Global Issues - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Australian Government
Skip to content

Travel

Portfolio websites

Site tools

 

unAustralia and the United Nations

History

The United Nations Charter was drawn up by the representatives of 50 countries at the United Nations Conference on International Organisation, which met in San Francisco from 25 April to 26 June 1945. Delegates deliberated on the basis of proposals worked out by the representatives of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States at Dumbarton Oaks from August to October, 1944. The Charter was signed on 26 June 1945 by the 50 founding members, and entered into force on 24 October 1945 following its ratification by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States (the "Permanent Five" members) plus a majority of other signatories.

Objectives

The primary objectives of the United Nations (UN), as laid down in its Charter, are to avoid the recurrence of violent conflicts, affirm fundamental human rights, guarantee respect for international law and improve living standards across the globe.

Membership

The UN is the only international forum in which all nations are entitled to representation and can participate in addressing international issues. Current membership stands at 192 states.

United Nations Security Council Sanctions

The United Nations was formed with a view to establishing a collective security system to deal with disputes by peaceful and legal means.  Under the United Nations Charter, the Security Council is the body charged with responsibility for maintaining global peace and security. The UN Charter provides for a flexible and graduated response to international peace and security issues. More...

The UN System

Brief description of the principal organs which comprise the United Nations.

Australia and the United Nations

Australia was a founding member of the United Nations and has been actively engaged in the organisation since 1945. For a country like Australia, the UN represents a means to influence events which directly affect our interests but over which we have little unilateral control. Our participation in the UN is focused on achieving practical, constructive and realistic outcomes for the betterment of both present and future Australians.

Other resources

More information on the UN's history and structure

Speeches and Statements delivered to the United Nations on behalf of Australia

See also the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Human Rights page

For further information on Australia's relations with the United Nations contact:
The Director, United Nations and Commonwealth Section
International Organisations Branch
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
+61-2-6261 1111

[More information about Australia and the UN]