United Nations

Abstract

The United Nations is an international organization, founded in 1945. It was established to promote a set of global values: peace and security, self-determination of peoples, social progress and development, and human dignity. It was set up to serve as a centre for harmonizing the actions of its Member States in the promotion of these values.

Text

The United Nations is an international organization, founded in 1945. It was established to promote a set of global values: peace and security, self-determination of peoples, social progress and development, and human dignity. It was set up to serve as a centre for harmonizing the actions of its Member States in the promotion of these values. The Organization currently has 192 Member States. It acts mainly through its six principal organs. The General Assembly, where the entire membership is represented, can discuss any questions within the scope of UN Charter, and make recommendations to the Member States on any such questions. A number of executive councils have been established to effectively promote a particular value: the Security Council for peace and security, the Economic and Social Council for social progress and (sustainable) development, the Trusteeship Council for self-government (and self-determination). The Human Rights Council was created in 2006 to promote universal respect for human dignity. The International Court of Justice is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, and settles disputes between the Member States. The UN also has a Secretariat, headed by the Secretary-General.

This Guide is intended as a starting point for research on the United Nations. It provides the basic legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library's subject heading (keyword) United Nations is instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.

Librarian’s choice
Publication
Blokker, N., Saving Succeeding Generations from the Scourge of War: the United Nations Security Council at 75, 2021
In its famous first words, the UN Charter expresses the determination of “the peoples of the United Nations […] to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind”.
Publication
Evans, C.M., Towards a More Accountable United Nations Security Council, 2021
Reform discourse about the United Nations Security Council gives every reason to believe that flaws in its legal and institutional design prevent the Council from adequately meeting its responsibility to maintain or restore international peace and security - in part by allowing the Council to act
Publication
Mentan, T., The United Nations Organization, 2020
Saving succeeding generations from the scourge of war was the main motivation for creating the United Nations. Given the ongoing conflicts, wars and terrorist attacks today one is forced to ask: Is there Hope for International Peace and Security? Where have the safeguards gone to?
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Sources

Treaties

Case-law

UN Declarations and Resolutions

Soft law

Reference works

Selected books and articles

Periodicals, serial publications

Bibliographies