NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 10 – Days to go to the 77th United Nations General Assembly, two weeks of high-level meetings for the most important representative body of states within the organization.
For the occasion, the Italian Permanent Representation continues the series of infographics dedicated to the history, decision-making processes, structure and objectives of the UN. Today it is the turn of the United Nations Charter, that is the document that gave life to the organization and that describes objectives and instruments, establishes the bodies responsible for their achievement and lists their powers, functions and limits.
Although it was signed on June 26, 1945 in San Francisco, at the end of the Conference that discussed and reviewed the proposals made at Dumbarton Oaks the previous year, the Charter entered into force almost 4 months later, on October 24, after its signature. of all 5 permanent members of the Security Council. Initially the United Nations was made up of 51 states, the so-called Allies, but the number of signatories has gradually expanded over the following decades, with Italy joining in 1955.
The Charter is an instrument of international law, and therefore the signature binds the States to respect it. In the preamble already mention is made of the objectives and values that prompted the states to create the organism, and particular emphasis is placed precisely on the citizens: “We, peoples of the United Nations”, reads the beginning of the preamble. In terms of aims and principles, articles 1 and 2 are explanatory: maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations between states, achieving international cooperation (art.1), respecting the principles of sovereign equality, good faith, peaceful settlement of disputes, abstention from the use of force or threats, compliance with the obligations imposed by the Charter (Article 2).
The Charter also outlines the structure of the organization, which is mainly divided into six bodies: the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Trusteeship Council and the Secretariat and the Court of Justice. These bodies then have the power to create agencies and programs to delegate the functions assigned to them, a practice used extensively that has seen the creation of agencies such as UNESCO, UNICEF, UNHCR, WHO, FAO etc., for a total of 15 agencies and 6 between Funds and Programs. The Secretariat is the only body that takes the place of the organization and not of the member states, and is currently led by Secretary General Antonio Guterres, in office since 2017 and renewed last June for a second five-year term.CopyAMP code.
The Charter itself can be amended with a mechanism contemplated within it which provides for the favorable vote of the 5 permanent members and 2/3 of the Assembly. This mechanism has been used up to now 5 times, most of which to modify the structure of the organs and adapt them to the enlargement of the membership.
Six are the official languages of the United Nations: English, French, Arabic, Spanish, Chinese and Russian. In 2022, the Organization benefited from a budget of $ 3.1 billion, with Italy ranking seventh among the largest contributors to the organization’s budget. (@giorgiodelgallo)