Formation of UN
The 24th of October 1945 AD
Though the United Nations formally came into being on October 24 1945, its gestation had been relatively long. Even if we discount its roots in The League of Nations the seeding of the organisation can be dated from the 1942 Atlantic Charter signed by 26 Allied Powers, pledging their continued cooperation to defeat the Axis countries.
The League of Nations signally failed in its aim of avoiding a second global conflict. Amid the devastation of WWII ’s final stages it was all too easy to imagine the unresolved issues which would arise when that war ended sparking further slaughter. Thus in April 1945 representatives of 50 governments met in the calm surroundings of San Francisco to plot a future that would facilitate peaceful resolution of international disputes, building on proposals hammered out the previous year by The USA, USSR, China and the United Kingdom in another conference in the USA.
Britain provided the diplomat who served as acting Secretary General of the fledgling organisation – old Etonian Gladwyn Jebb, appointed in August 1945 and remaining in post until February 1946 when Norwegian Trygve Lie became the organisation’s first Secretary General proper. The UN Charter was signed in June 1945, but the UN only became a formally recognized legal entity when China, France, the USA, USSR and UK plus a majority of the other 45 members had ratified the agreement. This occurred on October 24 1945, celebrated as United Nations Day. Wars have not ceased; but ( Hiroshima and Nagasaki excluded) nuclear war has been avoided.
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