Power of Veto, Principal Organs of the U. N: Headquarters and the General Assembly

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Power of Veto

If any one of the five permanent members casts a negative vote on the resolution, it falls. This is known as ‘Veto’ . Every member has got one vote. To pass a resolution, all the five Big Powers Plus two others must cast their votes in favour of the resolution.

Principal Organs of the U. N


  • U. N Plaza, New York City, U. S. A.
  • General Assembly, Secretariat, Security Council, Trusteeship council, Economic and Social Council and International Court of Justice.

The General Assembly

The General Assembly is the largest of all the organs of the United Nations. The Assembly consists of the representatives of all the member States. Each State has one vote. The General Assembly meets at least once in a year. Special sessions may be convened by the secretary-General, on a request by the Security Council. The General Assembly determines the contribution payable by each member. It receives and considers the reports of the special committees including the Security Council. It passes the annual budget of the U. N. The General Assembly elects the non- permanent members of the Security Council, the members of the Economic and Social Council and elected members of the Trusteeship Council.

The Secretariat

It is composed of the Secretary-General who is the Chief Administrative Officer of the organization and an International Staff appointed by him under regulations established by the General Assembly. The Secretary- General is appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council.

Secretary - General of the U. N. O

  • Mr. Trgve Lie (of Norway) the First Secretary General of the UNO (1946 52)
  • Mr. Dag Hammarkjoeld (of Sweden) (1953 - 61)
  • Mr. U. Thant (Myanmar) (1962 - 71)
  • Mr. Kurt Waldeim (of Austria) (1972 - 81)
  • Mr. Javier Perez de Cuellar, (Peru) (1982 - 91)
  • Dr. Boutros Ghali, (Egypt) (1992 - 96)
  • Mr. Kofi Annan (of Ghana) appointed on Jan 1,1997 - 2001
  • Mr. Kofi Annan (of Ghana) appointed on Jan 1,2001 till date

Security Council

The member states of the United Nations have delegated the Primary responsibilities for maintaining world peace, Security to the Security Council. It consists of 15 members, each of which has one vote. There are 5 permanent and 10 non-permanent members elected of a 2-year term by a two-thirds majority of the General Assembly. The permanent members have the power to veto any move. Retiring members are not eligible for immediate re-election. Permanent Members: China, France, Russia, U. K. , and USA. Non-permanent Members: Bangladesh, Mali, Tunisia, Jamaica and Ukraine (until Dec. 31,2001) , Malaysia, Namibia, Canada, Netherlands and Argentina (until Dec. 31,2000)

Non-Permanent Members

Cape Verde, Hungary, Japan, Morocco, Venezuela (until Dec. 31,1993) Brazil, Djiboute, New Zealand, Pakistan and Spain (until Dec. 31,1994) . The Presidency of the Security Council is held for one month in rotation by the member states in the English alphabetical order of their names. The expansion of the Security Council to include ‘new powers’ such as India, Germany and Japan as permanent members have been suggested. India has formally stakes its claim to a permanent seat on the council as and when it is expanded.

Trusteeship Council

The Charter Provides for an international trusteeship system to safeguard the interests of the inhabitants of territories which are not yet fully self- governing, and which may be placed there under by individual trusteeship agreements. These are called trust territories. All of the original 11 trust territories except one, the republic of Belau (palau) administrated by the USA, have become independent or joined independent countries. Members: China, France, Russia, UK, USA.

Economic and Social Council

Economic and Social Council is responsible under the General Assembly for carrying out the functions to achieve cooperation of the United Nations with regard to international economic, social cultural, educational and health to promote and encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedom without distinction of race or sex, language or religions. It consists of 54 member states elected by a two-thirds majority of the General Assembly.

The Council Has the Following Regional Economic Commissions

  • ECE (Economic Commission of Europe) with its H. Q. at Geneva.
  • ESCAP (Economic and Social Commission for Asia) with its H. Q. at Bangkok.
  • ECIA (Economic Commission for Latin America) with its H. Q. at Santiago (Chile) .
  • ECA (Economic Commission for Africa) with its H. Q. at Addis Ababa.
  • ECWA (Economic Commission for Western Asia) with its H. Q. at Baghdad.

International Court of Justice

  • It was created by an International Treaty, the Statue of the Court, which forms an integral part of the United Nations Charter. There are 15 Judges. President is Gilbert Guillaume (France) . The Court has its seat at The Hague. The expenses of the Court are borne by the U. N. The Purpose of the Inter-national Court of Justice is to adjust and settle international disputes in conformity with justice and international law. There is no appeal against the decision of the Court. The Judges of the Court are elected for nine years and may be re-elected.
  • Languages: French, English.

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