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Not so well known . . .

Most of us have heard about United Nations peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance. But the many other ways the UN affects all our lives are not always so well known. This booklet takes a look at the United Nations — how it is set up and what it does — to illustrate how it works to make the world a better place for all people.

UN Headquarters in New York where 191 countries meet to achieve consensus on solving global problems The United Nations is central to global efforts to solve problems that challenge humanity. Cooperating in this effort are more than 30 affiliated organizations, known together as the UN system. Day in and day out, the UN and its family of organizations work to promote respect for human rights, protect the environment, fight disease and reduce poverty. UN agencies define the standards for safe and efficient air travel and help improve telecommunications and enhance consumer protection. The United Nations leads the international campaigns against drug trafficking and terrorism. Throughout the world, the UN and its agencies assist refugees, set up programmes to clear landmines, help expand food production and lead the fight against AIDS.

In September 2005, the members of the UN will meet in New York both to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the world body, and to take decisions aimed at implementing the collective vision expressed in the Millennium Declaration of September 2000. At that time, Member States, represented at the highest level — including 147 Heads of State and Government — set out measurable goals in every area of UN endeavour. Now, the international community meets again at a second high-level summit to ensure that those goals are attained. To that end, the Secretary-General has presented a set of recommendations for change, aimed at achieving the possible. “In Larger Freedom” calls for specific action in the areas of development, security and human rights — and in recrafting international institutions, including the UN, to more effectively pursue those priorities.
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