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History of the United Nations

1941 - 1950

Date Milestones
12 June 1941

Inter-Allied Declaration

"To work together, with other free peoples, both in war and in peace"

Signed in London on 12 June 1941, the Inter-Allied Declaration was a first step towards the establishment of the United Nations.

14 August 1941
US President Roosevelt and UK Prime Minister Churchill on the USS Augusta

Atlantic Charter

On 14 August 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt of the United States and Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom proposed a set of principles for international collaboration in maintaining peace and security. The document, signed during a meeting on the ship H.M.S. Prince of Wales, "somewhere at sea", is known as the Atlantic Charter.
1 January 1942
Declaration by United Nations

Declaration by United Nations

On 1 January 1942, representatives of 26 Allied nations fighting against the Axis Powers met in Washington, D.C. to pledge their support for the Atlantic Charter by signing the "Declaration by United Nations". This document contained the first official use of the term "United Nations", which was suggested by President Roosevelt.
30 October 1943
Signatures on the declaration

Moscow and Teheran Conferences

In a declaration signed in Moscow on 30 October 1943, the Governments of the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and China called for an early establishment of an international organization to maintain peace and security. That goal was reaffirmed at the meeting of the leaders of the United States, the USSR, and the United Kingdom at Teheran on 1 December 1943.
21 September 1944-
7 October 1944
Dumbarton Oaks Conference

Dumbarton Oaks Conference

The first blueprint of the UN was prepared at a conference held at a mansion known as Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C. During two phases of meetings which ran from 21 September through 7 October 1944, the United States, the United Kingdom, the USSR and China agreed on the aims, structure and functioning of a world organization.
11 February 1945
Yalta Conference

Yalta Conference

On 11 February 1945, following meetings at Yalta, President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill and Premier Joseph Stalin declared their resolve to establish "a general international organization to maintain peace and security".
25 April 1945
San Francisco Conference

San Francisco Conference

On 25 April 1945, delegates of 50 nations met in San Francisco for the United Nations Conference on International Organization. The delegates drew up the 111-article Charter, which was adopted unanimously on 25 June 1945 in the San Francisco Opera House. The next day, they signed it in the Herbst Theatre auditorium of the Veterans War Memorial Building.
24 October 1945
United Nations Charter

24 October 1945

The United Nations is created as its Charter is ratified by the five permanent members of the Security Council and the majority of other signatories, and comes into force.
10 January 1946
General Assembly

 

The first General Assembly, with 51 nations represented opens in Central Hall, Westminster, London.
17 January 1946
First meeting of the Security Council

 

Security Council meets for the first time in London, adopting its rules of procedure.
24 January 1946
General Assembly adopts its first resolution. Its main focus: peaceful uses of atomic energy and the elimination of atomic and other weapons of mass destruction.
1 February 1946
Trygve Lie
Trygve Lie of Norway becomes first Secretary-General.
24 October 1947
"United Nations Day" officially designated by the General Assembly.
May 1948
Palestinian refugees by their tent
United Nations Troop Supervision Organization (UNTSO)
UNTSO was the first peacekeeping operation established by the United Nations.
10 December 1948
Eleanor Roosevelt holds a poster of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
General Assembly adopts Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
7 January 1949
A UN envoy, Ralph Bunche secures cease-fire between the new State of Israel and Arab States.
24 October 1949
Secretary-General Trygve Lie and Wallace K. Harrison, lead architect, laid down the cornerstone of the UN Headquarters on 24 October 1949.
Cornerstone laid for present UN Headquarters in New York City.
27 June 1950
Security Council, acting in the absence of the Soviet Union, calls on Member States to help southern part of Korea repel invasion from the north. The Korean Armistice Agreement is signed on 27 July 1953 by the UN Command and the Chinese-North Korean Command.

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