Bandera de Naciones Unidas
United Nations
One of the priorities of Spain in foreign policy is the promotion of strong and legitimate multilateral institutions that may enable progress towards a peaceful, prosperous world, in which basic rights of human beings are protected and a development compatible with social cohesion and preservation of the environment is fostered. The body with the highest level of global legitimacy for achieving this goal is the United Nations, key for peace and international security, the promotion and protection of human rights and sustainable development

The forefather of the United Nations was the League of Nations, an organisation established in 1919, after signing the Treaty of Versailles, "to promote international cooperation and achieve peace and security." The League of Nations failed as the Second World War could not be avoided.

In January 1942, representatives of 26 nations approved the Declaration of The United Nations, at which time the president of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt referred to the "United Nations" for the first time.

At the end of the Second World War, representatives of 50 countries, meeting in San Francisco, drafted the Charter of the United Nations, which was signed on 26 June 1945 by 51 founding Member States. Both duties and obligations of the member states were stated therein, as well as the bodies and procedures that make up the United Nations. Currently, 193 Member States make up the organisation, after the accession of the Republic of South Sudan on 14 July 2011.

Spain became a member of the UN on 14 December 1955 and has been an elected member of the Security Council five times, which is approximately once every ten years. The last one took place in the biennium 2015-2016. Over these years, and especially after the advent of democracy, Spain has been actively involved in the organisation, reiterating the need for the international community to be based on the pillars of security, development and respect for human rights, so that this body may solve the great challenges of our time in a concerted and solidary way.

Spain ranks eleventh in the scale of financial contributions to the UN Regular Budget and is a member of the Geneva Group, made up of the biggest contributors, which closely monitors administrative and budgetary issues in the United Nations system, including its specialised Agencies and International Technical Organisations.

Charter of the United Nations and its Principles

The Charter of the United Nations was signed on 26 June 1945, in San Francisco, at the conclusion of the United Nations Conference on International Organization, and came into force on 24 October 1945, once it was ratified by several States. The Statute of the International Court of Justice is an integral part of the Charter.

Since 1963, the UN General Assembly has approved amendments to articles 23, 27, 61, 62 and 109 of the Charter. Amendment to Article 23 must be highlighted, as it enlarges the membership of the Security Council from eleven to fifteen.

The Charter includes the following purposes of the United Nations in Article 1 of Chapter I. These are the maintenance of international peace and security, the development of friendly relations among nations based on respect, the equality of rights and the self-determination of peoples and the international co-operation.

The principles of the United Nations established in Article 2 of Chapter I of the Charter deserve special attention.
1. Principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.
2. All Members shall fulfil the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the present Charter.
3. All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means.
4. Respect the territorial integrity and political independence of any State.
5. All Members shall render all kinds of assistance to the Organisation and shall refrain from giving assistance to any state against which the United Nations is taking preventive or enforcement action.
6. The Organisation shall ensure that states which are not Members of the United Nations act in accordance with these Principles for the maintenance of international peace and security.
7. Respect the internal jurisdiction of the States.

Charter of the United Nations

 

  • Structure of the United Nations
    Risen from the ashes of the Second World War, the United Nations, together with more than 30 affiliated organizations, known collectively as the United Nations System, work together to provide solutions to the problems of humankind. The UN and its system of organizations work towards advancing respect for human rights, protecting the environment, combating illnesses, promoting development and fighting against poverty.
  • The United Nations System
    The International Monetary Fund, the World Bank Group and other independent organizations, known as "specialized agencies", are linked to the UN through cooperation agreements. All of these organizations have their own governing bodies, budgets, and secretariats. Together with the United Nations, they are known as the United Nations System, and provide technical assistance and other forms of support in almost every economic and social area.
  • International Criminal Court
    Created on the initiative of the UN on 17 July 1998 by means of the Rome Statute, the International Criminal Court entered into force on 1 July 2002. The establishment of an independent jurisdiction is a historic step towards globalisation of human rights. The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the first permanent international tribunal in charge of judging those responsible for crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes
  • Sustainable Development Goals
    The United Nations General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2105, a plan of action for people, the planet and prosperity, which also seeks to strengthen universal peace and access to justice. The Member States of the United Nations approved a resolution in which the major challenge to the world at this time is acknowledged as being the eradication of poverty and claimed that, without this, sustainable development cannot be achieved.
  • Alliance of Civilizations
    The Alliance of Civilizations is an initiative of the United Nations, co-sponsored by Spain and Turkey, the purpose of which is to promote dialogue and cooperation among different communities, cultures and civilizations and bridge the gap for uniting people beyond their cultural or religious differences, developing a series of specific actions aimed at the prevention of conflicts and building of peace
  • UN Women
    UN Women is the organization's newest entity to date. It was created by the UN General Assembly on 2 July 2010, by a resolution that was approved unanimously by all of the Member States, with the goal of facilitating gender equality and promoting women's participation in decision-making and access to power at all levels.
  • Preventive diplomacy: Spanish priorities
    Preventive diplomacy has become a fundamental instrument in conflict prevention. While it is true that diplomacy itself is a preventive way, when we speak about "preventive diplomacy" we refer to "measures designed to prevent existing disputes from becoming conflicts and prevent them, if they occur, from spreading." Prevention addresses the causes that give rise to the conflict from a perspective that integrates the three pillars of the United Nations: peace and security, human rights and inclusive development
  • Peacekeeping Operations
    The UN Peace Forces, popularly known as “blue helmets”, were born in November 1956, although the first peace mission began in 1948 in the Middle East. This body is aimed to monitor disputes between countries or communities, avoiding confrontations, while conducting negotiations that may end conflicts

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