United Nations (UN)

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

Due to the powers vested in its Charter and its unique international character, the United Nations can take action on the issues confronting humanity in the 21st century, such as peace and security, climate change, sustainable development, human rights, disarmament, terrorism, humanitarian and health emergencies, gender equality, governance, food production, and more. The UN also provides a forum for its members to express their views in the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, and other bodies and committees. By enabling dialogue between its members, and by hosting negotiations, the Organization has become a mechanism for governments to find areas of agreement and solve problems together. The UN’s Chief Administrative Officer is the Secretary-General.

2015 marked the 70th anniversary of the United Nations.
› un.org


United Nations Information Centres

United Nations Information Centres (UNICs) are the principal sources of information about the United Nations system in the countries where they are located. UNICs are responsible for promoting greater public understanding of and support for the aims and activities of the United Nations by disseminating information on the work of the Organization to people everywhere, especially in developing countries.
sites.unicnetwork.org
unic.un.org

Peacebuilding

Measuring Peace

UN Secretary-General Guterres’ Biggest Challenge: A Culture Of Impunity

By Lori Handrahan This time it was to be a woman’s turn. But no. Not yet. Still not yet. The United Nations (UN) rung in the New Year with another white man, António Guterres from Portugal, taking over the reigns as secretary-general. Guterres has promised he will focus his leadership on ending human suffering. “You can’t imagine what it is to see levels of suffering that are unimaginable,” he said speaking of his experience as high commissioner for the UN refugee agency, UNHCR. If abating suffering is to be Guterres’ focus, Syria, of course, demands urgent attention, but Guterres must also tackle an entrenched UN culture of impunity for, largely, male employees who cause harm. Too many for too long have been silent about the patriarchy, misogyny and abuse within the UN where employees who attempt to protect people abused by staff are silenced, and female employees themselves are, all too often, abused. › forbes.com/un-secretary-general-guterres-biggest-challenge-a-culture-of-impunity/

Sexual violence and inequality: it’s time the UN got its own house in order

Recent stories about peacekeepers abusing children and failure to investigate rapes reveal how the UN is not following its own gender equality policies By Gry Tina Tinde How does a displaced boy being raped by an international civil servant in a war-torn country benefit from the UN resolution to end violence against children? Does a humanitarian worker who is sexually harassed or assaulted by a peacekeeper or contractor know where to turn for help? Who investigates and punishes the perpetrators? It’s high time for the UN to take action on how these matters are resolved in a way that respects the human rights of everyone affected. › theguardian.com/sexual-violence-inequality-united-nations-un-gender-equality