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The United Nations

The United Nations (1945-)

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The history behind the organisation that binds most of the world's countries together.

The organization of the United Nations was formed in 1945 and originates from the period immediately after the second world war as a more global replacement for the League of Nations.

The intention was to provide an international forum to avoid global warfare, although it has now evolved into an organization, sometimes controversially,  looking at many other international issues.

Not all nations agree with the UN approach as it is seen to have a naturally pro-western orientation, but it remains the organization with the largest global coverage.

 25 Jan 1919  CEVersailles peace conference accepts the principle of a League of Nations. The first meeting was one year later.
 14 Feb 1919  CEDraft covenant of League of Nations completed.
 28 Jun 1919  CEThe Treaty of Versailles, ending WWI, is signed.
    1919  CEUS Senate rejects (55-39) the Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations.
    1920  CEBritish Empire receives League of Nations mandate to Nauru.
    1920  CEDenmark and Cuba join the League of Nations.
    1920  CEJapan receives League of Nations mandate over the Pacific islands.
    1920  CEThe League of Nations' first meeting in Geneva. The Treaty of Versailles is in effect.
    1920  CELeague of Nations recognizes perpetual neutrality of Switzerland.
    1920  CEThe Netherlands joins League of Nations.
    1920  CESaarland is administrated by the League of Nations.
    1920  CESouth Africa receives League of Nations mandate over South West Africa.
    1920  CESwitzerland rejoins the League of Nations.
    1920  CEUS Senate rejects Treaty of Versailles for the second time refusing to ratify League of Nations' covenant (maintaining its isolation policy).
 26 Jun 1945  CEUN Charter signed by 50 nations in San Francisco.
 24 Oct 1945  CEUnited Nations Charter becomes effective amongst the original 51 nations: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Belarus, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela & Yugoslavia.
    1945  CEFrance joins the UN.
    1945  CEPoland signs the UN charter
 10 Jan 1946  CEUN General Assembly 1st session convenes with 51 nations in London
 17 Jan 1946  CEUnited Nations Security Council holds its 1st meeting in London.
  1 Feb 1946  CETrygve Lie, a Norwegian socialist, becomes 1st Secretary-General of UN.
    1946  CELeague of Nations assembles for last time
    1946  CELeague of Nations dissolves (3 months after the UN starts)
    1946  CEUN accepts 6 Manhattan blocks as a gift from John D Rockefeller Jr
    1946  CEUN Children's Fund (UNICEF) established (Nobel 1965)
    1946  CEUN Educational, Scientific, & Cultural Organization formed
    1946  CEUN General Assembly 2nd session convenes (1st NYC) (Flushing Meadows)
    1946  CEUN General Assembly votes to establish UN HQs in NYC
    1946  CEUN set up temporary HQ at Hunter (now Lehman) College (Bronx)
    1946  CEAfghanistan, Iceland, Sweden & Thailand joined the UN (now 55 members).
    1947  CEUN Gen Assembly partitions Palestine between Arabs & Jews
    1947  CEUN General assembly begins debate on printing their own stamps
    1947  CEUN trusteeship for Nauru granted to Australia, New Zealand & the UK.
    1947  CEPakistan & Yemen joined the UN (now 57 members).
 10 Dec 1948  CEUN General Assembly adopts Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
    1948  CEUN General Assembly unanimously approves Convention on Genocide
    1948  CEMyanmar joined the UN (now 58 members).
    1948  CEThe World Health Organisation is formed by the UN.
    1949  CEUN Security council condemns Dutch aggression in Indonesia
    1949  CEIsrael joined the UN (now 59 members) by a vote of 37-12.
    1950  CEUN gets US government approval to issue postage stamps.
    1950  CEUN World Meteorological Organization established.
    1950  CEIndonesia joined the UN (now 60 members).
    1951  CEUnited Kingdom of Libya gains independence from Italy via the UN.
    1952  CEUN turns over Eritrea to Ethiopia.
    1955  CEAlbania, Austria, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Nepal, Portugal, Romania, Spain & Sri Lanka joined the UN (now 76 members).
    1956  CEJapan, Morocco, Sudan & Tunisia joined the UN (now 80 members).
    1957  CEGhana & Malaysia joined the UN (now 82 members).
 21 Jan 1958  CESyria and Egypt merged their membership and became a single member of the UN (United Arab Republic) (now 81 members).
    1958  CEGuinea joined the UN (now 82 members).
    1960  CEInternationl Development Association, a UN agency, comes into existence.
    1960  CENikita Khrushchev pounds his shoe at UN General Assembly session
    1960  CEBenin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Cyprus, Gabon, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Togo & the Democratic Republic of the Congo joined the UN (now 99 members).
    1961  CEOuter Mongolia & Mauritania become the 102nd & 103rd members of the UN.
    1961  CESierre Leone becomes the 100th member of the UN.
    1961  CETanganyika becomes the 104th member of the UN.
    1961  CEUN genocide pact goes into effect.
    1961  CEMauritania, Mongolia, Sierra Leone & the United Republic of Tanzania joined the UN (now 104 members).
    1962  CE110th member of the UN admitted (Uganda).
    1962  CERwanda, Burundi, Jamaica & Trinidad admitted (105th-108th) to the UN.
    1962  CEU Thant of Burma elected 3rd Secretary-General of UN unanimously.
    1962  CEUN announces Earth population has hit 3 billion.
    1962  CEUN General Assembly censures Portugal (because of Angola).
    1962  CEAlgeria, Burundi, Jamaica, Rwanda, Trinidad and Tobago & Uganda joined the UN (now 110 members).
    1963  CEKenya & Kuwait joined the UN (now 112 members).
    1964  CEMalawi, Malta & Zambia joined the UN (now 115 members).
    1965  CEGambia, Maldives & Singapore joined the UN (now 118 members).
    1966  CEBarbados, Botswana, Guyana & Lesotho joined the UN (now 122 members).
    1967  CEDemocratic Yemen joined the UN (now 123 members).
    1968  CEEquatorial Guinea, Mauritius & Swaziland  joined the UN (now 126 members).
    1970  CEFiji joined the UN (now 127 members).
    1971  CEBahrain, Bhutan, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates joined the UN (now 132 members).
 18 Sep 1973  CEGerman Democratic Republic & the Federal Republic of Germany joined the UN (now 135 members).
    1973  CEBahamas joined the UN (now 133 members).
    1974  CEBangladesh, Grenada & Guinea-Bissau joined the UN (now 138 members).
    1975  CECape Verde, Comoros, Mozambique, Papua New Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe & Suriname joined the UN (now 144 members).
    1976  CEAngola, Samoa & Seychelles joined the UN (now 147 members).
    1977  CEDjibouti & Viet Nam joined the UN (now 149 members).
    1978  CEDominica & Solomon Islands joined the UN (now 151 members).
    1979  CESaint Lucia joined the UN (now 152 members).
  1980  CEUN Security Council condemns (14-0, US abstains) the Israeli declaration that all of Jersualem is its capital.
  1980  CEWorld Health Organisation announced that smallpox had been eradicated.
  1980  CESaint Vincent and the Grenadines & Zimbabwe joined the UN (now 154 members).
  1981  CEAntigua and Barbuda, Belize & Vanuatu joined the UN (now 157 members).
  1983  CESaint Kitts and Nevis joined the UN (now 158 members).
  1984  CEBrunei Darussalam joined the UN (now 159 members).
3 Oct 1990  CEThrough the accession of the German Democratic Republic to the Federal Republic of Germany, the two German States united to form one sovereign State (now 158 members).
  1990  CELiechtenstein & Namibia joined the UN (now 159 members).
  1991  CEDemocratic People's Republic of Korea, Estonia, Federated States of Micronesia, Latvia, Lithuania, Marshall Islands & the Republic of Korea joined the UN (now 166 members).
22 May 1992  CEThe Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was an original Member of the UN in 1945, when it dissolved, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia & Republic of Slovenia re-joined (now 178 members).
  1992  CEArmenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, San Marino, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan & Uzbekistan joined the UN (now 176 members).
8 Apr 1993  CEThe former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia re-joined the UN (now 183 members).
  1993  CEAndorra, Czech Republic, Eritrea & Monaco joined the UN (now 182 members).
  1994  CEPalau joined the UN (now 184 members).
  1998  CEUN Secretary-General Kofi Annan lands in Baghdad, for peace negotiations.
  1999  CEKiribati, Nauru & Tonga  joined the UN (now 187 members).
1 Nov 2000  CEYugoslavia re-joined the UN (now 189 members).
  2000  CETuvalu joined the UN (now 188 members).
Note 1: Events described with text like this have been entered from one source but have not yet been verified against a subsequent source ( Explain ).
Note 2: The events are sorted in semi-chronological order according to what is factually known about the date of the event ( Explain ).
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