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Basic Facts of the United Nations

image of Basic Facts of the United Nations
This comprehensive handbook designed for the general public, sets forth the structure of the United Nations, how the Organization works, the main issues it deals with and its importance for people everywhere. Along with explaining the role played by its principal organs and the family of UN organizations, individual chapters explore UN contributions to international peace and security, economic and social development, human rights; humanitarian action, international law; and decolonization. A series of appendices documents UN membership, peacekeeping operations, budget, and contact information for UN information centers, services and offices. This new edition of the work has been substantially revised featuring significant developments worldwide and in the United Nations itself since the last edition (previously titled The UN Today) in 2008.

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Decolonization

Nearly 100 nations whose peoples were formerly under colonial rule or a trusteeship arrangement have joined the United Nations as sovereign independent states since the Organization was founded in 1945. Additionally, many other Territories have achieved self-determination through political association or integration with an independent state. The United Nations has played a crucial role in that historic change by encouraging the aspirations of dependent peoples and by setting goals and standards to accelerate their attainment of independence. United Nations missions have supervised elections leading to independence—in Togoland (1956 and 1968), Western Samoa (1961), Namibia (1989) and, most recently, in Timor-Leste (formerly East Timor).

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