Forgotten world (65): United Nations

Following the failure of the League of Nations formed in 1919, the United Nations was founded in 1945. It had its first meeting in London but its permanent headquarters is in New York. When the UN was founded in 1945, it had 51 members. Today that number has almost quadrupled to 192.
The current Secretary-General is Ban Ki-moon of South Korea, who assumed the post on 1 January 2007. The main governing bodies are the Security Council (which has permanent and temporary members) and the General Assembly (which is all the member states), but other important organs include the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Some 30M people in 50 countries are reckoned to depend on UN relief programmes, while some 100,000 UN peackekeepers are deployed on 18 different missions around the world.
However, the UN is badly in need of reform. It was created just after the Second World War and reflects the power relationships that existed at that time with five permanent members of the Security Council (the P5): the USA, Russia, China, the UK and France. Today it needs new permanent members of the Security Counci including Germany, Japan, India, Brazil and an African country.