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From Empire to Nationhood

United Nations

UN humanitarian reliefUN humanitarian reliefTotal war compelled the Allies to set aside their differences temporarily in order to bring a speedy end to hostilities.

This cooperation included plans for a replacement to the League of Nations that would help guarantee future world security.

Representatives of 50 countries signed the UN Charter in San Francisco in June 1945 - the fruit of years of careful diplomacy.

UN charterUN charterThe event reflected the determination of the international community to 'save succeeding generations from the scourge of war', affirm 'fundamental human rights' and to promote 'economic and social advancement'.

The new treaty organisation also sought to avoid the conspicuous mistakes of the League of Nations, not least by placing the armed forces of member states at the disposal of the UN in the settlement of international disputes.

The principle of national self-determination was enshrined in the UN Charter and decolonisation facilitated through the Trusteeship Council that helped support dozens of newly independent nations or those in transition from colonial rule.

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