At the end of World War Two, 51 countries came together and signed the United Nations Charter in the U.S. city of San Francisco, founding the United Nations on Oct. 24, 1945.

In the ensuing 70 years, another 142 independent nations joined the unique organization, for a total of 193 member states, with the goal of working together to promote world peace and human rights.

The global body, which has had only eight secretaries-general over the years, has six main organs and diverse agencies that work to fight poverty, combat climate change, and promote education, stamp out disease, assist refugees and much more.

Reflecting the UN’s truly global character, the organization operates in six official languages, including Mandarin, Arabic, Spanish, French, English and Russian.

In 2015, under the banner “Strong UN. Better World,” the organization will mark its 70th anniversary with a series of events, from concerts and conferences to sporting events, art exhibits and film screenings in various parts of the world.

China, which is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, was one of the first countries to sign and ratify the charter in 1945, and has maintained its commitment to the organization and the international community throughout the years.

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