The Principal Organs of the United States : Summary

The Principal organs of the United Nations

  1. General Assembly
  2. Security Council
  3. Economic and Social Council
  4. Trusteeship Council
  5. International Court of Justice
  6. Secretariat

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1.The General Assembly: The General Assembly consists of all the members of the united nations.Each member state has one vote only.The General Assembly meets once a year, but it may also meet in special sessions, if necessary.Decisions of the General Assembly on Important questions shall be made by a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting.

These questions shall include Recommendations with respect to the maintenance of international peace and security, the election of non-permanent members of the security council, the admission of new members of the U.N. and the expulsion of Members.The General Assembly considers the general principles of co-operation in the maintenance of international peace and security.It also makes recommendations for the purpose of promoting international cooperation in the economic, social, cultural, educational and health fields.It assists in the realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.It considers and approves the budget of the organisation.

2.The Security Council: The Security Council is primarily responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security.It consists of five permanent members and ten non-permanent members.

The Five permanent members are China, Russia, Great Britain, France and the United states of America.The non-permanent members are elected by the General Assembly, for a term of two years.The distribution of the council seats of the non-permanent members is made on a geographical basis.

The Security Council reaches a decision by majority.Each member of the council has one vote.To pass a resolution nine affirmative votes, including the concurring votes of the five permanent members, are necessary.

In other words, the five permanent members enjoy ‘veto’ power.The Security Council possesses wide powers to make decisions.Member states are obliged to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council.It can call upon parties to any dispute to settle their dispute by negotiation, arbitration or other peaceful means.It is empowered to deal with ‘threats to peace, breaches of peace and acts of aggression’. It can call on its member to apply economic sanctions or to sever diplomatic relations with a state which poses a threat to peace.It can also take Military action against an aggressor as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security.

3.The Economic and Social Council: The main responsibility of the Economic and Social Council is to supervise the economic and social activities of the United Nations.

It coordinates the activities of the specialised agencies.It consists of fifty-four members of the UN, elected by the general assembly.Each member serves a three-year term.It is empowered to discuss international economic,social,cultural, educational,health and related matters, and to promote respect for, and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.

4.The Trusteeship Council: This council was set up to look after the trust territories which had been formely under colonial rule by certain western powers,in order to prepare their people for self-government or independence.So it supervises the administration of these territories under their former colonial rulers designated by the U.N as trustees.Initially, it had a large jurisdiction.At present,it has limited task.It supervises the administration of palan in the pacific islands by the U.S.A

5.The International Court of Justice: The International Court of Justice, located in the Hague, Netherlands, is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations.It consists of 15 Judges.No two judges shall be nationals of the same state.

The members of the court are elected by the General Assembly and the Security council.These persons should be of a hign moral character and are competent in international law.The term of each elected judge is nine years.One-third of judges retire every three years and elections are held to fill the vacant seats.Both the General Assembly and the Security Council can ask the court for an advisory opinion on any legal question.Each member of the United Nations has to comply with the decision of the International Court of Justice in any case to which it is a party.If any nation refuses to honour the judgement of the court the security council may take action against it.

6.The Secretariat: The Secretariat consists of a Secretary-General and staff to carry on the diverse day to day work and administration of the United Nations Organisation.There are over ten thousand officials in the U.N. Secretariat.Drawn from more than 150 countries, the staff of the secretariat constitute an international civil service.

The Funds required for the maintenance of the U.N. Secretariat are provided by Member-nations.

Secretary General is the chief administrative officer of the united nations.His office embodies the principles and ideals of the U.N.Charter.The General Assembly, upon the recommendations of the security council, appoints him.

The members of the U.N. have to respect the international character of his responsibilities.He has the authority to bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security. He presents an annual report to the General Assembly on the work of the organization.

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