The United Nations or The UN is an international organization which has total members of 193 countries - one of which is Cambodia. The United Nations was initiated by the US president Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill since 1941 to build peace and the term of The United Nations was first heard in 1942; however, the actual emergence of the UN didn’t come until the end of World War II in 1945 to replace the League of Nations that failed to prevent the outbreak of the World War II. On October 24, 1945 was the day the United Nations came into action ratified by the founding members also known as P5 including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia and China. The UN headquarter is located in New York, United States. Since then, the United Nations is celebrated on October 24 every year.
The flag of the UN consists of a light blue background and a white world map with the North Pole in the center and olive branches on either side of the pole as foreground. It is very interesting how UN uses the blue color as the opposition of red color which represents blood and war. Olive Branches that are placed on the either side of the pole represents peace for all countries on the map.
There are 6 languages that are used in the UN such as English, French, Chinese, Russian, Spanish and Arabic.
The UN aims to promote peace and development . In order to maintain peace and development, the UN follows its charter principles:
- Every country must respect other country’s sovereignty by not influencing one’s country internal affairs.
- All members are to solve problems by diplomatic means and peaceful manners.
- All countries fight together against one country that creates wars or conflicts.
- All State will give the UN assistance as much as they could when the UN takes actions in accordance with the charter.
- No country is allowed to interfere in foreign country’s matters unless the country seeks help from the UN itself.
- The P5 has the veto power. For example, if one countries of the P5 doesn’t agree to any decisions, those decisions can’t be taken into action.
- The United Nations Security Council has power to decide what government is lawful and recognized by the international community.
The United Nations originally consisted of 6 organs including the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the Secretariat, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and Trusteeship Council. However, at present, there is no Trusteeship Council anymore since every country has now gained their independence from their colonial masters.
- The Security Council: it bears the responsibility under the UN Charter to keep peace and security. The council has 15 members including P5 and the other 10 members are elected by the General Assembly according to their geographical representation for two-year term.
- The General Assembly: it’s the main organ of the UN and includes all its 193 members. This particular organ discuss matters that arise under the UN Charter and make suggestions that will be considered by the Security Council. The assembly meets every year from September to December.
- The Secretariat: The Secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General who is appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council for a five-year term. The Secretary-General is responsible for implementing decisions taken by the various organs of the UN. Current Secretary-General in the UN now is António Guterres.
- The International Court of Justice: this main body of UN is located at the Hague in the Netherlands. There are 15 judges elected by the United Nations Security Council and the United Nations General Assembly for 9-year term. The judges hear and decide the disputes submitted by states and respond in a form of advice.
- The Economic and Social Council: it’s the central body of the UN to promote the economic and social development throughout the members in the UN. It has 54 members states elected from all regions. This organ is devoted to promote higher standard of living, full employment and conditions of economic and social progressions. Right now, the UN is trying to achieve its Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 which is to eliminate poverty, protect the planet and ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
UN specialized agencies is different from UN funds and programmes. The agencies are independent and have separate budgets, members, rule and personnel. They get funds from governments, institutes and individuals. Here are some of the agencies:
- The International Labor Organization (ILO)
- The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
- The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- World Bank
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF)
- The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
- World Trade Organization (WTO)
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Cambodia became a member of the United Nations in 1955. Since 1964, Cambodia had continuously been in both interstate and civil wars that hindered the country from developing. Up until 1980s, the UN started its missions in Cambodia:
- In 1982, the UN created UNBRO to provide and coordinate humanitarian assistance to Cambodian refugees along Khmer-Thai border.
- In 1991, UNAMIC came into existence as a ceasefire and a program to remove landmines that was a result of wars.
- In 1992, the UN’s second mission in Cambodia Called UNTAC whose objectives were just the same as UNAMIC.
- In 1993, UNTAC organized the first election for Cambodians.
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