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Introduction

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that was tasked to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international co-operation and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. The headquarters of the UN is in Manhattan, New York City, and is subject to extraterritoriality. Further main offices are situated in Geneva, Nairobi, and Vienna. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development and upholding international law. The UN is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. In 24 October 1945, at the end of World War II, the organization was established with the aim of preventing future wars. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193. The UN is the successor of the ineffective League of Nations.

On 25 April 1945, 50 governments met in San Francisco for a conference and started drafting the UN Charter, which was adopted on 25 June 1945 in the San Francisco Opera House, and signed on 26 June 1945 in the Herbst Theatre auditorium in the Veterans War Memorial Building. This charter took effect on 24 October 1945, when the UN began operation.

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In the news

16 February 2019 – Political appointments by Donald Trump
State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert withdraws from consideration for the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations nomination. Jonathan Cohen has been serving in that position since January 1, 2019, following Nikki Haley's resignation. (NPR)
26 January 2019 – 2019 Venezuelan presidential crisis, Crisis in Venezuela, Russia–Venezuela relations
In an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting called by the United States, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tells the representatives of each government in attendance to make it known whether their country will support the disputed presidency of Maduro or his contested political rival Juan Guaidó as the leader of Venezuela. (The Washington Post)
20 January 2019 – Northern Mali conflict
At least ten United Nations peacekeepers are killed and several others injured in a Islamist militant attack on their base in Mali's northern Kidal Region. (Al Jazeera)
8 January 2019 –
Brazil formally withdraws from the UN's Global Compact for Migration pact; however, Brazil's Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo says that the country will continue to accept Venezuelan refugees. (Reuters)
7 January 2019 – International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala
The government of Guatemala denounces the UN-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) and gives it 24 hours to leave the country. (BBC News)

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