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Monday insights: 5 things you did not know about the UN

Monday, August 27th, 2012 at 12:00

Every Monday we're sharing new insights about the UN, international relations and more. Why are blue helmets so important, and who held live chickens in his hotel room? Find out below!
 
The United Nations wasn’t established in New York City. 
Though the United Nations has its headquarters in New York City, it was actually established through the 1945 San Francisco conference. A total of 45 nations signed the United Nations Charter that brought the UN into existence. 
 
The USA developed swine flu. 
At least, according to former Libyan dictator Khadaffi in his 2009 speech. His first (and last) speech in the General Assembly lasted a hundred minutes and mostly included conspiracy theories and insults.  
 
The United Nations isn’t the first multi-nation organization. 
Although the UN is now the main international organization, another one was established in the 20th century. After the First World War the League of Nations was created to maintain world peace. At its height it had 58 members, but it failed to prevent the agression that led to the Second World War. It was dissolved in 1946.  
 
The longest speech ever in the General Assembly was held by Fidel Castro. 
The infamous speech by Fidel Castro in 1960 lasted 4,5 hours and included insulting John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, the U.S. presidential candidates at the time. Fun fact: that year, Fidel Castro also kept live chickens in his hotel room!
 
Blue helmets aren’t a fashion statement. 
UN Peacekeepers are known for wearing blue helmets. The UN doesn’t have its own army, and UN Peacekeepers sent by member states wear their own countries’ uniform. The blue helmet is one of only a few distinctive marks for UN Peacekeepers. 
 
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