United Nations

Nobel Peace Laureate 2001

United Nations and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan (born in 1938), a politician and diplomat from Ghana. The UN and its Secretary General received the Nobel Peace Prize for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world. The uncontroversial and symbolic candidatures of the United Nations and its leader were universally expected to become peace prize winners named to mark the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize.

The United Nations was an international organisation established after the Second World War by 51 countries, including Poland, committed to keeping peace based on international cooperation and collective security. The organisation, the successor of the pre-war League of Nations, was created on the basis of the Charter of the United Nations signed in 1945 in San Francisco, USA. Today, the UN has 193 Member States.

The main purposes of the UN include: maintaining international peace and security, organising multifaceted cooperation and supporting development of friendly relations among nations, promoting social, economic, cultural and humanitarian development and harmonising actions taken by the nations to achieve these goals, and advocating respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The main principles governing the United Nations are the sovereign equality of its Members, prohibition of intervention in internal matters of Members and peaceful resolution of disputes. The UN operates from its Headquarters in New York City and European offices in Geneva and Vienna.

Although created to safeguard peace in the world, the UN has failed to protect the international community from numerous conflicts and crises; still it remains the largest global forum for resolving political problems.