Thursday, October 24, is United Nations Day.
In 1971, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a further resolution (United Nations Resolution 2782) declaring that United Nations Day shall be an international observance or international holiday and recommended that it should be observed as a public holiday by United Nations member states.
I think it's a good idea, but I don't believe that many nations actually use the day as a holiday.
Like NATO, the United Nations has been an important tool to achieve world peace. Trump, naturally, is trying to diminish both of them.
The United Nations member states are the 193 sovereign states that are members of the United Nations (UN) and have equal representation in the UN General Assembly. The UN is the world's largest intergovernmental organization. In addition to the member states, the UN also invites non-member states to become observers at the UN General Assembly (currently two: the Holy See and Palestine), allowing them to participate and speak in General Assembly meetings, but not vote. Observers are generally intergovernmental organizations and international organizations and entities whose statehood or sovereignty is not precisely defined.
There have been surprisingly few changes since 1945, and virtually every country in the world, with very few exceptions, is a member.
Not included in this total count of 195 countries are:
- Taiwan - the United Nations considers it represented by the People's Republic of China
- The Cook Islands and Niue, both states in free association with New Zealand which are members of several UN specialized agencies and have been recognized "full treaty-making capacity", but are neither member states nor non-member observer states.
- Dependencies (or dependent territories, dependent areas, dependencies) and Areas of Special Sovereignty (autonomous territories)
- Other countries recognized by the United Nations as not being self-governing
The one glaring exception to the list shown above is Russia.
The Russia–NATO Council was established in 2002 for handling security issues and joint projects. Cooperation between Russia and NATO now develops in several main sectors, including: fighting terrorism, military cooperation, cooperation on Afghanistan (including transportation by Russia of non-military International Security Assistance Force freight (see NATO logistics in the Afghan War), and fighting the local drug production), industrial cooperation, and weapons non-proliferation
On 1 April 2014, NATO unanimously decided to suspend co-operation with the Russian Federation, in response to the Ukraine crisis. On 18 February 2017, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov said he supports the resumption of military cooperation with the NATO alliance. In late March 2017, the Council met in advance of a NATO Foreign Ministers conference in Brussels, Belgium
Further complicating the status of Russia is the fact that it is one of the 5 permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.
Russia's membership on the Security Council has created some interesting speeches over the years. Here is one from 1959:
This picture was likely taken after Eisenhower told him that he would not be allowed to visit Disneyland. Government authorities feared that the crowds would pose a safety hazard for the premier, but Kruschev was not convinced. He left Los Angeles the next day, but continued the rest of his visit in America without incident.