Nations united in quest for peace
The name United Nations was coined by US President Franklin Roosevelt who suggested it to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Accepting the idea, Churchill cited Lord Byron’s use of the phrase United Nations in the poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, which referred to the Allies in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.Updated: Oct 13, 2020, 20:04 IST
HOW DID THE UN GET ITS NAME?
The name United Nations was coined by US President Franklin Roosevelt who suggested it to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Accepting the idea, Churchill cited Lord Byron’s use of the phrase United Nations in the poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, which referred to the Allies in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
UN REPLACED THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS
The League of Nations, the first global intergovernmental body to maintain world peace, was founded on January 10, 1920 after the Paris Peace Conference that ended World War I. The onset of the World War II showed that the League had failed. The US State Department began efforts to replace the League of Nations.
On June 12, 1941, representatives of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and of the exiled governments of Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Yugoslavia, as well as General de Gaulle of France met in London and signed the Declaration of St. James’s Palace. It was the first of six conferences that led up to the founding of the United Nations and the UN Charter.
On January 1, 1942, representatives of 26 nations at war with the Axis powers met in Washington to sign the Declaration of the United Nations endorsing the Atlantic Charter, pledging to use their full resources against the Axis and agreeing not to make a separate peace.
At the Quebec Conference in August 1943, US Secretary of State Cordell Hull and British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden agreed to draft a declaration that included a call for “a general international organization based on the principle sovereign equality of all nations.” An agreed declaration was issued after a Foreign Ministers’ Conference in Moscow in October 1943. When US President Franklin Roosevelt met with Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin in Tehran, Iran, in November 1943, he proposed an international organisation comprising an assembly of all member states and a 10-member executive committee to discuss social and economic issues. The United States, Great Britain, Soviet Union, and China would enforce peace as “the four policemen.” The Food and Agricultural Organization (May 1943) l The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (November 1943) lThe United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (April 1944) lThe International Monetary Fund and the World Bank (July 1944) lThe International Civil Aviation Organization (November 1944)
Representatives of the US, Britain, Soviet Union and Chinese met at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington in August and September 1944 to draft the charter of a postwar global organisation based on the principle of collective security. They recommended a General Assembly of all member states and a Security Council consisting of the Big Four plus six members chosen by the Assembly.
Voting procedures and the veto power of permanent members of the Security Council were finalised at the Yalta Conference in 1945 when Roosevelt and Stalin agreed that the veto would not prevent discussions by the Security Council. Roosevelt agreed to General Assembly membership for Ukraine and Byelorussia and reserved the right to seek two more votes for the US.
In 1945, the representatives of 50 countries met in San Francisco at the United Nations Conference on International Organization to draw up the United Nations Charter. They deliberated on the basis of proposals worked out by China, the Soviet Union, the UK and the US at Dumbarton Oaks, US, in August-October 1944. The Charter was signed on June 26, 1945 by the delegates of 50 countries. Poland, which did not take part in the Conference, signed it later to be one of the original 51 Member States. The UN officially came into being on Oct. 24, 1945. when the Charter had been ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, UK, US and by a majority of other signatories.