What does un Charter

The founding of the United Nations

The idea of ​​the United Nations came up during the Second World War. On January 1, 1942, 26 states - led by Great Britain, the Soviet Union and the USA - signed the United Nations Declaration in Washington. In it they committed themselves to mutual support in the fight against the Axis powers Germany, Italy and Japan. By 1945, 19 other states had joined as signatories.

The Atlantic Charter formed the first basis for the later United Nations. In this declaration, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and US President Franklin D. Roosevelt presented their common ideas for a post-war order, including a new world organization, on August 14, 1941, after a secret meeting on the warship USS Augusta. From August to October 1944, the USA, Russia, Great Britain and China negotiated the appearance of this very world organization. The final paper can be seen as the forerunner of the charter and contained, for example, the institution of the Security Council with its far-reaching powers. Further disagreements were resolved in Yalta in February 1945, just a few months before the end of World War II.

After these last hurdles and after the end of the war, the idea of ​​a world organization could finally be implemented. Important statutes and voting issues had already been clarified at several conferences before 50 states met at the San Francisco Conference from April to June 1945 to finalize and adopt the UN Charter. The signing of the 51st founding member Poland was made up for after the formation of the government there.

The goals and principles of the UN are anchored in the charter. In their core inventory, they have remained unchanged since 1945. The UN, according to the former Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld in 1954, “was not created to bring mankind to heaven, but to save them from hell”. Thus, the charter contains both the goal of 'negative' peace - i.e. the pure absence of military force - as well as measures to create a positive peace: friendly relations between states and cooperation in the political fields of human rights, development, economy and culture are to be promoted become. The United Nations will thus become the most important multilateral forum for international exchange in which intergovernmental trust can be created.

At the same time, the UN Charter lays down basic rules for state action in order to maintain a stable and secure international system. Cooperation is based on the principles of the sovereign equality of all member states and the system of collective security. This provides for conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peace enforcement measures.

Peace and security, however, are not the only issues that concern the United Nations. Even before it was founded, it was clear that solving certain problems would require international cooperation, and so the course was set for later UN agencies such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) . These are partly based on the predecessor organizations of the League of Nations and cover similar topics, for example global health, international labor standards and cooperation in the fields of culture and education.