Dear Mr. Lorba, 18 November 2008
As you requested, I have
gathered some information for our upcoming seminar, "The
Organization's Beginnings: where it all started". The
paragraphs below offer descriptions of the Organization's
six branches as these were outlined in initial meetings
of the founding member-states.
Under each paragraph
heading is a brief, concise description of the functions
of each branch, as set out in the Charter signed by the
original 51 member-nations at the San Francisco meeting
The General Assembly
Assembly was to discuss a variety of issues of concern
to the international community. Each of the General Assembly's
member-states was to have one vote -- regardless of its
size or population. While decisions of the General Assembly
would not be binding, its resolutions would carry moral
authority in the international arena and spotlight issues
The Security Council
founding member-states decided that the Security Council
would have the authority to make decisions on issues of
peace and security and to commit troops to conflicted
regions of the world. According to the original
plan, there were to be 15 member-states on the Security
Council: 10 were to have rotating two-year terms
and 5 were to be permanent members. The permanent
members would be China, France, Great Britain, the Russian
Federation and the United States, the allied powers during
the Second World War. Each permanent member was
to have veto power. The Security Council's decisions,
taken by a 9/15 vote were to be binding.
The Economic and Social
and Social Council would discuss issues of social and
economic importance in different societies.
The International Court
Court was to rule on disputes between member-states concerning
treaties or other international agreements or understandings.
Any member-state could ask the court for an advisory opinion
on any issue relevant to its jurisdiction. Both
the General Assembly and the Security Council were to
vote separately to elect the 15 judges who would sit on
the Court for nine-year terms.
The Trusteeship Council
of the Trusteeship Council was to look after the interests
of people living in trust territories or regions ruled
by colonial governments.
was to act as the administrative body, serving the other
organs of the United Nations. It would administer the
programmes and policies put in place by the other parts
of the Organization.
Changes in the Organization's
Structure in its first 50 years
In 1994, when
the Organization had nearly completed its first 50 years,
the Trusteeship Council completed its mission. That was
the year the last trust territory, Pelau, gained its independence.
The Security Council
has retained its original structure as outlined in the
Charter. However, some member-states, have called for
a change; they feel the Council's structure better reflects
the state of the world following the Second World War
rather than its current state.
I hope the above descriptions
will be useful to you. Please contact me if you
need any further information.
Chief, Staff Education
Mr. Charles Lorba