After World War I, an idea was formulated that had the diplomatic intentions of mediating governmental conflicts and keeping world peace. Unfortunately for many, that organization did not become an effective international tool, and the conflicts in the 1920s and 1930s resulted in the rise of fascism and, ultimately, World War II. At the heart of the League of Nations was the desire for an international conference, made up of all the nations of the world, that would help to buffer any disagreements and have the power to resolve tense situations and prevent war. There were many reasons that the League failed, among which the failure of the United States to join and support the organization has reigned supreme. Whatever the reason, however, the idea of the League and the organizational precedents it engendered, led to the formation of a new world conference system called the United Nations.1
This paper will provide an overview of the history and structure of the United Nations, elaborate on its functions and present day membership, and conclude with an analysis of its effectiveness and viability for future success or failure under the rubric of an international governmental system.
1 See Amry Vandenbosch and Williard N. Hogan, The United Nations: Background, Organization, Functions, Activities, (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1970), 704.
From almost the beginning of the Second World War, with the lessons learned from the failure of the League of Nations to establish any semblance of an enforceable international peace, most diplomats and politicians realized that a new international organization would be needed at the war's conclusion. Similarly, most had no intention of reviving the outmoded and ineffective League, and believed that a new organization, supported by all major powers and joined by every country in the world, would signal a new mindset and desire for peace and security throughout the socalled Global Village.2<...