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Structure and Organization

The UN system comprises of five major organs such as the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Secretariat, and the International Court of Justice.  Initially there was also a Trusteeship Council that was suspended in 1994.

The General Assembly is the primary organ of the UN.  It is composed of representatives of 192 member states.  The activities of the UN are largely organized by the General Assembly.  The Security Council is responsible for maintaining international peace and security.  It consists of 5 permanent members and 10 non-permanent members.  The Economic and Social Council comprising of 54 members coordinates the economic, social and related work of the UN, and its specialized agencies and institutions.  The Secretariat is responsible for carrying out the daily working of the UN.  The principal judicial organ of the UN is the International Court of Justice, and has 15 judges.

The UN has accepted six official languages to be used in intergovernmental meetings and documents.   They are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.  However, the Secretariat uses English and French as working languages.

Four of the five principal organs are located at the main United Nations headquarters on international territory in New York City.  The International Court of Justice is located in The Hague.  Other major agencies are based in the UN offices at Geneva, Vienna, and Nairobi.  The UN has various other institutions located around the globe.

Inside Structure and Organization