The United Nations is an international organization created on 24 October 1945 by 51 states to promote peace through international cooperation. Today, there are 192 member states in the United Nations. The objects of the UN Charter are to preserve international peace and security, develop friendly relations between states, and cooperate to find a solution to international conflicts.
The Organization is composed of six main organs: the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council and the Secretariat with headquarters in New York, and the International Court of Justice with headquarters in the Hague.
In 1993, Andorra became a member of the UN and since then takes an active part in it. In 1997, Andorra took on the vice-presidency of the General Assembly, and the Permanent Mission of Andorra before the United Nations in New York was responsible for the archives of the Western European and Others Group (WEOG). From 2001 to 2003, Andorra was a member of the Economic and Social Council, and will soon be a member of the Commission for Social Development.
Andorra has signed international agreements relating to human rights (Convention on the Rights of the Child, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, etc.), disarmament, terrorism, etc.
Every year, Andorra contributes towards peace-keeping operations, and provides voluntary contributions to different funds and programmes of the United Nations within the field of cooperation for development.
The specialized agencies of the United Nations
The UNESCO (United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization), was created in 1945 and has its headquarters in Paris. The object of this specialized UN agency is to promote peace in the spirits of men through science, education, culture and communication. The directive organs of the UNESCO are the General Conference, which brings together the 192 member states every two years and sets the organization’s programme and budget, and the Executive Council, made up of 58 member states, which prepares the General Conference and follows up execution of its decisions.
In 1993, Andorra became a member of UNESCO, from which it works actively in the field of world heritage. The World Heritage Committee of UNESCO inscribed the Valley of Madriu-Perafita-Claror on the list of UNESCO world heritage sites as a cultural landscape in July 2004. In the field of higher education, the University of Andorra and the UNESCO will soon sign an agreement relating to the creation of a network of exchanges between teachers, students and professionals of small European states and developing countries in the field of new technology within the framework of the UNESCO Professorships programme.
The ITU (International Telecommunications Union), with headquarters in Geneva, became a specialized agency of the United Nations in 1947. The object of the ITU is to pursue common policies in the field of telecommunications. In 1993, Andorra became a member of the ITU. The Andorran Telecommunications Service (STA) takes part in the international conferences of the ITU.
The WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), with headquarters in Geneva, was created in 1967 and became a specialized agency of the United Nations in 1974. Its object is to promote the protection of intellectual property around the world.
In 1994, Andorra became a member of WIPO. The OMPA (Trademark Office of the Principality of Andorra) takes part in WIPO activities.
The WHO (World Health Organization) was created in 1948 and its object is to enable all people to enjoy a high standard of health.Andorra became a member of the WHO in 1996, and the active role of the Ministry for Health and Social Welfare in this organization’s activities is notable.
The UNWTO (UN World Tourism Organization) is the main international body in the field of tourism and has the fundamental objective of promoting and developing tourism in order to aid economic development, international understanding, peace, prosperity and universal respect. On 23 December 2003, the UNWTO became a specialized agency in the United Nations.
Andorra has been a member of the UNWTO since 1996.
In 2004, the Andorran Government and the UNWTO signed an agreement relating to setting up the Office of the World Tourism Organization in the Principality of Andorra, specialized in the development of human resources. On the basis of this agreement, Andorra is the headquarters of this office.