PEACETOPIAN MILESTONES

A holistic movement for a better world
has been evolving throughout history...

 

October 24, 1945 -
The United Nations

After the horrors of World War II, the United Nations was created in 1945 to provide a forum for nations to work out their problems in a peaceful way, and to help the global community strive together to create a better world for all. The League of Nations had been established more than 3 decades before for much the same purpose, but it had failed to prevent the Second World War from occurring; a global conflict that resulted in the death of 60 million people. This time, leaders hoped to address some of the issues that had doomed the League of Nations to failure. For one thing, the United States and the Soviet Union, the world's two biggest powers, had not participated in the League of Nations. This time the most powerful nations, the United States, the Soviet Union, Britain, China and France, would share equally in being permanent members of the Security Council, the highest authority of the new organization. Another issue that was addressed was that member states would provide armed forces to the United Nations to serve as peacekeepers, whereas the League of Nations could only try to persuade member states not to resort to violent aggression through boycotts and other economic and social sanctions.

The term 'United Nations' was coined by US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to describe the Allied countries in World War II. It was first officially used in the Atlantic Charter that 26 countries signed on January 1, 1942 to pledge to continue fighting together against Nazi Germany and Japan. In 1943, world leaders met in Russia to discuss replacing the failed League of Nations with a new international organization for peace. Representatives from 51 nations met throughout 1945, and on October 24, 1945 the United Nations Charter was ratified at the first session of the United Nations General Assembly in London. The UN met in Lake Success, New York from 1946 to 1952, until United Nations Headquarters moved to its current location on international territory in Manhattan, New York.

Today there are 193 member states in the United Nations - nearly every country in the world participates. The UN is made up of six main divisions (known as organs) and a number of specialized agencies, with offices all around the world. The six organs of the UN are: the Security Council, which includes the five permanent members and ten rotating members, and is charged with maintaining peace and security; the General Assembly is made up of all member states, who share equal representation, and it creates recommendations for member states on issues of mutual concern in the form of General Assembly Resolutions; the Economic and Social Council promotes international cooperation on economic and social development issues; the Secretariat, headed by the UN Secretary-General, serves the other primary organs and carries out the programs and policies they decide; the International Court of Justice is the primary judicial organ that settles international disputes according to international laws and treaties; and the United Nations Trusteeship Council was set up to look after the interests of former colonial countries until they had become independent with their own governments, which they all now have done, leaving this organ of the United Nations inactive.

Some of the specialized UN agencies include the World Health Organization, concerned with international health issues; the World Food Programme, the largest humanitarian organization addressing world hunger, which feeds 90 million people each year; UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), which promotes peace and security through international collaboration in education, science and culture; UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) which provides humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers; the UN Refugee Agency, that protects and assists the world's more than 21 million refugees; and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, which works to protect the human rights that are guaranteed under international law and outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

For more than 65 years since its founding, the United Nations has shone as humanity's greatest hope for a more peaceful, just and sustainable world. It has helped to promote human rights, freedom and democracy, erase poverty and hunger, improve health and education, and urge the governments of the world to work together in peace. However, the UN can only do what governments allow it to do. Across the globe, a people's movement has been growing to convince governments to help the UN in its goals, to reform the UN by making it more democratic, and to allow the UN to work more closely with civil society in solving the planet's problems. People's Assemblies have convened at the UN and in local gatherings around the world. United Nations Day is celebrated on October 24, commemorating the anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Charter on October 24, 1945. United Nations Day is the perfect opportunity to highlight the important achievements for a better world that the UN has won for all humanity and to support the people's movements to make it more democratic and effective.

UN.org


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MILESTONES

c.380 BC
"Republic"

1215
Magna Carta

1516
"Utopia"

1528
"On Civil Power"

1625
"On The Law
of War and Peace"

1648
Peace of Westphalia

1650-1799
Enlightenment

1689
"Two Treatises of Government"

1762
"Social Contract"

July 4, 1776
US Declaration of Independence

September 17, 1787
US Constitution

August 26, 1789
Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen

September 25, 1789
US Bill of Rights

1793
Department of Peace

1795
"Perpetual Peace"

May 18, 1899
Hague Peace Conference

1901
Nobel Peace Prize

January 8, 1918
14 Points

June 28, 1919
League of Nations

1933
The New Deal

January 6, 1941
The Four Freedoms

October 24, 1945
The United Nations

August, 1947
World Federalist Movement

December 10, 1948
Universal Declaration of Human Rights

1955
"Let There Be
Peace On Earth"

1956
The Beloved Community

1960-1963
The New Frontier

1963-1969
The Great Society

1970
Earth Day

October 11, 1971
"Imagine"

1981
International Day of Peace

1985
77 Theses on the Care of the Earth

1988
Global Cooperation for a Better World

1991
Earth Constitution

1992
UNESCO
Culture of Peace Programme

1992
"4000 Ideas & Dreams for a Better World"

1995
Earth Magna Charta

1995
"When Corporations Rule The World"

1996
"Peace On Earth Millennium"

1997
Appeal of the Nobel Laureates

1998
"Conscious Evolution"

May 11-15, 1999
Hague Appeal for Peace

January 1, 2000
One Day In Peace

June 29, 2000
The Earth Charter

September, 2000
Millennium Development Goals

January 25-30, 2001
World Social Forum

October, 2001
"Better World Handbook"

2005
Clinton Global Initiative

July 18, 2007
The Elders

September 17, 2011
Occupy Wall Street