Structure of the United Nations System - Main organs of the un
Photo by: eduard
- The General Assembly, composed of representatives of all member states, is the UN's central deliberative body, empowered to discuss and make recommendations on any subject falling within the scope of the charter itself. It also approves the UN's budget and determines—alone or with the Security Council—part of the composition of the other main organs, including the Security Council.
- The Security Council, a 15-member body, has primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. In times of crisis, it is empowered to act on behalf of all member states and to decide on a course of collective action that is mandatory for the entire membership. The charter names five states as permanent members of the Security Council: China, France, the United Kingdom, Russian Federation, and the United States (those that were chiefly responsible for the defeat of the Axis powers in 1945). The remaining Security Council members are elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms.
- The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is assigned the task of organizing the UN's work on economic and social matters and the promotion of human rights. It consists of 54 members elected for overlapping three-year terms by the General Assembly.
- The Trusteeship Council operated the UN trusteeship system established under the charter. It was originally composed of member nations administering trust territories, the permanent members of the Security Council, and a sufficient number of other members, elected by the General Assembly for three-year terms, to ensure an equal division of administering and nonadministering powers. After 1975, it was composed of the five permanent members of the Security Council—the United States, the sole remaining administering power, and the four permanent nonadministering powers. The last trust territory, the Pacific island of Palau, voted for affiliation with the United States in late 1993. The Trusteeship Council voted in 1994 to suspend operation, convening only at the request of its President, a majority of its member states, the General Assembly, or the Security Council.
- The International Court of Justice is the principal judicial organ of the UN. It consists of 15 judges elected to nine-year terms by the General Assembly and the Security Council voting independently. It may not include more than one judge of any nationality. The Members of the Court do not represent their governments but are independent magistrates.
- The Secretariat is the administrative arm of the organization. It is headed by a Secretary-General appointed by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council for a five-year, renewable term.