The council is made up of 27 members elected by the General Assembly for 3 years. Among the membership are the permanent members of the Security Council. ECOSOC is responsible for coordinating the work of the specialized agencies of the UNO which are World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF; now United Nations Children’s Fund), Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) or World Bank, International Finance Corporation,etc.


  1. It coordinates the activities of the specialized agencies of the UNO.
  2. It supplies information on its activities to the security Council.
  3. It prepares reports on the activities of all UNO specialized agencies and submits them to the General Assembly.
  4. It carries out studies on issues like education, health, cultural, economic, etc and recommend same to the General Assembly.
  5. It is empowered to set up commissions that could promote human right.

This is the judicial organ of the UNO. It has its headquarters in Hague, Netherlands. It is made up of 15 Judges elected on securing a majority of votes of both the General Assembly and the Security Council. Each Judge stays in office for a term of 9 years and could be re-elected. Judicial qualification and experience are important in their election and not nationality although no two Judges can come from one country. Only states appear in the Court and they must obey the judgements of the court or face the wrath of the Security Council. A President is elected by members of the court and its decisions are reached by simple majority. The first Nigerian to serve as a Judge in the ICJ was Charles Onyeama and succeeded by TaslimOlawaleElias. Another Nigerian, Prince Bola Ajibola was also appointed to complete Taslim Elias’ term after his demise.


  1. It gives advisory opinion on legal issues to the other organs of the UNO.
  2. It interprets the charter of the UNO.
  3. It settles issues that have to do with international law.
  4. It gives ruling on cases of disputes over international treaties and agreements between states referred to it for judgement.
  5. It decides the amount of compensation or reparation to be made when there is a breach of international treaty.

The council was established by the League of Nations and in 1945, it became one of the organs of the UNO. It us composed of those states administering trust territories, the permanent members of the Security Council that are not administering trust territories and some other countries elected by the General Assembly to serve a 3-year term. The trust territories were those areas colonized by the defeated countries of Germany and Italy before the first world war. By their defeat in the war, the colonies they ruled were taken over by the permanent members of the Security Council. Examples of trust territories in Africa were Togo, Cameroon and Namibia.


  1. It monitors the administration of trust territories.
  2. It supervises the transition of trust territories from trusteeship to independence.
  3. It considers reports from the administering countries.
  4. It visits and inspects the trust territories.
  5. It receives petitions from the trust territories.
  6. It promotes the political, economic and social development of the trust territories.


  1. Maintenance of peace and security: The UNO has helped in the maintenance of World peace and security through the settlement of disputes that would have assumed international dimension and through peace-keeping missions. It has been involved in peace-keeping operations in Yugoslavia, Congo, Somalia,etc.
  2. International cooperation: It has encouraged international cooperation and negotiation between developing and developed countries of the world through its organs and specialized agencies such as IMF and World Bank. These has led to better understanding between them and provision of loans and grant in aids to the developing countries by some of these international bodies.
  3. Global Consciousness: The UNO and her agencies have raised global consciousness on suck key issues like disarmament, apartheid, HIV/AIDS, international law, etc.
  4. Promotion of Human Rights: The organization has made useful contributions in the area of human rights. According to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UNO General Assembly, every human being is entitled to rights and fundamental freedom. This declaration has greatly influenced the behaviour of states towards human rights.
  5. Increased standard of living: The specialized agencies of the organization have raised the standard of living of the people of the world. In the field of education, UNESCO gives scholarships for further studies to students from developing countries. In the area of health, the WHO has raised the health standards of the people of the world.
  6. Resettlement of refugees:Victims of war and natural disasters have received assistance from the UNO agencies especially the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). It has given relief materials to countries when there was war, civil strife or natural disasters.
  7. Prevention of another World war: The UNO as an organizationand since its formation, has been able to prevent the outbreak of a Third World war. For example, the annexation of Kuwait by Iraq was quickly contained by the major powers by collectively expelling Iraq from Kuwait.


  1. Enforcement of decisions: The UNO cannot effectively enforce its decisions because member states are not ready to surrender their sovereignty to the authority of the organization.
  2. Presence of veto power: The veto power given to the permanent members of the Security Council renders the council ineffective. This could be used at times to satisfy their selfish interest at the expense of fulfilling the objectives of the organization.
  3. Financial problems: The organization depends on the contributions of member states for her financial needs. However, mist of its membership is made up if developing countries and a good number of them are unable to fulfil their financial obligations to the organization due to their poor state.
  4. Ideological conflict: There is an ideological conflict between the Capitalist bloc led by USA and the Socialist bloc led by Russia. Members of these blocs look at every world issue from their ideological viewpoint. This compounds to the ineffectiveness of the organization.
  5. No permanent military force: The inability of the organization to create a permanent military force is affecting its peace-keeping operations worldwide. The idea of countries providing troops only when called upon may not augur well for a lasting peace.
  6. Problem of arms race: The UNO has failed to find a permanent solution to this. Many nations are spending so much in manufacturing weapons of war, e.g USA, Russia, China, etc. Even some countries like Iraq and Iran are equally spending so much in procuring nuclear warheads and weapons of mass destruction.
  7. The presence of some regional/ sub-regional groupings: Some of these groupings like AU, ECOWAS and EEC and the presence of some military pacts or alliances such as NATO, WARSAW and ECOMOG have weakened commitment to the ideal and objectives of the UNO.
  8. Activities of the International Monetary Fund: The IMF is an agency of the UNO. Its neo-colonialist policies and conditionalitieshave crippled the economies of most states globally, especially the developing ones.