center in Syria.

©WFP/Ali Habib

The United Nations is part of the UN system, which, in addition to the UN itself, comprises many programmes, funds and specialized agencies, each of which have their own area of work, leadership and budget.

The UN coordinates its work with these separate UN system entities, all of which cooperate with the Organization to help it achieve its goals.

UN System

 

 
UN Emblem

UN Emblem and Flag

The UN’s symbol — who designed it? what does it mean?

 

UN History

 

UN Charter

UN Charter cover image in blue

 

The Charter that our founding 51 Member States signed 75 years ago to create the UN

Full text
Individual chapters and more

 

UDHR

Universal Declaration of Human Rights - 6 languages edition, cover image

 

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) — widely recognized as having inspired the adoption of more than 70 human rights treaties

Full text
History of, drafters, and more

 

The ICJ Statute

ICJ emblem

 

Statute of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) — How is the Court constituted? How does it function?

Full text
The ICJ is the main judicial organ of the UN

 

 
 
Nobel Peacee Prize Emblem
 

Nobel Peace Prize

The UN, UN system entities, and staff have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize more than ten times.