Members of the United Nations

The world's largest diplomatic organization

The United Nations, founded in the aftermath of World War II, comprises an overwhelming majority of the world's nations. The organization was founded by representatives of 51 countries in 1945, and today counts 193 member states. The most recent state to join is South Sudan, which was recognized as an independent nation in 2011.

The main body of the U.N. is the general assembly, where representatives from all of the nations discuss matters of global importance. The general assembly can pass resolutions, or agreements between countries on certain policies or goals, but these aren't considered legally binding on the member states.

List of Member States

This table provides information about the member countries of the United Nations, including the date of admission

CountryJoined UN1
Afghanistan 1946
Albania 1955
Algeria 1962
Andorra 1993
Angola 1976
Antigua and Barbuda 1981
Argentina 1945
Armenia 1992
Australia 1945
Austria 1955
Azerbaijan 1992
Bahamas 1973
Bahrain 1971
Bangladesh 1974
Barbados 1966
Belarus 1945
Belgium 1945
Belize 1981
Benin 1960
Bhutan 1971
Bolivia 1945
Bosnia and Herzegovina 1992
Botswana 1966
Brazil 1945
Bulgaria 1955
Burkina Faso 1960
Burma (Myanmar) 1948
Burundi 1962
Cambodia 1955
Cameroon 1960
Canada 1945
Cape Verde 1975
Central African Republic 1960
Chad 1960
Chile 1945
Colombia 1945
Comoros 1975
Congo, Rep. of1960
Congo, Dem. Rep. of1960
Costa Rica 1945
Cte d'Ivoire 1960
Croatia 1992
Cuba 1945
Cyprus 1960
Czech Republic31993
Denmark 1945
Djibouti 1977
Dominica 1978
Dominican Republic 1945
East Timor42002
Ecuador 1945
Egypt 1945
El Salvador 1945
Equatorial Guinea 1968
Eritrea 1993
Estonia 1991
Ethiopia 1945
Fiji 1970
Finland 1955
France 1945
Gabon 1960
Gambia 1965
Georgia 1992
Germany 1973
Ghana 1957
Greece 1945
Grenada 1974
Guatemala 1945
Guinea 1958
Guinea-Bissau 1974
Guyana 1966
Haiti 1945
Honduras 1945
Hungary 1955
Iceland 1946
India 1945
Indonesia 1950
Iraq 1945
Ireland 1955
Israel 1949
Italy 1955
Jamaica 1962
Japan 1956
Jordan 1955
Kazakhstan 1992
Kenya 1963
Korea, North1991
Korea, South1991
Kuwait 1963
Kyrgyzstan 1992
Laos 1955
Latvia 1991
Lebanon 1945
Lesotho 1966
Liberia 1945
Liechtenstein 1990
Lithuania 1991
Luxembourg 1945
Madagascar 1960
Malawi 1964
Malaysia 1957
Maldives 1965
Mali 1960
Malta 1964
Marshall Islands 1991
Mauritania 1961
Mauritius 1968
Mexico 1945
Monaco 1993
Mongolia 1961
Montenegro4, 62006
Morocco 1956
Mozambique 1975
Namibia 1990
Nepal 1955
Netherlands 1945
New Zealand 1945
Nicaragua 1945
Niger 1960
Nigeria 1960
Norway 1945
Oman 1971
Pakistan 1947
Palau 1994
Panama 1945
Papua New Guinea 1975
Paraguay 1945
Peru 1945
Philippines 1945
Poland 1945
Portugal 1955
Qatar 1971
Romania 1955
Russia 1945
Rwanda 1962
St. Kitts and Nevis 1983
St. Lucia 1979
St. Vincent and the Grenadines 1980
Samoa 1976
San Marino 1992
So Tom and Prncipe 1975
Saudi Arabia 1945
Senegal 1960
Seychelles 1976
Sierra Leone 1961
Singapore 1965
Slovenia 1992
Solomon Islands 1978
Somalia 1960
South Africa 1945
South Sudan 2011
Spain 1955
Sri Lanka 1955
Sudan 1956
Suriname 1975
Swaziland 1968
Sweden 1946
Syria 1945
Tajikistan 1992
Thailand 1946
Togo 1960
Trinidad and Tobago 1962
Tunisia 1956
Turkey 1945
Turkmenistan 1992
Uganda 1962
Ukraine 1945
United Arab Emirates 1971
United Kingdom 1945
United States 1945
Uruguay 1945
Uzbekistan 1992
Vanuatu 1981
Venezuela 1945
Vietnam 1977
Zambia 1964
Zimbabwe 1980
1. The UN officially came into existence on Oct. 24, 1945.
2. On Oct. 25, 1971, the UN voted membership to the People's Republic of China, which replaced the Republic of China (Taiwan) in the world body.
3. Czechoslovakia was an original member of the United Nations from Oct. 24, 1945. As of Dec. 31, 1992, it ceased to exist and the Czech Republic and Slovakia as successor states were admitted Jan. 19, 1993.
4. Newest members.
5. The General Assembly on April 8, 1993, decided to admit the state provisionally being referred to as ?The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia? pending settlement of the difference that has arisen over its name.
6. The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was a charter member; after its dissolution, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was admitted Nov. 1, 2000. On Feb. 4, 2003, the name of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was changed to Serbia and Montenegro; in 2006, Serbia and Montenegro became separate countries.

The structure of the United Nations

The U.N. includes other parts (or organs). There are five that actively meet, including the General Assembly, and one that is mostly defunct.

The Secretariat is the actual administration of the U.N., led by the elected Secretary General. They handle U.N. operations aside from political decision making.

There is also the Economic and Social Council which oversees matters of economic and cultural significance. A lot of their work is advised or accomplished through Independent U.N. Agencies, like the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund. The Council itself is smaller than the General Assembly.

The Security Council is responsible for coordinating matters of global safety. The Security Council includes a rotating list of nations from each continent, as well as five permanent members. These five (The United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and China) were the main Allied nations in WWII, and they have retained their roles since then. The permanent members have a special power to veto resolutions. This is especially important as, unlike General Assembly resolutions, Security Council resolutions are usually legally binding. Violating them will result in being tried in court for breaking international law.

Which brings us to the last organ, the International Court of Justice. The ICJ, based in the Netherlands, is responsible for trying people who break international law. Most significantly, they try war criminals. Their rulings are considered binding before the eyes of the international community, despite being a supranational organization.

There is a sixth organ, the Trusteeship Council, but it no longer has a role. Trusteeship was a system where the U.N. organized territories that weren't self-governing, with a goal of establishing governments. They succeeded in this goal, and there are no longer any U.N. Trust territories. The council still exists, in case there were to be another trust in the future, but now they meet only as needed.

International Relations
International Relations
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