Posted by / Thursday 12 November 2020 / No comments

The benefits that member-states derive from their membership of the United Nations Organization

United Nations, Un, Vienna, Un City



The United Nations Organization (UNO) came into existence, officially, on the 24th of October, 1945. The main reason for its establishment  is to ensure the maintenance of peace and security in the world. Initially, 50 countries signed a charter, now called, United Nations Charter. Then, Poland, which was not at the meeting at the time, signed later to become the 51st nation to sign marking the beginning of the existence of the UNO.

Currently, there are 193 members, together with two others who do not have membership status but rather the status of observer nations. These are the state of Palestine and the Holy See (a jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome).

Why do states want to become or remain members of this august body? What is in it for them? Listed below are some of the benefits nations derive from their membership of the United Nations Organization and why it is on the wish list of the nations of the world.

Note, however, that the United Nations will not sit down unconcerned when conflict, famine or any natural calamity erupts in any part of the world because that nation does not belong to the body. They will find a way to help to bring the situation under control. For example, Palestine does not have an official membership in the UN but there will be an intervention from the body if any conflict erupts in that region.

Prevention of conflict

One of the major reasons for the establishment of the UN is to ensure the prevention of conflicts. The United Nations Charter, which was coming after the failure of the League of Nations to prevent the Secord World War, has a central role of conflict prevention. Though the role of the United Nations is conflict prevention does not usually appear in the frontpages of global newspapers, the organization has been effective in preventing many violent conflicts. Various tools are deployed in engaging local, national and international political actors to find peace before they escalate into conflicts.

The United Nations, through the Security Council has intervened to prevent conflicts from occurring. Where there is a threat to peace, and the Security Council gets wind of it, it first recommends that parties settle cases by peaceful means. Member-countries benefit from membership of the UN when mediation by the Security Council helps to avert armed conflict in their countries.

Peace keeping

In a situation where the Security Council, after trying its best, is unable to prevent the conflict from occurring, they are able to use UN Peace-keeping soldiers to restore peace and keep it from further escalating. The UN has been in Lebanon, Bosnia, Darfur, etc to restore and maintain peace. Member-states benefit from their membership of the UN in times of violent conflicts where both sides of the conflict refuse to see reason. 

Conflict resolution

Member-states of the United Nations benefit from their membership in the area of conflict resolution. This is able to prevent unnecessary conflicts on the world stage. A very recent case is the near conflict between Ghana and la Cote D’voire when the latter accused the former of exploring for oil in her territorial waters. This matter was taken to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) for redress. Membership of the UN therefore helps member-countries to resolve conflicts in peaceful ways and to avoid unnecessary wars.

Food aid to affected countries

The United Nations has provided food aid to countries experiencing food shortages. Another benefit of belonging to the world organization is that, during food shortages or severe famine, countries can count on the Food and Agricultural Organization and the World Food Programmes, all of the United Nations to distribute food aid to affected areas. The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) was established by the United Nations with the sole mandate of defeating hunger. A membership of the United Nations will ensure that the FAO intervein before countries slip into famine due to conflict and other economic, political or natural factors.

Health benefits through the World Health Organization (WHO)

Another way in which countries benefit from their membership of the UN is the global fight of the international body against diseases, epidemics and pandemics. A very recent fight is the fight against Coronavirus. The World Health Organization, which is an agency within the United Nations. It took a leading role, giving policy advise and direction to the entire world. Many countries received monetary assistance from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Even before the advent of Covid19, the UN has been in a prolong fight against malaria, which is devastating African countries mostly. It has also been instrumental in the fight against ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In 2019, for example, the UN, in conjunction with other Non-governmental Organizations, contained the spread of ebola in the North Kivu Province of DRC.

Promotion of human rights

Another benefit of the membership of the United Nations is the promotion and respect for human rights in member-countries. There are universal values such as the right to life, free speech, the right to engage in legitimate business etc which every member of the United Nations is enjoined to adhere to. Any violations of these values by member countries is frowned upon and some members could be sanctioned for breaches. So membership of the UN helps to promote the value for human rights in member countries.

Recognition of statehood

The United Nations Organization, does not have the power to confer statehood on a country. It does not also have the authority to recognize a state or a government. However, one of the ways of receiving recognition from other members of the comity of nations, is to become a member of the United Nations. One of the benefits of a membership of the United Nations is, therefore, to be recognized by other nations of the world.

Trial of war criminals

Countries which have experienced war, where citizens suffered atrocities in the hands of their leaders or other political players, have the opportunity of getting people involved in the atrocities tried as war criminals. This is also a benefit of a country belonging to the UN.

Such trials are able to bring closure to those who suffered during violent conflicts. The victims of war are able to talk about the horrible things they saw and experienced. Countries which belong to the United Nations ensure that those who are responsible for atrocities during armed conflicts are made to pay for their deeds. For example, the former Yugoslavia version of the International Criminal Tribunal brought people who were responsible for war crimes during the Balkans conflict to justice. Also, the former President of Liberia was tried by the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) for his alleged support for the activities of two rebel groups in Sierra Leone. The SCSL was established by the government of Sierra Leone and the Unted Nations Organization. 


Above are some of the reasons why the nations of the world wish to become members of the United Nations Organization, a prestigious club where the comity of nations gather, annually, to deliberate on the issues of the world.

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