United Nations              United Nations logo

Historical Context   

The United Nations was established in 1945 by nations committed to preserving peace through international cooperation and collective security. Nations agree to accept the obligations and purposes of the United Nations Charter, including: maintenance of international peace and security; development of relations among nations; cooperation in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights; and to be the center of harmonizing actions of member nations.  The United Nations has six main organs: the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, the Secretariat, and the International Court of Justice. Additionally, the United Nations has specialized agencies and programs (e.g., International Monetary Fund, World Bank, U.N. Children’s Fund, World Health Organization) to support its vision.


Nations often seek assistance from the United Nations. Assume that you are a representative from a specific nation or region and your task is to write a proposal to the United Nations for assistance. For the purpose of this particular assignment, you may suspend from chronology and assume the United Nations was always in existence throughout global history. The topics and discussion may span from ninth grade through tenth grade material and content.

Write a proposal that includes:

Required Sources

Project Overview and Requirements

First, select your group composition (individual, 2 in a group, or 3 in a group) and the topic that interests you.  Please wait until you have received final teacher approval to continue on with the research process. There will be no duplication of topics–first come, first serve basis.

Second, create some guiding ques"ions, brainstorm, do some "preliminary” research, and formulate working proposal strategies and focus for the topic you have selected.  Continue your research focusing on your working proposal.

Finally, you will be working in the media center for two class periods on your topic proposal. The remainder of your research project will be independent work outside of class. Your group is responsible for all the requirements for this project. Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact the teacher. 

You will be assessed on the format and process of the project as well as the historical analysis and innovation of your chosen topic proposal. 

Process and Miscellaneous Information

Part 1

Member States Flags and Dates of Admission

Nation Flag Admission Date to U.N.

Part 2

Correspondence to One Permanent Mission

Write a letter to ONE of your nation’s permanent missions to the U.N., requesting general information about the member state.

Once you have received a response, please submit (a) the letter you mailed and (b) the response and information for credit. 

Your address could either be (a) home or (b) school - Shaker High School, 445 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, New York 12110 Attn:  Mr. Daniel Weaver, Social Studies Department.  Be sure your name is included.

Part 3

Correspondence to One Non-Member Permanent Mission

Write a letter to ONE of the following missions, entities or intergovernmental organizations to the U.N., requesting general information about the work with the U.N.

Holy See

Permanent Observer of Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations

25 East 39th Street, New York, NY 10016-0903

Telephone: (212) 370-7885, Telefax: (212) 370-9622



Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations

115 East 65th Street, New York, NY 10021

Telephone: (212) 288-8500, Telefax: (212) 517-2377


African Union

Office of the Permanent Observer for the African Union to the United Nations

346 East 50th Street, New York, NY 10022

Telephone: (212) 319-5490, Telefax: (212) 319-7135/6509

efax: (212) 758-2718


European Community

Delegation of the European Commission to the United Nations

3 Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, 12th Floor, 305 East 47th Street, New York, NY 10017

Telephone: (212) 371-3804, Tel


League of Arab States

Office of the Permanent Observer for the League of Arab States to the United Nations

747 Third Avenue, 35th Floor, New York, NY 10017

Telephone: (212) 838-8700, Telefax: (212) 355-3909


Organization of the Islamic Conference

Office of the Permanent Observer for the Organization of the Islamic Conference to the United Nations

130 East 40th Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10016

Telephone: (212) 883-0140, Telefax: (212) 883-0143


International Committee of the Red Cross

Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross to the United Nations

801 Second Avenue, 18th Floor, New York, NY 10017-4706

Telephone: (212) 599-6021, Telefax: (212) 599-6009


Part 4

Member States

1. How many original member states maintained membership in the U.N. in 1945? ______

2. What were the two most recent member states who joined and in what year did they become part of the U.N.?

a.  ______________                    Year:  ________

b.  ______________                    Year:  ________

 3. What member state was admitted to the U.N. in 1949?


4. What member state was admitted to the U.N. in 1994?


5. What member states were admitted to the U.N. in 1963?

a.  _______________

            b.   _______________

6. Who is the present Secretary –General of the U.N.?

           ___________________from ____________________

7. Who is the current President of the U.N. General Assembly (59th Session)?

            ___________________ from ___________________

8. Identify the six principal organs (governing bodies) of the United Nations:

              a.         ___________

            b.         ___________

            c.         ___________

            d.         ___________

            e.         ___________

            f.          ___________

Of the six, which one suspended its operation in 1994

9. Where is the International Court of Justice, the principal judicial body of the U.N., located?

10. a. Who coined the term “the United Nations”?  

       b.  What former first lady was instrumental in the passage of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

2008 NYSED