This year, the ICSB World Conference has the great honor of hosting its first day at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York City. How much do you know about the UN? Check out a few fast facts.

United Nations: In the Beginning

In 1941, representatives from 14 countries and exiled governments met in London for a conference that began planning for a new world organization. Then-U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt suggested that the organization be called the “United Nations.” The Declaration of United Nations was drafted in 1942. The UN charter was drafted in 1945 and was ratified by 51 countries between August and December of that year.

First Resolution

The UN adopted its first resolution in January of 1946, in the wake of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The resolution called for the elimination of atomic and other weapons of mass destruction, as well as the peaceful use of atomic power.

The United Nations has subsequently issued many more resolutions. The Security Council alone has issued almost 2,300 since its inception.

Eight Secretaries-General

The United Nations is led by a Secretary-General, who functions as both an administrator and a spokesperson for the body. Just eight men have held that position:

  • Trygve Lie (Norway) from 1946-1952
  • Dag Hammarskj√∂ld (Sweden) from 1953-1961
  • U Thant (Myanmar) from 1961-1971
  • Kurt Waldheim (Austria) from 1972-1981
  • Javier Perez de Cuellar from 1982-1991
  • Boutros Boutros-Ghali (Egypt) from 1992-1996
  • Kofi A. Annan (Ghana) from 1997-2006
  • Ban Ki-Moon (Korea) from 2007-present

UN Headquarters in South Dakota?

New York City wasn’t the immediate choice for the location of the UN headquarters building. Other sites under consideration included the Black Hills in South Dakota and Navy Island in upstate New York, near Ontario, Canada. Instead, U.S. philanthropist John D. Rockefeller donated money to purchase the site where the UN headquarters were built, on the East River in New York City. The headquarters building was opened in January of 1951 and completed in October of 1952.

Six Official Languages

While most day-to-day business is conducted in English and French, statements made by delegates are simultaneously translated into each of the six official languages of the United Nations. They are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.

ICSB 2016 at the UN

ICSB 2016 invites you to join us at the UN and at our subsequent sessions and events at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. Register today to secure your seat at the conference.