By the end of the first world war (1914-1918), the states of the world saw the need to restore peace and prevent another war. As a result, in January 1919, a peace conference started at Versailles, France. The outcome of the peace conference, which was attended by 27 countries was the formation of the League of Nations in 1919. It had her headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The League of Nations collapsed due to a number of problems.

Consequently, the United Nations Organization (UNO) came into existence in 1945. This was as a result of the failure of the League of Nations to prevent the outbreak of another war, that is, the second world war (1939-1945). On 25th April, 1945, fifty states gathered at San Francisco (the original plan had been decided upon by USA, Britain, USSR and China) to prepare the UNO charterwith the sole aim of saving succeeding generations from the scourge of war. The charter came into force (that is, the UNO was formed) on 24th October, 1945 with its headquarters in New York, USA.

                Admission into the UNO is open to all peace loving nations of the world and currently, there are about 193 nations making up the body. Nigeria was the 99thmember of the UNO and was admitted after her independence in 1960.


  1. To maintain international peace and security. That is, to stop aggression and prevent breach of peace.
  2. To develop friendly relations and the enforcement of the principles of equality and self-determination among nations.
  3. To encourage international cooperation in solving economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems.
  4. To promote and encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedom for all.
  5. To promote economic and social advancement for all people.


In the bid to achieve the above aims and objectives, the members of the UNO are guided by the following principles:

  1. The principle of equality of all sovereign states.
  2. The fulfillment in good faith of member’s obligations under the charter.
  3. The desire to settle all international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice are not endangered.
  4. The non-interference in the internal affairs of member states except when it is a threat to world peace.
  5. To refrain from using force or threats of force against other states or in any other manner inconsistent with the purpose of the whole body.
  6. To give assistance to the body in any action it takes that are in conformity with the organization’s charter and refrain from giving assistance to any state against which the body is taking preventive or enforcement action.


The organization has 6 principal organs. These are the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Secretariat, the Economic and Social Council, the International Court of Justice and the Trusteeship Council.


It is made up of all member states. Every member state is represented in the Assembly by not more than 5 persons. It holds her meetings once in a year but can hold a special session if the Security Council or majority of member states request for it. Her decisions are reached by two-thirds majority on important issues such as the admission of new members and by simple majority on other issues. A President is elected from one of the member states to head the Assembly for a term of one year and it is rotated among member states.


  1. It approves the budget of the organization.
  2. It discusses issues pertaining to world peace and security, passes resolution and recommends to the Security Council.
  3. It elects the 10 non-permanent members of the Security Council and the 27 members of the Economic and Social Council.
  4. It approves agreements made by other organs.
  5. It acts on the recommendation of the Security Council in the admission of new members.
  6. It amends the charter of the organization
  7. It elects the Judges of the International Court of Justice together with the Security Council.
  8. It appoints the Secretary-General on the recommendation of the Security Council.

It is assumed to be the most powerful of all the organs of the UNO. It is composed of 5 permanent and 10 non-permanent members. The permanent members are the USA, Britain, France, China and Russia. The non-permanent members serve for 2years.Each member of the council has one vote and decisions on procedural matters are reached by a majority of 9 out of the 15 members while substantive issues (that is, issues that require immediate attention) are decided by 9 members plus all the permanent members. The permanent members have the veto power over substantive matters.


  1. It has the primary duty of maintaining international peace and security.
  2. It investigates disputes or any matter that is likely to threaten world peace.
  3. It determines the existence of any threat to the peace of the world.
  4. It scrutinizes the credentials of countries seeking admission into the UNO and recommends them to the General Assembly.
  5. It joins the General Assembly in the election of Judges of the International Court of Justice.
  6. It recommends to the General Assembly on the appointment of the Secretary-General.
  7. It recommends legal disputes to the International Court of Justice.
  8. It recommends the nominated non-permanent members of the council to the General Assembly.

It is located at the headquarters of the UNO in New York, USA. The Secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General. The Secretariat has 8 divisions and each is controlled by an Assistant Secretary-General. The Secretary-General stays in office for 5 years term and could be re-elected. The Secretaries-General of the UNO since inception are: Trygve Lie from Norway (1946-1952), Dag Hammarskjold from Sweden (1953-1961), U Thant from Burma (1961-1971), Kurt Waldheim from Austria (1972-1981), Javier Perez de Cuéllar from Peru (1982-1991), Boutros Boutros-Ghali from Egypt (1992-1996), Kofi Annan from Ghana (1997-2006), Ban Ki-moon from South Korea (2007-2016) and AntônioGueterres from Portugal (2017-present)


  1. It handles all correspondence of the organization.
  2. It prepares and presents the annual budget of the organization to the General Assembly for approval.
  3. It prepares yearly reports on the activities of the various organs and specialized agencies.
  4. It keeps all the documents relating to the meetings of the organs.
  5. It prepares the agenda of the meetings of the various organs of the organization.
  6. It interprets the various languages spoken at the meetings of the organization.
  7. It executes policies of the organs and agencies.