United Nations

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When thinking of international actors, states come to mind for many. However, international actors can be most simply defined as any person, organization, or territory that has any economic or political influence on international affairs. Many intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations are international actors. Founded in 1945, the United Nations is one of the best known of intergovernmental organizations and is most definitely an international actor.

The composition of the United Nations is quite simple. There are 185 member countries in the United Nations and, in the General Assembly, each member has one vote. The Security Council is made up of five permanent members (United States, Russia, France, United Kingdom, and China) and ten members that serve two-year terms. The Economic and Social Council is composed of 54 members, serving three-year terms, each with one vote. The Trusteeship Council has five members, each with one vote. Fifteen judges head the International Court of Justice, each serving a nine-year term. Finally, there are many associated agencies, including the World Heath Organization, the World Bank, and the Food and Agricultural Organization. For the most part, the United Nations is very democr

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