Explainer: What is the UN?
What We Do
The work of the United Nations covers five main areas:
Left to right: ©UN Photo/Marco Dormino, ©UN Photo/Mark Garten, ©OCHA/Iason Athanasiadis, ©UNEP/Patrick Kihara, ©UN Photo/Sylvain Liechti
As an international organization with 193 Member States, the United Nations is uniquely positioned to address and solve global issues.
©UNOG Library Photo
The UN has been publishing documents since its founding. UN documents include records of meetings and resolutions that have been passed by a legislative body, such as the General Assembly, Security Council, or the Economic and Social Council, which often contain a work mandate for the United Nations. Reports of the UN Secretary-General assess the state of the Organization and announce new work initiatives.
©UN Photo/Laura Jarriel
There are six official languages of the UN: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. The correct interpretation and translation of the six languages, in both spoken and written form, is very important to the work of the Organization, as this enables clear and concise communication on issues of global importance.