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The United Nations (UN) is an international organization whose stated aims are to facilitate cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress and human rights issues. The UN was founded in 1945 to replace the League of Nations, to stop wars between nations and to provide a platform for dialogue.
There are now 192 member states, including almost every recognized independent state. From its headquarters on international territory within New York City, the UN and its specialized agencies decide on substantive and administrative issues in regular meetings held throughout the year. The organization is divided into administrative bodies, primarily:
- The General Assembly (the main deliberative assembly);
- The Security Council (decides certain resolutions for peace and security);
- The Economic and Social Council (assists in promoting international economic and social cooperation and development);
- The Secretariat (provides studies, information, and facilities needed by the UN);
- The International Court of Justice (the primary judicial organ).
Additional bodies deal with the governance of all other UN System agencies, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The UN's most visible public figure is the Secretary-General, currently Ban Ki-moon of South Korea.
The UN is financed from assessed and voluntary contributions from member states, and has six official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.