What is the UN?
The UN stands for the United Nations - an international organisation that brings the world’s nations together in one forum to discuss shared problems, and find solutions that can work on a global scale. Initially founded in 1945, the UN’s goal is to improve humanity through collaboration and partnership.
How many countries are in the United Nations?
The United Nations currently consists of 193 member states across the globe. This number has risen from the 51 original states who joined the UN when it was founded in 1945.
What countries are not in the United Nations?
For a country to be recognised officially, it needs to be recognised by the United Nations and, as such, it’s incredibly unusual for any country to NOT be a member of the UN.
However, there are two states that are recognised as countries by the UN but are known as “permanent non-member observer states” which are: Holy See (Vatican City) and Palestine. Their position means that, although they are welcome at the UN and have access to the benefits, they are unable to cast votes.
Where any other states are not UN members, this is due to them not being recognised by the UN as a country.
What does the UN do?
The work of the United Nations covers five key areas:
- maintaining international peace and security
- protecting human rights
- delivering humanitarian aid
- supporting sustainable development and climate action
- upholding international law.
Within these five key areas, the UN targets global issues which affect humanity and the world as a whole and which cannot be solved by one nation alone. By focusing on these, the UN seeks to eliminate issues that slow global progress and which, in the long-term, could be detrimental to human life.
Although these are the five key areas, the UN’s work does change over time. For example, in recent years, challenges such as the growing climate crisis and gender equality have become more prominent issues.