The United Nations (UN) was created in 1945, at the end of World War II, as an international peacekeeping organization and a forum for resolving conflicts between nations. The UN replaced the League of Nations, which had failed to prevent the outbreak of the Second World War.
In the 1950s and 1960s, decolonization transformed the composition and functioning of the UN. During this time, dozens of newly independent countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East joined the United Nations and sought to redirect the energies of the organization toward easing the transition to independence.
As a result of the activism of states referred to during the Cold War as the “Third World,” the UN took on additional responsibilities for economic, political, and social development, and the monitoring and enforcement of fundamental human rights. Since the early 1990s the United Nations has increasingly focused its work on the issue of sustainable development.
Learn more about the UN and Sustainable Development and get more information on the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and how it relates to the work of our University.
17 Sustainable Development Goals
View the details of the Sustainability Goals