Since ancient times, rulers of stales, kingdoms, and other political bodies have negotiated with each other for the purposes of ending or averting military conflict. For many centuries, war was the primary means of defining relationships between nations, as the victors could then dictate the terms of surrender to the losers. In this way, the earliest forms of international law began to take shape.
Following the tremendous losses of World War II, world leaders saw the importance of creating a global body whose resolutions would have enough power to influence states toward peaceful solutions to their problems. After decades of negotiation and the hard-won experiences gained through bloody conflict, the international community was able to convene an international body of real significance, the modern United Nations.
Table of Contents
Before the United Nations 9
Purposes and Principles: The UN Charter 23
The United Nations: Policy-Making Bodies and Their Functions 33
The UN's Judicial Organ: The International Court of Justice 47
The UN's Administrative and Executive Body: The Secretariat 55
Financing the United Nations 65
Time Line 76
Further Reading 81
For More Information 82
Reports and Projects 83
Picture Credits 87