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Fostering Global Peace, Prosperity and Justice


About the UN

The United Nations was established to foster global peace, prosperity and justice. It has succeeded in its fundamental mission of preventing a third world war and improving global quality of life. But over the last 60 years, the UN’s mission and membership have been broadened dramatically. 

Great Moments in the UN's History:

1946: United Nations Founded
President Harry Truman, along with representatives from 50 other countries, signed the UN Charter in San Francisco, California.

1948: Universal Declaration of Human Rights Signed
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt personally helped prepare the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the first document considered to have international normative value.

1950: Korean War Ended
With news that the DPRK attacked the Republic of Korea (South Korea), the Security Council declared the attack to be a breach of peace and recommended that Member States make forces available to a UN Unified Command under the United States. In all, 16 nations supplied troops. UN agencies such as UNDP assisted South Korea in rebuilding and providing development assistance, allowing it to become one of the largest economies in the world today.

1962: Cuban Missile Crisis Resolved
UN Secretary-General U Thant is widely credited for having defused the Cuban Missile Crisis by interceding between U.S. President John F. Kennedy and Soviet General Secretary Nikita Khrushchev, thereby avoiding a nuclear war.

1980: Smallpox Eradicated
A 13-year effort by the UN's World Health Organization resulted in the complete eradication of smallpox in 1980 — saving an estimated $1 billion a year in vaccination and monitoring.

2005:  Humanitarian Response to the South Asian Tsunami Led by UN
The United Nations was credited with coordinating and leading the historic international relief effort in 12 countries undertaken in response to the 2004 South Asian Tsunami.