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United Nations

Headquarters: First Avenue at 46th Street
New York, NY 10017
Employees: 63,450 worldwide
Secretary General: Ban Ki-moon

U.N. News

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The United Nations was established after World War II on October 24, 1945 by 51 countries committed to preserving peace through international cooperation and collective security. Today, nearly every nation in the world belongs to the UN: membership totals 191 countries.

When countries become Members of the United Nations, they agree to accept the obligations of the UN Charter, an international treaty that sets out basic principles of international relations. According to the Charter, the UN has four purposes: to maintain international peace and security; to develop friendly relations among nations; to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights; and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.

The United Nations is not a world government and it does not make laws. It does, however, provide the means to help resolve international conflicts and formulate policies on matters affecting everyone. At the UN, all the Member States - large and small, rich and poor, with differing political views and social systems - have a voice and a vote in this process.

The United Nations has six main organs. Five of them - the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council and the Secretariat - are based at UN Headquarters in New York. The sixth, the International Court of Justice, is located at The Hague in the Netherlands.

The presence of the UN in New York makes the city a focal point of the world. Each year, between September and December, diplomats from around the world come to New York to take part in the annual session of the General Assembly.

The UN employs a broad range of skilled people, including economists, translators, statisticians, secretaries, TV producers, computer experts, physicians, and carpenters. The UN and its affiliates (including the International Monetary Fund and World Bank) employ 61,000 people worldwide and many staff members work in countries ravaged by poverty and war.

The UN Building is set to undergo a $1 billion renovation starting in 2008 and will take about seven years to complete. About 4,000 people work at UN headquarters in NY. Some will be relocated while renovation takes place.

The UN offers salaries and benefits like pensions and health insurance that are comparable to what workers would receive in government positions.

According to Bloomberg, the UN has 10,300 workers in NY with an average salary of $119,000.

There are 2,230 diplomats assigned to UN headquarters.

Updated September 30, 2011


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