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The United Nations

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The United Nations

All over the world, soldiers in the UN's blue helmets or hats have risked their lives trying to stop wars. In 1988 they received one of the worlds highest honors, the Nobel Peace Prize. Canadians were proud, because their soldiers and aircrew had shared in almost every UN peacekeeping mission since 1948.

The United Nations is an international organization that consists of

184 nations. They have joined together to prevent war, promote peace security and social progress, and also to develop friendly relations among nations around the world.

The UN has many different agencies and programs. One of the most important is UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) because they help in the fight against child starvation and malnutrition. This is important because one in three deaths in the world is the death of a child under the age of five.

UNICEF was created by the United Nations General Assembly in 1946 to help children. After World War II in Europe, UNICEF was first known as the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund. In 1953, UNICEF became a permanent part of the United Nations. Its task is to help children living in poverty in developing countries. Its name was shortened to the United Nations Children's Fund, but it kept the name "UNICEF," by which it is known to this day.

UNICEF helps children get the care they need in the early years of life and helps families to educate girls and boys. It try's to reduce childhood death and illness and to protect children in the middle of war or a natural disaster. UNICEF supports young people, wherever they are, in making decisions about their own lives, and try's to build a world in which all children live with dignity and security.

UNICEF's main body of 36 nations, representing all regions of the world, establishes policies, reviews programs and approves budgets for the organization. Headquartered in New York, UNICEF carries out its work through seven regional offices and 126 country offices covering more than 160 countries.

The 37 National Committees for UNICEF are private, not-profit organizations, mostly in developed countries, that support UNICEF programs. Large networks of volunteers help the Committees raise funds, sell the well-known UNICEF greeting cards and carry out other activities, such as the "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF" program. These efforts help generate a deeper understanding of the rights and needs of children everywhere and provide ways for young people as well as adults to change the world for children.

The UNICEF mission statement:

"UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children's rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. UNICEF is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and strives to establish children's rights as enduring ethical principles and international standards of behavior towards children.

UNICEF insists that the survival, protection and development of children are universal development imperatives that are integral to human progress.

UNICEF mobilizes political will and material resources to help countries, particularly developing countries, ensure a "first call for children" and to build their capacity to form appropriate policies and deliver services for children and their families.

UNICEF is committed to ensuring special protection for the most disadvantaged children - victims of war, disasters, extreme poverty, all forms of violence and exploitation and those with disabilities.

UNICEF responds in emergencies to protect the rights of children. In coordination with United Nations partners and humanitarian agencies, UNICEF makes its unique facilities for rapid response available to its partners to relieve the suffering of children and those who provide their care.

UNICEF is non-partisan and its cooperation is free of discrimination. In everything it does, the most disadvantaged children and the countries in greatest need have priority.

UNICEF aims, through its country programs, to promote the equal rights of women and girls and to support their full participation in the political, social, and economic development of their communities.

UNICEF works with all its partners towards the attainment of the sustainable human development goals adopted by the world community and the realization of the vision of peace and social progress enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations."

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was drafted by the UN Commission on Human Rights in 1947 and 1948. The Declaration was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948.

Among other human rights, this declaration has certain human rights that are of special interest. They are the rights to security of a person, to freedom from torture and other cruel and unusual treatment, and to privacy. Mothers and children have a right to special protection.

"Universal Declaration of Human Rights

PREAMBLE

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in cooperation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

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