What is the United Nations Charter

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193 states belong to the United Nations - and thus almost all states in the world. In the United Nations, the member states are represented by their respective governments. According to the Charter, the main organs of the United Nations are:

  • The General Assembly
  • The Security Council
  • The Secretariat with the Secretary General
  • The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
  • The International Court of Justice
  • The trustee council

The General Assembly (GA) is the main political body of the United Nations with overarching competence. All 193 member states are represented in it with equal rights. The General Assembly is the only plenary organ that occupies a political position that makes it the hub of all activities of the United Nations.

The general assembly has six main committees. As in the plenary, all members are represented in them. Your responsibilities are defined as follows:


  1. First Committee (Committee on Disarmament and International Security) deals with the topic of disarmament and related security issues
  2. Second Committee (Economic and Financial Committee) deals with development and economic issues
  3. Third Committee (Committee on Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Issues) mainly deals with human rights issues
  4. Fourth Committee (Committee on Specific Political Questions and Decolonization) deals with a wide variety of political issues not dealt with by other committees, as well as remaining cases of decolonization
  5. Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budget Committee) is responsible for the budget of the United Nations
  6. Sixth Committee (Legal Committee) deals with questions of international law

TheSecurity Councilis responsible for the maintenance of world peace and security among the six main organs of the United Nations. It is the only body that can pass resolutions with binding effect under international law on the member states of the United Nations.

Theofficeconsists of the Secretary General and the staff who report to and are responsible to the Secretary General. Antonio Guterres, former Prime Minister of Portugal, has been Secretary General of the United Nations since January 1, 2017.

TheEconomic and Social Councilis the central coordinating body of the United Nations. He is the link between the political level of the General Assembly and the development activities of the following institutions.

TheInternational Court of Justice based in The Hague is the main judicial body of the United Nations. At the request of other organs of the United Nations, the ICJ can prepare non-binding reports. However, he can also provide expert opinions with an advisory character. It consists of 15 independent judges who are elected for nine years by the General Assembly and the Security Council.

TheTrustee Counciloriginally had the task of supervising the administration of the colonial areas under the international trust system and supporting them in their development towards independence. With the termination of the last trustee agreement, the trustee council de facto ended its work.

In addition to the main organs, there are a large number of sub-organs, specialized agencies, funds and programs and other intergovernmental institutions, most of which were only brought into being after the founding of the United Nations in 1945. These include the Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

United Nations homepage: https://www.un.org/en/