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Table of Contents
In 1944, as vulnerable countries continued to struggle with the horrifying effects of World War II, leaders of Allied powers such as the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of China met in Washington, DC at the Dumbarton Oaks Conference to establish an international organization dedicated to ensuring peace and cooperation between world nations. Signed and ratified by 51 founding countries, the United Nations (UN) emerged as a postwar peacekeeping organization and forum to develop friendly relations between world nations and prevent war from happening again.
See the fact file below for more information on the United Nations or alternatively, you can download our 22-page United Nations worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Prior to the creation of the United Nations, there was already an existing international peacekeeping organization known as the League of Nations, formed after World War I.
- Ironically, the United States never officially became a member of the League of Nations although US President Woodrow Wilson was one of the main supporters of the organization due to conflict between isolationist members of Congress.
- Failing to foresee the outbreak of the Second World War, the League of Nations eventually weakened and was formally dissolved in 1946.
- On 12 June 1941, as most European countries had fallen to the control of Axis powers (Germany, Italy, and Japan), the Declaration of St. James Palace came to existence as representatives of Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, together with representatives of exiled nations from Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Yugoslavia, and the Free French, held a meeting in London to sign and pledge their solidarity to fight aggression and contribute to the peace effort.
- In August 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill secretly met and discussed the possible creation of an international organization that would promote global peace.
- Roosevelt and Churchill initially came up with a joint declaration of what was known as the Atlantic Charter, which highlighted the ideal goals of war and served as the foundation of the UN.
- Although not considered as an official treaty, the Atlantic Charter affirmed the basic principles of universal human rights and became a promise of hope for countries controlled by the Axis powers. It was eventually signed by the USSR, nine exiled governments of occupied Europe, and France on September 24.
- On 1 January 1942, leaders of Allied nations signed the United Nations Declaration, during which the term was officially coined by the Allies in reference to their alliance. Originally, the declaration has 26 signatories that pledged to support the Atlantic Charter and promised not to negotiate peace with Axis powers.
- Following this, the signing of the Moscow Declaration in October 1943 and the conference in Tehran, Iran on December 1934 happened to plan strategies to win the war against Axis powers and establish a world organization that would maintain peace and security.
- Between 1944-1945, the Dumbarton Oaks and Yalta Conference had taken place. The meeting, held in a private mansion in Washington, DC, focused on the creation of a blueprint and discussions about the structure of the UN, different from the ineffective Covenant of the League of Nations.
- From 25 April to 26 June 1945, world nations that had signed the UN Declaration and declared war against the Axis powers, and other four sponsors and invited countries, partook in the San Francisco Conference to draft the UN Charter that would be agreeable to all countries.
- About 85 percent of world’s population was represented by the 850 delegates in the said conference with more than 3,500 total attendees and over 2,500 media representatives from various organizations, making this event the largest international gathering to ever take place.
- On 24 October 1945, after all controversial issues were resolved and conditions were fulfilled through a two-month series of discussions and conference sessions, a world peacekeeping organization was finally established which would be known as the United Nations.
UN FUNCTION AND STRUCTURE
- According to the UN Charter, the organization has four (4) main goals: to promote and maintain peace and security throughout the world, to develop friendly relations among nation-states, to ensure cooperation between nations to resolve international disputes, and to be a center for harmonizing the actions of member-states to achieve these goals.
- The UN is also divided into several bodies including the Secretariat, the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Trusteeship Council, and the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which serve different purposes and functions.
UN SUCCESSES AND CRITICISMS
- Decades after its establishment, the United Nations has taken action on various global issues ranging from humanitarian, environmental, and social causes.
- As an international organization, it has successfully provided food to 90 million people in more than 75 countries, helped over 34 million refugees, worked with 140 nations to mitigate climate change, protected human rights violations with 80 treaties and declarations it has produced, among many others.
- On the other hand, the UN has also been criticized for its intrusion among member-states, and for promoting globalization without inclusive plans.
- For decades now, the United Nations has been known to be a significant international organization in its critical role to keep promoting peace, security, and stability across the world.
- What started as an alliance of 51 member-states has fully developed with 193 countries as members today.
- The fight for independence and decolonization also helped the UN to further increase its membership.
- Vatican City (Holy See) and Palestine are two countries that are not members of the United Nations. However, both are considered non-member states, allowing them to participate as permanent observers of the General Assembly, and access UN documents.
United Nations Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the United Nations across 22 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use United Nations worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the United Nations (UN) which emerged as a postwar peacekeeping organization and forum to develop friendly relations between world nations and prevent war from happening again. In 1944, as vulnerable countries continued to struggle with the horrifying effects of World War II, leaders of Allied powers such as the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of China met in Washington, DC at the Dumbarton Oaks Conference to establish an international organization dedicated to ensuring peace and cooperation between world nations.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- WWII: United Nations Facts
- UN: The Founding Members
- Find the Word
- Fact or Bluff
- 1942 Declaration of United Nations
- The UN Timeline
- Editorial Cartoon
- Symbol Making
- UN in Action
- UN Poster
- In a Nutshell
Link/cite this page
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Link will appear as United Nations Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, October 10, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.