On 24th October 1945, the United Nations was formed, determined to to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom. And now, here are ten slightly interesting facts about the beloved United Nations, today, celebrating its’ 70th Birthday.
1. Who Pays for the United Nations?
Member states pay for the UN based on their ability to pay. For example, the US pays for 22% of the UN, and 27% of the peacekeeping budget. France and the UK pay 6% each and Liberia pays the minimum rate of 0.001% of the UN Budget.
2. How big (tiny) is the entire UN Peacekeeping force?
UN Peacekeeping is made up of 116,919 total field personnel which is roughly the size of the entire military in Ethiopia (138,000).
3. UN Logo originally designed as a lapel pin:
It is widely known that the original logo of the United Nations was designed so that all of the countries could be visible in one circle; however, the original design was intended primarily for use on lapel pins of delegates.
4. The United Nations Postal Administration:
The UN has its’ very own post office and postage stamp. Parcels and letters can be actually by using the official stamp from any UN building in either New York, Geneva or Vienna.
5. Land for the United Nations:
The land and the building of the United Nations Headquarters in New York are considered international territory. None of the building specifications or designs meet New York City’s fire safety or building codes.
6. Indonesia and its’ resignation:
There is only one country that has ever resigned from the UN. Indonesia withdrew membership in 1956, and returned to the organisation 10 years later in 1966.
7. Time for a nap:
At the United Nations Security Council on the 23rd of January 1957, India’s Krishna Menon delivered the longest speech in UN history, lasting over eight hours, Menon collapsed halfway through from exhaustion and returned later to finish the speech while doctors monitored his blood pressure.
8. Muammar Gaddafi:
After 40 years in power, the crazed former Libyan leader spoke at the UN back in 2009, complete with a mixture of fist slamming, paper shuffling, voice raising, excessive water consumption, and general inept behaviour. The dictator spoke for nearly 2 hours, listing countless conspiracy theories about the US developing swine flu and questioning the assassination of Kennedy. After likening the UN Security Council to al-Qaeda, the leader shouted some more, threw some papers, raised his fists and stormed off. Weird…
9. Permanent Representatives to the UN and their parking tickets:
After 40 years in power, Due to the principles of extraterritoriality and diplomatic immunity, a nigh number of representatives of member states to the United Nations have often refuse to pay the parking fines of New York City, especially during September each year for the General Assembly debates. Top 5 countries with over 100 parking tickets include: Kuwait, Egypt, Chad, Sudan and Bulgaria.
10. “United Nations” born in a bathtub
The name “United Nations” was proposed by US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Winston Churchill back in 1942. Churchill was in Washington, D.C. then – in fact, he was sitting in a bathtub when FDR was wheeled into the bathroom and proposed that the Allies of World War II be called the United Nations.