United Nations member states

United Nations member states

This article lists the member states of the United Nations (UN). There are currently 192 UN member states, and each of them is a member of the United Nations General Assembly. [ [http://www.un.org/members/list.shtml United Nations Member States] . United Nations.]

According to the United Nations Charter, Chapter 2, Article 4: [cite web|url=http://www.un.org/aboutun/charter/chapter2.htm|title=Charter of the United Nations, Chapter 2|publisher=United Nations] Quote
# Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations.
# The admission of any such state to membership in the United Nations will be effected by a decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.

In principle, only sovereign states can become UN members, and today all UN members are fully sovereign states. However, four of the original members (Belarus, India, the Philippines, and Ukraine) were not independent at the time of their admission. Moreover, because a state can only be admitted by the approval of the Security Council and the General Assembly, some entities which may be considered sovereign states according to the Montevideo Convention are not members due to the fact that the UN do not consider them to be sovereign states, the lack of international recognition or opposition from certain members.

International organizations, non-governmental organizations, and entities whose statehood or sovereignty are not precisely defined, can only become United Nations General Assembly observers by invitation, allowing them to speak, but not vote, in General Assembly meetings.

Current members

The member states are listed below with their respective dates of admission. There were 51 original members of the UN which were admitted in 1945, of which 49 are either still UN members or have their seats continued by a successor state (e.g., the USSR's seat has been continued by Russia). The other two original members were Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, as both had dissolved and their seats were not continued by any state (see ' and ' respectively). For China's seat in the UN, the Republic of China was replaced by the People's Republic of China on 25 October 1971, even though the governments of both have existed well before and after this date (see "Seat of China").

The names used below are the official names of the member states used by the UN; however, the list is sorted by the common names of the member states for ease of navigation. To sort the member states by their official names used by the UN or their dates of admissions, click on the buttons in the column headers.

:"Background color" "indicates original members"

Former members


Czechoslovakia joined the UN as an original member on 24 October 1945. On 10 December 1992, Czechoslovakia informed the United Nations Secretary-General that it would cease to exist after 31 December 1992, and that both its successor states, the "Czech Republic" and "Slovakia", would apply for UN membership. They were admitted on 19 January 1993.

East Germany and West Germany

Both the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) and the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) were admitted on 18 September 1973. "Germany" was reunified when the German Democratic Republic acceded to the Federal Republic of Germany on 3 October 1990.

North Yemen and South Yemen

Yemen (North Yemen) was admitted on 30 September 1947, and Democratic Yemen (South Yemen) was originally admitted as Southern Yemen on 14 December 1967, before changing its name in 1970. "Yemen" was unified when the Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen) and the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (South Yemen) merged to form the Republic of Yemen on 22 May 1990.

Tanganyika and Zanzibar

Tanganyika was admitted on 14 December 1961, and Zanzibar was admitted on 16 December 1963. Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar on 26 April 1964, which later changed its name to the "United Republic of Tanzania" on 1 November 1964.

United Arab Republic

Both "Egypt" and "Syria" joined the UN as original members on 24 October 1945. The United Arab Republic was formed by a union of Egypt and Syria following a plebiscite on 21 February 1958, and continued as a single member in the UN until 13 October 1961, when Syria, having resumed its status as an independent state, resumed its separate membership in the UN. Egypt continued as a UN member under the name United Arab Republic until 2 September 1971, when it changed its name to the Arab Republic of Egypt.


The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, and joined the UN as an original member on 24 October 1945. On 24 December 1991, upon the imminent dissolution of the USSR, Boris Yeltsin, the President of Russia, informed the United Nations Secretary-General that the membership of the USSR in the UN (including its permanent seat on the Security Council) was being continued by the "Russian Federation" with the support of the 11 member countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The remaining former Soviet Republics are currently all UN members:
*"Belarus" and "Ukraine" had already joined the UN as original members on 24 October 1945, represented by the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic and the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic respectively until their independence in 1991.
*"Estonia", "Latvia", and "Lithuania" were admitted on 17 September 1991.
*"Armenia", "Azerbaijan", "Kazakhstan", "Kyrgyzstan", "Moldova", "Tajikistan", "Turkmenistan", and "Uzbekistan" were admitted on 2 March 1992.
*"Georgia" was admitted on 31 July 1992.


Yugoslavia joined the UN as an original member on 24 October 1945. By 1992, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had been formally dissolved, and a new state, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, was formed on 28 April 1992 by the former Yugoslav Republics of Serbia and Montenegro. By United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/47/1 on 22 September 1992, the UN "considers that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) cannot continue automatically the membership of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the United Nations, and therefore decides that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) should apply for membership in the United Nations and that it shall not participate in the work of the General Assembly." [cite web|url=http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/RESOLUTION/GEN/NR0/023/69/IMG/NR002369.pdf?OpenElement|title=United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/47/1|publisher=United Nations]

The former Yugoslav Republics are currently all UN members:
*"Bosnia and Herzegovina", "Croatia", and "Slovenia" were admitted on 22 May 1992.
* The Republic of Macedonia was admitted on 8 April 1993 as "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", provisionally referred to for all purposes within the United Nations as such pending settlement of the difference that had arisen over its name.
*The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was admitted on 1 November 2000, replacing, instead of continuing, the membership of Yugoslavia in the UN held by the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which officially remained a UN member until that day. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia changed its name to Serbia and Montenegro on 4 February 2003. Since the declaration of independence by Montenegro on 3 June 2006, the membership of Serbia and Montenegro in the UN has been continued by "Serbia" on the basis of Article 60 of the Constitutional Charter of Serbia and Montenegro.
*"Montenegro" was admitted on 28 June 2006.(Kosovo, which unilaterally declared independence from Serbia and is Kosovorecognition|recognised by|UN member states, is not expected to be admitted to the UN in the near future due to the resistance of Russia and China to recognizing Kosovo, as admission to the UN requires approval from the Security Council, and the two countries, as permanent members of the Security Council, have veto power.) [cite news|last=Tzortzi|first=Ellie|title=Serbia pledges long-haul fight over Kosovo |publisher=Reuters |date=2008-02-17|url=http://www.reuters.com/article/europeCrisis/idUSL17718644|accessdate =2008-02-17]

eat of China

China is one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, and joined the UN as an original member on 24 October 1945, represented by the government of the Republic of China (ROC). However, as a result of the Chinese Civil War, the Kuomintang-led ROC government relocated to Taiwan in 1949, with the Communist Party-led government of the People's Republic of China (PRC), declared on 1 October 1949, taking control of mainland China. Representatives of the ROC government continued to represent China at the UN, despite the small size of the ROC's jurisdiction of Taiwan and a number of smaller islands compared to the PRC's jurisdiction of mainland China, until 25 October 1971, when United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758 was passed, recognizing that "the representatives of the People's Republic of China are the only lawful representatives of China to the United Nations", and expelling "the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek from the place which they unlawfully occupy at the United Nations and in all the organizations related to it". [cite web|url=http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/RESOLUTION/GEN/NR0/327/74/IMG/NR032774.pdf?OpenElement|title=United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758|publisher=United Nations] This effectively transferred the seat of China in the UN (including its permanent seat on the Security Council) from the ROC to the PRC.

Recent bids for membership by the Republic of China (Taiwan)

Since 1993, the ROC has repeatedly petitioned to rejoin the UN as the representative of the people of Taiwan only, instead of all of China, using the designation "Republic of China on Taiwan", "Republic of China (Taiwan)", or just "Taiwan" (as proposed by the Democratic Progressive Party-led government). [cite web|url=http://www.mofa.gov.tw/webapp/ct.asp?xItem=26680&ctNode=1028&mp=6|title=Taiwan's UN Bid|publisher=Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China] However, all attempts have been denied, either because the petition failed to get sufficient votes to get on the formal agenda, or because the application was rejected by the UN, due primarily to the opposition of the PRC.

In July 2007, the Chen Shui-bian-led ROC government submitted the ROC's 15th application to join the UN, and its first under the name "Taiwan", but its application was rejected by the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs, citing General Assembly Resolution 2758. [cite web|url=http://www.un.org/News/briefings/docs/2007/db070723.doc.htm|title=Transcript: Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General|publisher=United Nations|date=23 July 2007] Responding to the application, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon stated that: quote|With the understanding of the Governor and the Chairman, I will briefly mention that membership into the UN ultimately needs to be decided by the Member States of the United Nations. Membership is given to a sovereign country. The position of the United Nations is that the People's Republic of China is representing the whole of China as the sole and legitimate representative Government of China. The decision until now about the wish of the people in Taiwan to join the United Nations has been decided on that basis. The resolution (General Assembly Resolution 2758) that you just mentioned is clearly mentioning that the Government of China is the sole and legitimate Government and the position of the United Nations is that Taiwan is part of China. [cite web|url=http://www.un.org/apps/sg/offthecuff.asp?nid=1053|title=San Jose, California, 27 July 2007 - Secretary-General's press encounter with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger|publisher=United Nations|date=27 July 2007]

Responding to the UN's rejection of its application, the ROC government has stated that Taiwan is not now nor has it ever been under the jurisdiction of the PRC, and that since General Assembly Resolution 2758 did not clarify the issue of Taiwan's representation in the UN, it does not prevent Taiwan's participation in the UN as an independent sovereign nation. The ROC government, as well as several international newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal, [cite web|url=http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118696621693795613.html|title=King of the U.N.|publisher=The Wall Street Journal|date=13 August 2007] also criticized Ban for returning the application without passing it to the Security Council or the General Assembly, contrary to UN's standard procedure (Provisional Rules of Procedure of the Security Council, Chapter X, Rule 59), [cite web|url=http://www.un.org/Docs/sc/scrules.htm|title=Provisional Rules of Procedure of the Security Council|publisher=United Nations] and for asserting that Taiwan is part of China. [cite web|url=http://www.cnsnews.com/news/viewstory.asp?Page=/ForeignBureaus/archive/200708/INT20070807a.html|title=UN Head Criticized for Saying Taiwan Is 'Part of China'|publisher=CNSNews.com|date=7 August 2007] On the other hand, the PRC government, which has stated that Taiwan is part of China, praised that UN's decision "was made in accordance with the UN Charter and Resolution 2758 of the UN General Assembly, and showed the UN and its member states' universal adherence to the one-China principle." [cite web|url=http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-07/24/content_6425429.htm|title=China praises UN's rejection of Taiwan's application for membership|publisher=Xinhua|date=24 July 2007] While the PRC government firmly opposes the application of any Taiwan authorities to join the UN or any of its agencies (e.g., WHO), either as a member or an observer, the ROC government continues to call on the international community to recognize the right of the island's 23 million citizens to participate in the meetings and activities of the UN and its affiliates. Presently, the ROC is ROCrecognition|recognized by|UN member or observer states, including the Holy See.

Observers and non-members

In addition to the member states listed above, there is one non-member observer state, the "Holy See" (which holds sovereignty over the state of Vatican City). It has been a permanent observer state since 6 April 1964, and gained all the rights of full membership except voting on 1 July 2004. [cite web|url=http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N03/514/70/PDF/N0351470.pdf?OpenElement|title=United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/58/314|publisher=United Nations] Non-member observer states are recognized as sovereign entities, and are free to submit a petition to join as a full member at their discretion. For example, Switzerland was also a permanent observer state from 1948 to 2002, until becoming a full member on 10 September 2002.

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was granted observer status on 22 November 1974. [cite web|url=http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/RESOLUTION/GEN/NR0/738/39/IMG/NR073839.pdf?OpenElement|title=United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3237|publisher=United Nations] After the proclaimed declaration of the State of Palestine by the PLO, its designation in the UN was changed to "Palestine" on 15 December 1988. [cite web|url=http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/RESOLUTION/GEN/NR0/531/56/IMG/NR053156.pdf?OpenElement|title=United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/43/177|publisher=United Nations] Palestine's status in the UN is a "non-member entity".

The sovereignty status of Western Sahara is in dispute between Morocco and the Polisario Front. Most of the territory is administered by Morocco, the remainder (the Free Zone) by the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), proclaimed by the Polisario Front. The SADR is neither a member nor an observer of the UN, and Western Sahara is listed by the UN as a "non-self-governing territory". [cite web|url=http://www.un.org/Depts/dpi/decolonization/trust3.htm|title=Non-Self-Governing Territories listed by General Assembly in 2002|publisher=United Nations]

The Cook Islands and Niue, which are both associated states of New Zealand, are neither members nor observers of the UN, but are members of UN agencies such as WHO and UNESCO, and signatories of international treaties such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. While self-governing in their domestic affairs, most of their foreign affairs are represented by New Zealand on their behalf. They are recognized by the UN as "non-member states". [cite web|url=http://www.un.org/Depts/Cartographic/map/profile/world00.pdf|title=Map of the World Today|publisher=United Nations]


ee also

*Enlargement of the United Nations
*League of Nations members
*List of Permanent Representatives to the United Nations contains a list of all ambassadors from these member states.

External links

* [http://www.un.org/members/list.shtml Official list of member states]
* [http://www.un.org/members/growth.shtml Growth in United Nations membership, 1945-present]

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