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United Nations

intergovernmental organisation
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We are made up of sovereign nations. We can only accomplish what our member nations allow us to accomplish.
Kurt Waldheim
There can be peace and a better life for all men. Given adequate authority and support, the United Nations can ensure this. But the decision really rests with the peoples of the world. The United Nations belongs to the people, but it is not yet as close to them, as much a part of their conscious interest, as it must come to be. The United Nations must always be on the people's side. Where their fundamental rights and interests are involved, it must never act from mere expediency. ~ Ralph Bunche
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. ~ Barack Obama
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. ~ Dag Hammarskjold
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
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. ~ Stefan Olszowski
The success of the United Nations depends upon the independent strength of its members and their determination and ability to adhere to the ideals and principles embodied in the Charter. ~ Harry S. Truman
The principles and the purposes expressed in the Charter of the United Nations continue to represent our hope for the eventual establishment of the rule of law in international affairs. The Charter constitutes the basic expression of the code of international ethics. ~ Harry S. Truman
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. ~ Kurt Waldheim
The United Nations Assembly... is slowly but surely bringing the nations together... the United Nations' Agencies are doing tremendous work all over the world; have been doing, since their inauguration, in all fields...One shouldn't underestimate that contribution to world need which the nations, jointly, are making. Benjamin Creme
The United Nations is, of course, the forum in which the voice of the smaller nations can be raised and heard. This is only possible when the Security Council, with its arbitrary veto, is abolished. It has outlasted its usefulness and must soon give way to a United Nations Assembly free of the abuses of power and veto... The days of empire and dominion are past. Benjamin Creme

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization to promote international co-operation. A replacement for the ineffective League of Nations, the organization was established on 24 October 1945 after World War II in order to prevent another such conflict. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193. The headquarters of the United Nations is in Manhattan, New York City, and experiences extraterritoriality. Further main offices are situated in Geneva, Nairobi and Vienna. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, promoting human rights, fostering social and economic development, protecting the environment, and providing humanitarian aid in cases of famine, natural disaster, and armed conflict.

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QuotesEdit

AEdit

  • More than ever before in human history, we share a common destiny. We can master it only if we face it together. And that, my friends, is why we have the United Nations.
    Through the United Nations, we are working together to preserve peace; to outlaw weapons that kill and maim indiscriminately; to bring mass murderers and war criminals to justice. Through the United Nations, we are working together to defeat Aids and other epidemics; to control climate change; to make clean air and water available to everyone. Through the United Nations, we are working together to ensure that the global market benefits all of us, allowing the poor to lift themselves out of poverty. Through the United Nations, we are working together to make human rights a reality for everyone - to give all human beings real choices in life, and a real say in decisions that affect their lives. In all these areas and more, the United Nations is working for you. But it can do little without you. After all, it belongs to you, the peoples of the world. And therefore it can work much better with your help and your ideas.
    My friends, the new millennium need not be a time of fear or anxiety. If we work together and have faith in our own abilities, it can be a time of hope and opportunity. It's up to us to make it so.
  • My friends, our challenge today is not to save Western civilization — or Eastern, for that matter. All civilization is at stake, and we can save it only if all peoples join together in the task. You Americans did so much, in the last century, to build an effective multilateral system, with the United Nations at its heart. Do you need it less today, and does it need you less, than 60 years ago? Surely not. More than ever today, Americans, like the rest of humanity, need a functioning global system through which the world’s peoples can face global challenges together. And in order to function more effectively, the system still cries out for far-sighted American leadership, in the Truman tradition. I hope and pray that the American leaders of today, and tomorrow, will provide it.
  • Eradication of extreme poverty has been identified as a priority, and specific targets have been set for prescribed measures. Many said the potential benefits of globalization are understood but people have yet to feel them. It is agreed that part of the solution lies in sovereign States giving priority to the needs of their people, especially the poorest. States, however, must work with the private sector and civil society to solve the problems of globalization. A more equitable world economy has been called for, one where those who have more do more for those who have less.
  • Eagerly, musician, Sweep your string, So we may sing, Elated, optative,
    Our several voices Interblending, Playfully contending, Not interfering
    But co-inhering, 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 Presently move Like music,
    when Begotten notes 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.

BEdit

  • Since the creation of the United Nations in 1945, over 100 major conflicts around the world have left some 20 million dead.
  • To make peace in the world secure, the United Nations must have readily at its disposal, as a result of firm commitments undertaken by all of its members, military strength of sufficient dimensions to make it certain that it can meet aggressive military force with international military force, speedily and conclusively. If that kind of strength is made available to the United Nations [...] in my view that strength will never again be challenged in war and therefore need never be employed. But military strength will not be enough. The moral position of the United Nations must ever be strong and unassailable; it must stand steadfastly, always, for the right.
  • The international problems with which the United Nations is concerned are the problems of the interrelations of the peoples of the world. They are human problems. The United Nations is entitled to believe, and it does believe, that there are no insoluble problems of human relations and that there is none which cannot be solved by peaceful means. The United Nations - in Indonesia, Palestine, and Kashmir - has demonstrated convincingly that parties to the most severe conflict may be induced to abandon war as the method of settlement in favour of mediation and conciliation, at a merciful saving of untold lives and acute suffering. Unfortunately, there may yet be some in the world who have not learned that today war can settle nothing, that aggressive force can never be enough, nor will it be tolerated. If this should be so, the pitiless wrath of the organized world must fall upon those who would endanger the peace for selfish ends. For in this advanced day, there is no excuse, no justification, for nations resorting to force except to repel armed attack.
  • There can be peace and a better life for all men. Given adequate authority and support, the United Nations can ensure this. But the decision really rests with the peoples of the world. The United Nations belongs to the people, but it is not yet as close to them, as much a part of their conscious interest, as it must come to be. The United Nations must always be on the people's side. Where their fundamental rights and interests are involved, it must never act from mere expediency. At times, perhaps, it has done so, but never to its own advantage nor to that of the sacred causes of peace and freedom. If the peoples of the world are strong in their resolve and if they speak through the United Nations, they need never be confronted with the tragic alternatives of war or dishonourable appeasement, death, or enslavement.
  • It is worthy of emphasis that the United Nations exists not merely to preserve the peace but also to make change - even radical change - possible without violent upheaval. The United Nations has no vested interest in the status quo. It seeks a more secure world, a better world, a world of progress for all peoples. In the dynamic world society which is the objective of the United Nations, all peoples must have equality and equal rights. The rights of those who at any given time may be in the minority - whether for reasons of race, religion, or ideology - are as important as those of the majority, and the minorities must enjoy the same respect and protection. The United Nations does not seek a world cut after a single pattern, nor does it consider this desirable. The United Nations seeks only unity, not uniformity, out of the world's diversity.
  • 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.

CEdit

  • 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's at times like this, isn't it, when you realize just how much we need the United Nations - about as much as we need an ear infection... Freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of identity. This is my Holy Trinity, each one an intrinsic aspect of my god: Freedom, the Holiest of Holies. Yes it bloody well is. It is absolutely sacred and inviolable, beyond any negotiation or compromise, now and forever. Amen.
  • The United Nations is, of course, the forum in which the voice of the smaller nations can be raised and heard. This is only possible when the Security Council, with its arbitrary veto, is abolished. It has outlasted its usefulness and must soon give way to a United Nations Assembly free of the abuses of power and veto.
    Then will we see the nations acting without restraints imposed by Great Power veto and financial inducement. Those who call loudest for democracy in foreign lands are strangely blind to its absence in the halls of the United Nations.
    Men must come to realize that the people of all the nations are one and equal, dependent each upon the other. No one nation owns, nor can rule, the world. No one nation can stand alone against the rest. The days of empire and dominion are past.
  • The United Nations Assembly... is slowly but surely bringing the nations together...We see the limitations of the United Nations, but the United Nations' Agencies are doing tremendous work all over the world; have been doing, since their inauguration, in all fields - the economic, the ecological, the medical, and the social field - tremendous work of reconstruction and reorganisation. One shouldn't underestimate that contribution to world need which the nations, jointly, are making. This sense of caring is altogether, and a sure indication that the Plan is working out.

DEdit

  • The United Nations Organization is charged with positive tasks. That at least gives it a chance to be potent in the world. Whether the chance is realized will depend primarily upon the General Assembly. The role of the Security Council is predominantly negative. Its task is to stop the nations from public brawling. But it has no mandate to change the conditions which make brawls likely.
    By contrast, the General Assembly, directly or through its Economic and Social Council, is charged: to promote international cooperation in economic, social, cultural, educational and health fields; to assist in the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion and, in this connection, to establish a Commission on Human Rights; to promote higher standards of living, full employment and conditions of economic and social progress and development...assuming the role of a "town meeting of the world," where public opinion is focused as an effective force.
  • 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.

HEdit

  • 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.

MEdit

  • 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.

OEdit

  • 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.

PEdit

  • I hope the United Nations will ever remain the supreme forum of peace and justice, the authentic seat of freedom.

REdit

  • Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just one step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down.
  • Surely, in the light of history, it is more intelligent to hope rather than to fear, to try rather than not to try. For one thing we know beyond all doubt: Nothing has ever been achieved by the person who says, ‘It can’t be done.’
  • The world of the future is in our making. Tomorrow is now.
  • Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighbourhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerned citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.
  • It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.
  • The UN is our greatest hope for future peace. Alone we cannot keep the peace of the world, but in cooperation with others we have to achieve this much longed-for security.”
  • 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.
  • The structure of world peace cannot be the work of one man, or one party, or one nation...it must be a peace which rests on the cooperative effort of the whole world."
  • We pay tribute to the soldiers and fliers and seamen of others of the United Nations whose countries have been overrun by Axis hordes. As a result of the Allied occupation of North Africa, powerful units of the French Army and Navy are going into action. They are in action with the United Nations forces. We welcome them as allies and as friends. They join with those Frenchmen who, since the dark days of June, 1940, have been fighting valiantly...
    We pay tribute to the fighting leaders of our allies, to Winston Churchill, to Joseph Stalin, and to the Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. Yes, there is a very great unanimity between the leaders of the United Nations...
    I cannot tell you when or where the United Nations are going to strike next in Europe. But we are going to strike--and strike hard. I cannot tell you whether we are going to hit them in Norway... through Poland--or at several points simultaneously. But I can tell you that no matter where and when we strike by land, we and the British and the Russians will hit them from the air heavily and relentlessly...
    Hitler and Mussolini will understand now the enormity of their miscalculations--that the Nazis would always have the advantage of superior air power...That superiority has gone--forever.
    Yes, the Nazis and the Fascists have asked for it--and they are going to get it.

SEdit

  • The idea that the UN system could provide real leadership on the great development challenges will strain credulity in some quarters.
  • 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.

TEdit

WEdit

  • 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".

See AlsoEdit

External linksEdit