The Atlantic Charter and the UN charter

The Atlantic Charter and the UN charter

The world War-II started creating more terror and havoc. Amidst such situation, some nations held the (The Atlantic Charter and the UN charter) London Conference on 12th June 1941 and discussed about the issue of the world peace and the ongoing war. They agreed to establish an international organization for sustainable peace in respect to the failure of the League of the Nations.

As its continuity, the American president Franklin D. Roosevelt and the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill held a meeting on a warship at the Atlantic Ocean on 14th August 1941, and signed an agreement, often referred as the Atlantic Charter.

In the charter, they passed 8 common principles such as world peace, equality among the nations, mutual cooperation, no acquisition of territory of another country, human rights, social progress, etc. Later, all the Allies of the World War-II confirmed it, and it was officially (The Atlantic Charter and the UN charter) signed by 26 nations the next year on 1st January 1942.

Subsequently, the Moscow Conference, Tehran Conference, Dumbarton Conference, Yalta Conference, etc. were held in different time. The conferences helped to consolidate the concept of the Atlantic Charter. Finally, the UN Charter was prepared and signed on 26th June 1945 through the San Francisco Conference (25th April to 26th June 1945) by the representative of 50 nations. Later, Poland also signed the charter.

This way, San Francisco (The Atlantic Charter and the UN charter) Conference (25th April to 26th June 1945) brought the final resolution to form the UNO. The UN Charter now contains 19 parts and 11 Articles.

The UNO and its Objectives:

The UNO is an international organization established to maintain world peace, promote international understanding and mutual-cooperation. It was an outcome of the Atlantic Charter. The term ‘United Nations’ was first to coined and used by Franklin D. Roosevelt to describe the Allied countries. The organization was established as a successor of the League of Nations on 24Th October 1945. At present, it consists of 193 member (The Atlantic Charter and the UN charter) nations as global partner.

It has accepted English, Chinese, Russian, French, Spanish and Arabic as its Official languages. The fund of the organization comes from the voluntary donations and the contributions of the member nations. It spends about 8 billion US $ annually for the welfare activities and world peace. Its main objectives are as follows:-

  • To maintain international peace and security.
  • To develop friendly relation among the nations of the world.
  • To promote and protect human rights, dignity and freedom.
  • To work for economic and social progress of the world.
  • To achieve international co-operation for solving the problem of a nation or the world.

The Organs of the UNO:

The UNO works with the mechanisms of six organs established for various functions. They are:

1. The General Assembly: This is the composition of all the member nations of the UNO, and is also called the UN parliament. It consists of the 5 committees formed to help in work. It is headed by a president with the assistance of 21 vice-presidents. Its meeting is held on annual basis on 3rd Tuesday in every September. Each member can cast one vote, and can send 5 representatives in its meeting. The minor decisions are made by the majority votes while the major ones are approved by 2/3 majority. All member nations have freedom of expression under the limitation of the UN charter.

Any peace loving nation that accepts the UN Charter can obtain the membership of the UN. The membership is passed by the 9 member nations including the 5 permanent members of the Security Council, and approved by 2/3 members of the General Assembly.

2. The Security Council: It is the council or group of 15 nations that comprises 5 permanent and 10 temporary members. Its permanent members – the USA, the UK, Russia, France and China – hold ‘veto’, a special power that can reject the decision made by the General Assembly for two years rotation ally from different regions (5 from Afro-Asia, 2 from Latin America, 1 from eastern Europe, and 2 from western Europe and other nations.) Nepal has already served twice as temporary members. Though each member has one vote in the council, the unanimous approval of the permanent members is a must in every case.

3. The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC): It is composed of 54 members based elected by the General Assembly for the tenure of 3 years. The members elected based on geographical representation:  11 from Asia, 14 from Africa, 10 from Latin America and Caribbean, 6 from Eastern Europe, 2 from Western Europe and 11 from other nations. The president is changed annually among the group.

Moreover, 1/3 members are changed every year through election their tenure over that way. The proposals are passed by majority and each member can cast one vote. There are 9 functional and 5 regional commissions under this organ that have been running programmes under 15 specialized agencies and some other organizations.

4. The Trusteeship Council: It is composed of the 5 permanent members of the Security Council. It was established to support and guide the newly independent colonized countries after represent when Palau – an island country in the Pacific Ocean- became independent in 1994 AD from the trustee of the UNO.

5. The International Court of Justice: It is the judicial court of the UNO with its office in Hague, Netherlands. There are 15 judges elected by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council for the tenure of 9 years. The 5 judges from the permanent members and the 10 among all the member continents are elected. The chief justice is elected among the 15. Its official languages are English and French.

6. The Secretariat: This organ is the administrative body and the headquarters of the UNO. It is headed by the Secretary General is elected by the General Assembly for 5 years, but the tenure can be extended for one more time S/ he is appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council. S/he works as a ‘middleman’ to solve the disputes through consensus.

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