Explain the Role of the

 United Nations in the Twenty-First Century?

When the League of Nations was founded after World War I its main task was to resolve disputes regarding land and power in post war Europe with the creation of the Treaty of Versailles. It described itself as a "global association of governments facilitating co-operation in international law, international security, economic development, and social equity” and this is a similar attitude to the modern United Nations.  A list of their aims and activities can be found on the United Nations website or charter and reads as follows “International Years, Arms control and disarmament, Peacekeeping, Human rights as well as Humanitarian assistance and international development” so when answering what the role of the United Nations in the twenty-first century is one must consider what the UN considers it does.

The UN, each year, specifies issues, aims or themes they wish to bring to the attention of members of the public in their “International Year of…” objective, most recently, the international year of Sport in 2005 and Rice in 2004, from just these two themes one is able to see the varied and diverse issues that the UN cover and using the symbolism of the UN, a specially designed logo for the year, and the infrastructure of the UN system to coordinate events worldwide, the various years have become catalysts to advancing key issues on a global scale.  So although the person on the street may not know whether it is the year of Geophysics or the year of International Culture and Peace this point in the UN System certainly plays a huge part in the work carried out around the world.  It is important to remember that as there are currently 191 states sit in the UN (as appose to just 42 when it was founded in 1919 showing the importance of it in the modern world) so what they agree upon more often than not goes ahead.  All decisions are made at the International Conferences, to which representatives from all 191 states are invited and all key issues are decided upon by vote but it is governed by the Secretary-General Annan and in part the UN Security Council, which has the power to make decisions that must be carried out by governments, made up of United Kingdom, United States of America, Russian Federation, French Republic and the People’s Republic of China

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Arms Control and Disarmament was a factor set up in the original charter which centered on “the founders of the UN having high hopes that it would act to prevent conflicts between nations and make future wars impossible”- Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Just months after signing the charter which ensured "the least diversion for armaments of the world's human and economic resources" came the threat of nuclear weapons, which has continued ever since, and even now Kofi Annan faces problems over calls for certain countries to disarm and others to take up arms and so the creation of many councils ...

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