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Экология Origin and founding documents
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The name "United Nations" was devised by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt and was first used in the "Declaration by United Nations" which was signed on 1 January 1942, during the Second World War, when representatives of 26 Allied nations fighting against the Axis Powers met in Washington, D.C. to pledge their support for the Atlantic Charter.

As with any organisation that exists in this ever-changing world, the UN cannot act according to an unchanging set of rules. But it has established two very specific annotated documents to guide its members. The UN is defined by its Charter, written in 1945 and by a Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is a manifesto of human dignity and value that remains as fresh and radical now as it was when adopted in 1948.

The United Nations Charter was drawn up by the representatives of 50 countries at the United Nations Conference on International Organization, which met at San Francisco from 25 April to 26 June 1945. Those delegates deliberated on the basis of proposals worked out at Dumbarton Oaks in 1944. They drew up the 111-article Charter, which was adopted unanimously on 25 June 1945 in the San Francisco Opera House. The next day, the representatives of the 50 countries signed it in the Herbst Theatre auditorium of the Veterans War Memorial Building. Poland, which was not represented at the Conference, signed it later and became one of the original 51 Member States.

The Charter lays out all the major components of the organization, its lines of authority, and the responsibilities and rights of its members, i.e. basic principles of international relations. Its chapters and articles constitute a treaty that is legally binding on the signatories. When states become members of the UN they agree to accept the obligations of the UN Charter. Article 103 of the Charter stipulates that if a member state finds that its obligations under the Charter conflict with duties under "any other international agreement", they must place their Charter obligations first. According to the Charter the UN has four purposes: to maintain international peace and security, to develop friendly relations among nations, to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights and to be a centre for harmonising the actions of nations

The United Nations officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, when the Charter had been ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and by a majority of other signatories. United Nations Day is celebrated on 24 October each year.

The Universal Declaration of Human rights is the product of the UN's Commission on Human Rights, founded in 1946, which was then led by the former first Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who had an international reputation as a crusader for human rights. Under her guidance the commission drafted the Universal Declaration as a fundamental statement about rights and freedoms. Resting on Enlightenment ideas of human dignity, it is unique both in its breadth and in its success as an international standard by which to identify the basis rights that every person should enjoy. Most human rights law and many national constitutions reflect its provisions; it is an inspiration to people seeking freedom and to organisations that seek to advance the cause of freedom and justice.

Unlike the Charter the Universal Declaration is not a treaty and its provisions are therefore are not law, but it has largely incorporated into two internationals treaties that came into effect in 1976 and have been accepted by most member-states: the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The UN refers to these covenants and the Universal Declaration as the International Bill of Rights.

2. Give English equivalents for the following Russian expressions

1. придумать (название), разработать (план)

2. дать торжественное обещание сделать что-либо, обязаться сделать что-либо

3. ручаться / дать слово чести

4. постоянно меняющийся (к примеру, мир)

5. свод правил

6. обдумывать, что предпринять / колебаться, раздумывать, делать что-либо или нет / обдумывать вопрос

7. первоначальные члены ООН

8. представлять собой договор, который с юридической точки зрения является обязательным для всœех подписавшихся

9. ставить условием, оговаривать

10. борец за права человека

11. имея в своей основе идеи эпохи Просвещения

12. устанавливать основные права, которыми должен обладать каждый человек

13. условия (к примеру, договора)

14. способствовать делу свободы и справедливости

15. вступить в силу

3. Answer the following questions

1. Who devised the name “United Nations”?

2. When was this name used first?

3. How many nations pledged to fight against the Axis powers?

4. What countries formed the Axis?

5. What are the UN founding documents?

6. How many countries was the Charter drawn up by?

7. Where was the Charter drawn up?

8. What countries worked out the proposals on the basis of which they deliberated?

9. When and where were these proposals worked out?

10. When was the UN Charter signed?

11. How many countries are considered to be the original member states?

12. When and by what countries was the UN Charter originally signed?

13. What does the Charter lay out?

14. What are the main purposes of the UN according to the UN Charter?

15. What day is universally celebrated as the United Nations day?

16. When was the UN's Commission on Human Rights founded?

17. Who was the UN's Commission on Human Rights led by?

18. What does the Universal Declaration of Human rights set out?

19. What is unique about the Universal Declaration of Human rights?

20. What is the difference between the Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human rights?

21. When did the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights come into effect?

4. Suggested activities for students and topics for discussion:


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  • - Origin and founding documents

    The name "United Nations" was devised by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt and was first used in the "Declaration by United Nations" which was signed on 1 January 1942, during the Second World War, when representatives of 26 Allied nations fighting against the Axis Powers met in Washington, D.C. to pledge their support for the Atlantic Charter. As with any organisation that exists in this ever-changing world, the UN cannot act according to an unchanging set of... [читать подробенее]


  • - Origin and founding documents

    The name "United Nations" was devised by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt and was first used in the "Declaration by United Nations" which was signed on 1 January 1942, during the Second World War, when representatives of 26 Allied nations fighting against the Axis Powers met in Washington, D.C. to pledge their support for the Atlantic Charter. As with any organisation that exists in this ever-changing world, the UN cannot act according to an unchanging set of... [читать подробенее]