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2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the creation of the United Nations in 1945. Since its inception at the end of the Second World War, the United Nations has become a wide-ranging transnational organisation with a number of key decision making forums and subsidiary bodies. There are six main organs of the UN: the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, the International Court of Justice, and the UN Secretariat. This Note provides a general overview of the work of these bodies, as well as a more in depth look at the General Assembly, the Security Council and the International Court of Justice.

This Note also examines a selection of the funds, programmes, specialised agencies and other subsidiary bodies, known collectively as the ‘UN family’. In particular, the paper focuses on the International Monetary Fund; the World Bank Group; the World Health Organisation; and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

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