The United Nations came into being in 1945, following the devastation of the Second World War, with one central mission: the maintenance of international peace and security. The UN does this by working to prevent conﬂict; helping parties in conﬂict make peace; peacekeeping; and creating the conditions to allow peace to hold and ﬂourish. These activities often overlap and should reinforce one another, to be effective. The UN Security Council has the primary responsibility for international peace and security. The General Assembly and the Secretary-General play major, important, and complementary roles, along with other UN ofﬁces and bodies.
The work of the United Nations reaches every corner of the globe. Although best known for peacekeeping, peace building, conﬂict prevention and humanitarian assistance, there are many other ways the United Nations and its System (specialized agencies, funds and programs) affect our lives and make the world a better place. The Organization works on a broad range of fundamental issues, from sustainable development, environment and refugees protection, disaster relief, counter terrorism, disarmament and non-proliferation, to promoting democracy, human rights, gender equality and the advancement of women, governance, economic and social development and international health, clearing landmines, expanding food production, and more, in order to achieve its goals and coordinate efforts for a safer world for this and future generations.