Following the end of World War II in 1945, 51 countries—including the United States—came together to form the United Nations, an international organization tasked with maintaining international peace and security, promoting social progress, and supporting universal human rights.
“America has everything to gain and nothing to lose by giving its support; everything to lose and nothing to gain by declining this continued fraternity with the United Nations in behalf of the dearest dream of humankind.” – U.S. Senator Arthur Vandenberg, 1945
Seventy-two years later, the UN has grown to encompass 193 member states, and its work touches on a wide array of issues critical to humanity: from conflict prevention and peacekeeping, to sustainable development and environmental protection, to humanitarian assistance, refugee protection, nuclear non-proliferation, gender equality, and promoting good governance.
The UN’s work in these and many other areas has directly advanced U.S. values and interests around the world. Want to test your knowledge on the UN?
Highlighted below are some success stories spanning the UN’s last seven decades: