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United Nations

UN at 70: from aspiration to action

Timeline

World Events              UN Events

1945 February

Yalta Conference

April

US President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies, Vice President Harry Truman becomes President

 

April

The UN Conference on International Organization in San Francisco, United States begins. Representatives from 50 countries gather to write the UN Charter

May

V-E Day Russians march into Berlin; Germany surrenders, ending the war in Europe

June

Delegates in San Francisco sign the UN Charter. The International Court of Justice is founded

August

Potsdam Conference; Division of Germany; Austria into Allied occupied zones; Partition of Indochina; War-crimes against Germany; Communist government in Poland recognized

United States drops atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Soviet Union declares war on Japan

Japan surrenders, ending the war in the Pacific

Korea is divided into North and South at the 38th Parallel

Indonesia declares independence from the Netherlands

October

Blueprint for the United Nations: completion of the Dumbarton Oaks Conference with China, Great Britain, the USSR and the United States

Birth of the United Nations on 24 October

51 Countries join the United Nations on 24 October:Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippine Republic, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of South Africa, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yugoslavia

November

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is established

1946

Afghanistan, Iceland, Siam, Sweden join the United Nations

January

First meeting of the General Assembly and the Security Council in London with 51 nations

General Assembly adopts Resolution I(1) to set up an Atomic Energy Commission which is tasked with regulating the peaceful uses of atomic energy and with the elimination of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction

February

Norwegian Trygve Lie becomes first Secretary-General of the UN

April

Eleanor Roosevelt becomes first Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights

UN negotiates departure of French and British forces from Syria and Lebanon

International Refugee Organisation (IRO) is founded, taking over from UN Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA)

July

Formation of the Commission on the Status of Women

July

Chinese Civil War between Kuomintang and Communist forces recommences following defeat of Japanese

Philippines becomes independent from the United States

December

Start of the first Indochina War, to expel French forces from Vietnam

December

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) founded to provide emergency food and healthcare to children affected by WWII

1947

Pakistan and Yemen join the United Nations

May

First case is submitted to the International Court of Justice in the Hague about the Corfu Channel (United Kingdom v. Albania)

August

India and Pakistan become independent

October

First Indo-Pakistani war (over Jammu Kashmir border) begins

November

General Assembly adopts Resolution 181(II), partitioning Palestine, creating independent Arab and Jewish States and a Special International Regime for Jerusalem

1948

Burma joins the United Nations

January

Mahatma Gandhi is assassinated

April

Marshall Plan begins

April

World Health Organisation (WHO) is established

May

First UN peacekeeping mission (UNTSO) is established

May

British Mandate for Palestine ends

Israel declares its independence

First Arab-Israeli War begins

June

USSR blockades air and water transport to and from Berlin

Berlin Airlift begins

July

President Truman ends segregation in US Armed Forces by Executive Order

September

Ground-breaking ceremony for UN headquarters in New York City

Folke Bernadotte, UN mediator for Palestine, is assassinated in Cyprus

December

General Assembly recognizes South Korea

General Assembly adopts the International Convention Against Genocide

General Assembly unanimously adopts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

1949

Israel joins the UN

January

UN negotiates ceasefire between India and Pakistan, ending the First Indo – Pakistani War

UN envoy Ralph Bunche secures a ceasefire between Israel and Arab States

UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) peacekeeping mission begins, to supervise the ceasefire between India and Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir

March

UN negotiated cease-fire which ends the first Arab-Israeli War

May

Berlin Blockade ends

July

South Africa passes Prohibition of Mixed-Marriages Act prohibiting interracial marriage

August

USSR successfully tests an atomic bomb

October

Chinese Civil War ends with communist victory and the establishment of the People's Republic of China

October

Cornerstone laying ceremony for UN Headquarters

October

Division of Germany becomes permanent with the adoption of the First Constitution of the German Democratic Republic (GDR)

1950

Indonesia joins the UN

May

UN Relief and Works Administration (UNRWA) begins in the Middle East to provide relief to Palestinian refugees from Israel

June

Population Registration Act enacted in South Africa, requiring each inhabitant of South Africa to be classified and registered in accordance with their racial characteristics (black, white or coloured e.g. South Asians)

Group Areas Act restricting non-whites from living in white only urban areas is passed in South Africa

June

UN troops arrive in South Korea

June

North Korean forces, supported by China and USSR, invade South Korea

June

UN Security Council calls on Member States to help repel the North Korean invasion of the South. United Nations Commission for the Unification and Rehabilitation of Korea (UNCURK) established.

December

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is founded

1951 January

12 Nations sign the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees

February

General Assembly resolution reaffirms the UN's commitment to stopping the spread of communism on the Korean peninsula and establishes a Good Offices Committee to advise the president of the General Assembly on the possible peaceful cessation of hostilities in Korea.

September

Peace Treaty with Japan in San Francisco between Japan and Allied Powers

October

First United Nations stamps issued in US dollars denominations on UN day

December

Marshall plan expires after distributing more than $13.3 billion US to rebuild Europe

Libya gains independence from Italy

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