The United Nations (UN) is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace. The UN was founded in 1945 after World War II to replace the League of Nations, to stop wars between countries, and to provide a platform for dialogue. It contains multiple subsidiary organizations to carry out its missions.
- We have been determined . . . to so organize the peace-loving nations that they may through unity of desire, unity of will, and unity of strength be in position to assure that no other would-be aggressor or conqueror shall even get started. That is why from the very beginning of the war, and paralleling our military plans, we have begun to lay the foundations for the general organization for the maintenance of peace and security.
- For the first time since World War II the international community is united. The leadership of the United Nations, once only a hoped-for ideal, is now confirming its founders’ vision. . . . The world can therefore seize this opportunity to fulfill the long-held promise of a new world order.
- George H.W. Bush, the President of the United States in his State of the Union message to that nation, January 29, 1991.
- You must not expect the United Nations to accomplish miracles. We are made up of sovereign nations. We can only accomplish what our member nations allow us to accomplish.
- I am convinced that the United Nations provides the best road to the future for those who have confidence in our capacity to shape our own fate on this planet.
- That conviction was expressed by former Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim in his book The Challenge of Peace.
While admitting the UN’s shortcomings, he also explained:
- One should realize that the United Nations is, after all, the world in microcosm. Its weaknesses must consequently be ascribed primarily to the contradictions that characterize the world community itself.
- I should point out that it [the UN] is no more than a mirror of the world it serves. That world is a conglomerate of extremely varied, often intractable, passionate, and antagonistic nations.
- Even perfect decisions of the Organization cannot yield expected practical results unless and until they have the response and support in the political will of Member States. I trust that mankind will succeed in halting and reversing the course towards the precipice.
- Stefan Olszowski, Polish Minister for Foreign Affairs, stated in a letter dated May 9, 1985.
- I hope the United Nations will ever remain the supreme forum of peace and justice, the authentic seat of freedom.
- Pope John Paul II, October 1979, addressed the UN General Assembly.