noun (functioning as singular or plural)
1942, "the Allied nations at war with the Axis powers;" the international body (officially the United Nations Organization) was chartered in 1945.
Such negotiation as may occur in New York is not conducted within the walls of the tall building by the East River: it is carried out elsewhere, in accordance with those principles of courtesy, confidence and discretion which must for ever remain the only principles conducive to the peaceful settlement of disputes. [Harold Nicholson, "The Evolution of Diplomatic Method," 1954]
An organization that includes virtually all countries in the world, with nearly 190 member nations. Its General Assembly, in which each member nation has one vote, guides policies and finances generally. Another important division of the United Nations is the Security Council, in which five powerful nations have a majority; the Security Council is charged with solving crises and keeping peace. The United Nations also includes an Economic and Social Council; a Secretariat, or administrative division; and the International Court of Justice, or World Court. It also is allied with several agencies that operate independently, such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Bank, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).