World War II was one of the deadliest events in the human history. The estimated number of civilian and military deaths surpasses 72 million people. The impact of the war on the economies and structures of many countries around the globe was also profound. Japan and Germany were occupied. European empires ceased to exist. The Soviet Union and the United States became the strongest countries on the planet.
The United Nations was created to prevent future wars and to manage the transformation of the world. The organization was the initiative of the American president Franklin Roosevelt, who during the last years of the war was pushing for its creation. Delegates from the Soviet Union, China, the United Kingdom and the United States met in August of 1944 in a private home in Washington, DC, to create a first draft of the rules of this new international body. The charter was signed in California shortly after the Germany surrendered. The United Nations officially began its work on October 24 of 1945.
The main goal of the drafters of the charter of the United Nations was to create an organization that would serve as a definite guaranty of peace on the planet. There was a lot of skepticism and a lot of issues, such as how to deal with imbalances between countries with different levels of influence, resources, and commitments. The answer was in the simple mechanism of the veto power. The charter gave a lot of authority to the five founding members of the organization. These countries were the United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain, France, and China. Any of these countries could prevent any of the decisions that it didn’t agree with. These countries became the permanent five members of the United Nations Security Council.
This strategy provided the most powerful countries in the world with an incentive to keep their membership in the United Nations and it also provided a mechanism to neutralize the potential tensions within the organization.