Most of us have heard about United Nations peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance. But the many other ways the UN affects all our lives are not always so well known. This booklet takes a look at the United Nations - how it is set up and what it does - to illustrate how this organization works to make the world a better place for all people.
The United Nations is central to global efforts to solve problems which challenge humanity. Cooperating in this effort are more than 30 affiliated organizations, known together as the UN system. Day in and day out, the UN and its family of organizations work to promote respect for human rights, protect the environment, fight disease, foster development and reduce poverty. UN agencies define the standards for safe and efficient transport by air and sea, help improve telecommunications and enhance consumer protection, work to ensure respect for intellectual property rights and coordinate allocation of radio frequencies. The United Nations leads the international campaigns against drug trafficking and terrorism. Throughout the world, the UN and its agencies assist refugees and set up programmes to clear landmines, help improve the quality of drinking water and expand food production, make loans to developing countries and help stabilize financial markets.