: The United Nations
, or UN
, is an international organization established in 1945. The UN
describes itself as a "global association of governments facilitating cooperation in international law, security, economic development, and social equity." It was founded by 51 states and as of 2005 it consists of 191 member states, including virtually all internationally-recognized independent nations. From its headquarters in New York City
, the member countries of the UN
and its specialized agencies give guidance and make decisions on substantive and administrative issues in regular meetings held throughout each year.