What is the purpose of the UN?

General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
The United Nations wrote the following in a page titled "Overview" on www.un.org (accessed Aug. 19, 2009):

"The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights. Due to its unique international character, and the powers vested in its founding Charter, the Organization can take action on a wide range of issues, and provide a forum for its 192 Member States to express their views, through the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council and other bodies and committees.

The work of the United Nations reaches every corner of the globe. Although best known for peacekeeping, peacebuilding, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance, there are many other ways the United Nations and its System (specialized agencies, funds and programmes) affect our lives and make the world a better place. The Organization works on a broad range of fundamental issues, from sustainable development, environment and refugees protection, disaster relief, counter terrorism, disarmament and non-proliferation, to promoting democracy, human rights, governance, economic and social development and international health, clearing landmines, expanding food production, and more, in order to achieve its goals and coordinate efforts for a safer world for this and future generations."

Aug. 19, 2009 - United Nations (UN) 

Mohammed al-Douri, PhD, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Iraq to the United Nations at the time of the quote, stated in an Oct. 17, 2002 New York Times Op-Ed titled "Iraq States its Case":

"The United Nations was created in 1945 to provide a forum for nations in conflict to come together to work out their disagreements. It was designed expressly for the purpose of making the use of force an absolute last resort."

Oct. 17, 2002 - Mohammed al-Douri, PhD 

George W. Bush, MBA, 43rd US President, stated the following at a United Nations General Assembly meeting on Sep. 12, 2002:

"The United Nations was born in the hope that survived a world war -- the hope of a world moving toward justice, escaping old patterns of conflict and fear. The founding members resolved that the peace of the world must never again be destroyed by the will and wickedness of any man. We created the United Nations Security Council, so that, unlike the League of Nations, our deliberation would be more than talk, our resolutions would be more than wishes. After generations of deceitful dictators and broken treaties and squandered lives, we dedicated ourselves to standards of human dignity shared by all, and to a system of security defended by all."

Sep. 12, 2002 - George W. Bush, MBA 

C. David Welch, MA, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs at the time of the quote, wrote in an article titled "The United Nations: An Arena For International Leadership" in the Mar. 2000 issue of US Foreign Policy Agenda:

"The U.N. Charter was drawn up in San Francisco in 1945, and the U.N. has had its headquarters in New York City for more than 50 years on land donated to the U.N. by the Rockefeller family. U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt is credited with coining the term 'United Nations.'

The central purposes for which the U.N. was established -- to maintain international peace and security; to foster cooperation in solving international economic, social, cultural, and humanitarian problems; to promote respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; to develop friendly relations among nations; and to be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations in attaining common goals -- are as important today as they were in the closing days of World War II."

Mar. 2000 - C. David Welch 

Stephen Schlesinger, JD, Adjunct Fellow at the Century Foundation, stated in a Sep. 24, 2003 Los Angeles Times article titled "More than Ever, We Need the U.N.":

"The U.N. and its labors have become the background noise of our global age. It is truly ubiquitous. It has overseen 40 years of decolonization around the planet; sent peacekeepers to places like Cambodia, Cyprus and Sinai; helped end apartheid in South Africa via sanctions. The United Nations' World Health Organization was critical in eradicating smallpox and is on the verge of stamping out polio; its World Food Program feeds hungry people in Africa; its U.N. Development Program sends more multilateral aid dollars abroad than any nation.

People forget that before the U.N.'s founding, there was no truly functioning international organization (except for the creaky, faultering League of Nations). This meant for many decades there was no place for nations to go in global crisis."

Sep. 24, 2003 - Stephen Schlesinger, JD