The United Nations (UN) is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace. The UN was founded in 1945 after World War II to replace the League of Nations, to stop wars between countries, and to provide a platform for dialogue. It contains multiple subsidiary organizations to carry out its missions.
- Eagerly, musician,
Sweep your string,
So we may sing,
Our several voices
For all within
The cincture of the sound
Is holy ground,
Where all are Brothers,
None faceless Others.
Let mortals beware
Of words, for
With words we lie,
Can say peace
When we mean war,
Foul thought speak fair
And promise falsely,
But song is true:
Let music for peace
Be the paradigm,
For peace means to change
At the right time,
As the World-Clock,
Goes Tick and Tock.
So may the story
Of our human city
Like music, when
New notes beget,
Making the flowing
Of time a growing,
Till what it could be,
At last it is,
Where even sadness
Is a form of gladness,
Where Fate is Freedom,
Grace and Surprise.
- W. H. Auden, "Hymn to the United Nations", music by Pablo Casals; reported in The New York Times (October 25, 1971), p. 40.
- For the first time since World War II the international community is united. The leadership of the United Nations, once only a hoped-for ideal, is now confirming its founders’ vision. . . . The world can therefore seize this opportunity to fulfill the long-held promise of a new world order.
- George H. W. Bush, the President of the United States in his State of the Union message to that nation, January 29, 1991.
- War! Huh? What is it good for? Well, for start? It sorts out who is the strongest out of the two countries. Also, you get to see some amazing explosions. But, there is some people out there who not only don't enjoy the war, but they try to spoil the fun for everyone else. And those chickens is called the 'U.N.' Me went to New York to meet these player-haters.
- I is here standing outside the United Nations of Benetton. Which is where representatives from the three corners of the world come to end wars, international drug trafficking, and everything else that is a bit of a laugh.
- It is not the Soviet Union or indeed any other big Powers who need the United Nations for their protection. It is all the others. In this sense, the Organization is first of all their Organization and I deeply believe in the wisdom with which they will be able to use it and guide it. I shall remain in my post during the term of my office as a servant of the Organization in the interests of all those other nations, as long as they wish me to do so.
- Dag Hammarskjold, statement to the General Assembly of the United Nations (October 3, 1960); in Official Records of the United Nations, General Assembly, vol. 1, p. 332.
- The plain truth is the day is coming when no single nation, however powerful, can undertake by itself to keep the peace outside its own borders. Regional and international organizations for peace-keeping purposes are as yet rudimentary; but they must grow in experience and be strengthened by deliberate and practical cooperative action.
- Robert McNamara, U.S. Secretary of Defense, address before the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Montreal, Canada (May 19, 1966), Congressional Record (May 19, 1966), vol. 112, p. 11114.
- And our enduring strength is also reflected in our respect for an international system that protects the rights of both nations and people -- a United Nations and a Universal Declaration of Human Rights; international law and the means to enforce those laws. But we also know that those rules are not self-executing; they depend on people and nations of goodwill continually affirming them.
- Even perfect decisions of the Organization cannot yield expected practical results unless and until they have the response and support in the political will of Member States. I trust that mankind will succeed in halting and reversing the course towards the precipice.
- Stefan Olszowski, Polish Minister for Foreign Affairs, stated in a letter dated May 9, 1985.
- I hope the United Nations will ever remain the supreme forum of peace and justice, the authentic seat of freedom.
- Pope John Paul II, October 1979, addressed the UN General Assembly.
- We have been determined . . . to so organize the peace-loving nations that they may through unity of desire, unity of will, and unity of strength be in position to assure that no other would-be aggressor or conqueror shall even get started. That is why from the very beginning of the war, and paralleling our military plans, we have begun to lay the foundations for the general organization for the maintenance of peace and security.
- Protocol, alcohol, and Geritol.
- Adlai Stevenson, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, defining diplomatic life, in Herbert J. Muller, Adlai Stevenson (1967), p. 274.
- You must not expect the United Nations to accomplish miracles. We are made up of sovereign nations. We can only accomplish what our member nations allow us to accomplish.
- I am convinced that the United Nations provides the best road to the future for those who have confidence in our capacity to shape our own fate on this planet.
- That conviction was expressed by former Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim in his book The Challenge of Peace. While admitting the UN’s shortcomings, he also explained: "One should realize that the United Nations is, after all, the world in microcosm. Its weaknesses must consequently be ascribed primarily to the contradictions that characterize the world community itself"; and "I should point out that it [the UN] is no more than a mirror of the world it serves. That world is a conglomerate of extremely varied, often intractable, passionate, and antagonistic nations".
- The United Nations represents not a final stage in the development of world order, but only a primitive stage. Therefore its primary task is to create the conditions which will make possible a more highly developed organization.
- John Foster Dulles in War on Peace (1949)