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United Nations – Origin, History, Achievements And Failures Of United Nations

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Currently, the world’s largest international organisation for maintaining world peace and security is the United Nations. It is also the one we are most familiar with, given the global occurrences in the recent past. So, what exactly does the UN do? What are the objectives of United Nations? And who built this worldwide network of the organisations of United Nations? Keep reading to get all the answers and more about the objectives, achievements and failures of United Nations. Get enlightened about the origin and history of United Nations and know who are the founders of the United Nations as well.

Origin and History of United Nations

The United Nations wasn’t created out of the blue. It had a history of a failed predecessor, the League of Nations, during World War II, after which, on 24th October 1945, the United Nations was established. Given below is the story of the origin and history of United Nations:

  • In 1899, a conference was held to discuss the measures to be taken to settle the crisis peacefully, prevent wars and lay its terms. It was called the International Peace Conference.
  • Later in 1919, the League of Nations was conceived as a preventive measure after World War I. It was soon dismissed after it failed to prevent the next world war in 1939.
  • On 29th December 1941, post World War II, the four major allied countries became the four powers in the declaration of the United Nations drafted that day by the American president, Franklin Roosevelt and his aide, Harry Hopkins.
  • On 1st January 1942, Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Maxim Litvinov and T. V. Soong signed the UN declaration, followed by additional countries signing it by 1st March 1945.
  • On 24th October 1945, the United Nations officially came into existence, including 50 countries and 5 permanent members, namely the US, UK, France, Soviet Union and China.

Who coined the name United Nations – Founders of United Nations

The main founding fathers of the United Nations are considered to be the president of America, Franklin D Roosevelt and the prime minister of Britain, Winston Churchill. 

founders of united nations

It was US President Roosevelt who coined the name ‘United Nations’ to represent the allied countries which were fairly accepted by Churchill and were first used by Lord Byron.

Why was United Nations established?

Back then, United Nations was established to prevent future wars mainly. It was to ensure the maintenance of international peace and security, protect human rights, promote sustainable development of nations, deliver humanitarian aid and uphold international law. 

The organisations of United Nations set policies to be adhered to, by all the UN members.

Objectives Of United Nations

Listed below are the main objectives of United Nations:

  • Ensuring peace and security among all the nations of the world
  • Keeping friendly relationships between the member countries
  • Ensuring human freedom and human rights
  • Implementation of international cooperation in social, cultural, economic and humanitarian fields
  • Development of countries on the basis of food production, medical facilities and proper treatment of children and refugees

Some other objectives of united nations are promoting and respecting fundamental human rights that include:

  • Equality of everyone in front of the law
  • Right to education and employment along with speech and writing
  • Freedom to practice every religion
  • Equal pay for work done equally
  • Freedom from gender, race or religion-based discrimination
  • Freedom to travel.

Also Read- Who Started WWI And Why: A Brief World War 1 Summary

achievements and failures of united nations

Achievements And Failures Of United Nations

The organisations of United Nations were set to work from 1945. Since then, they have achieved many things. Read below to know about the achievements and failures of united nations:

Achievements Of United Nations

The United Nations has a long list of achievements in its name. Here are the major achievements of the United Nations listed for you to know:

  • The UN has kept watch over the nuclear resources of the nations and had signed several nuclear treaties. 
  • United Nations has helped settle a lot of disputes between countries around the world to have kept the past decades war-free. This includes the settlement of Vietnam and the Korean war, along with the withdrawal of French, British and Israeli troops from Egypt.
  • United Nations has continued to save approximately 2 to 3 billion lives every year by providing food, medical and cash assistance to many countries and it provides 45% of the total children’s vaccine to the world.
  • The UN has worked and initiated several projects and programs to uplift the situation of women in about 100 countries and to improve their quality of life.
  • The UN also played a major role in overcoming the Suez Canal Crisis.

Also Read- The Suez Canal Crisis Of 1956 – History, Causes, Impacts, And Solution

Failures Of United Nations

Although it had noted certain achievements, every coin has two sides and thus, we have provided the failures of United Nations which are yet to be solved.

  • South Sudan: UN has failed in the prevention of the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan after it experienced civil war post-independence.
  • Syrian civil war: UN security council couldn’t help in the Syrian conflict due to its member, Russia’s veto power.
  • Darfur conflict in Sudan: Darfur rebels in western Sudan caused the death of 2 million while 4.4 million were injured and 2.5 million were displaced. But the UN only sent troops after 4 years.
  • Iraq invasion: UN even tried to legitimise the US invasion of Iraq via Resolution 1483.
  • Srebrenica massacre: UN failed to defend and shelter the Muslim victims that fled from the Bosnian Serb troop mass killing.
  • Rwanda civil war: UN stayed as mute spectators during one of the worst ethnic genocide where 8 million people were killed and 2.5 million women raped.
  • Somali civil war: UN failed to help the war victims and famine victims leading to the death of 5 million civilians.
  • Cambodia violence: While the genocide of the Khmer Rouge regime ended in Cambodia, the UN never concerned itself with human rights violation.
  • Kashmir dispute: The disputed land of Kashmir has long since been a matter of conflict between neighbouring countries India and Pakistan.
  • Israeli occupation: Israel used force against the Palestinians to occupy it in the name of ethnic cleansing and the fight is still ongoing.


This was all about the origin and history of United Nations along with the objectives, achievements and failures of United Nations. In the recent global pandemic COVID-19, you must have heard that the United Nations worked with medical bodies around the world in boosting vaccine drives in all countries to curb the virus transmission. 

We hope that this article provided you with a deep insight into the intergovernmental organisation known as the United Nations. 

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