Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa
Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa is a Bahraini diplomat who has served as Bahrain's Minister of Foreign Affairs since 2005. Sheikh Khalid is only the second foreign minister in Bahrain's history. Khalid bin Ahmed was born on 24 April 1960, he received a bachelor's degree in history and political sciences from St. Edward's University in 1984. Khalid bin Ahmed joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the rank of third secretary on 1 March 1985. Between August 1985 and November 1994 he worked at Bahrain's embassy in Washington, D. C. where he was in charge of political and media affairs. From June 1995 to August 2000 he worked as a chief liaison officer at the office of the deputy prime minister, minister of foreign affairs. In August 2000, he assumed the position of the director of public relations and information at the court of the Crown Prince, he was Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 2001 to 2005 and was appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs in a September 2005 cabinet reshuffle. His predecessor as foreign minister, Muhammad ibn Mubarak ibn Hamad Al Khalifah, had served in that position for over 30 years.
His deputy until 2011 was Nazar Al Baharna a leading member of Al Wefaq, Bahrain's main Shia opposition party. In May 2018 he expressed his support of Israeli airstrikes in Syria against Iranian targets saying “it is the right of any country in the region, including Israel to defend itself by destroying sources of danger.”On 14 February 2019, Khalid bin Ahmed said that Israelis and Palestinians would be closer to a peace agreement if not for Iran's malign behavior. He said he grew up thinking that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the most important issue in the region, but now he sees that the "more toxic" challenge in the region is the Islamic Republic of Iran, he was awarded the Bahrain Second Class Medal by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in May 2001 in recognition of his contribution and role as a Liaison Officer during the territorial dispute between Bahrain and Qatar. List of foreign ministers in 2017 List of current foreign ministers
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda is a country in the West Indies in the Americas, lying between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It consists of two major islands and Barbuda, a number of smaller islands; the permanent population numbers about 81,800 and the capital and largest port and city is St. John's on Antigua. Lying near each other and Barbuda are in the middle of the Leeward Islands, part of the Lesser Antilles at 17°N of the equator; the island of Antigua was explored by Christopher Columbus in 1493 and named for the Church of Santa María La Antigua. Antigua was colonized by Britain in 1632. Antigua and Barbuda joined the West Indies Federation in 1958. With the breakup of the federation, it became one of the West Indies Associated States in 1967. Following by self-governing on its internal affairs, independence was granted from United Kingdom on 1 November 1981. Antigua and Barbuda remains a member of the Commonwealth and Elizabeth II is the country's queen and head of state. Antigua is Spanish for "ancient" and barbuda is Spanish for "bearded".
The island of Antigua was called Wadadli by Arawaks and is locally known by that name today. Christopher Columbus, while sailing by in 1493 may have named it Santa Maria la Antigua, after an icon in the Spanish Seville Cathedral. Antigua was first settled by archaic age hunter-gatherer Amerindians called the Ciboney. Carbon dating has established the earliest settlements started around 3100 BC, they were succeeded by the ceramic age pre-Columbian Arawak-speaking Saladoid people who migrated from the lower Orinoco River. The Arawaks introduced agriculture, among other crops, the famous Antigua black pineapple, sweet potatoes, guava and cotton; the indigenous West Indians made excellent seagoing vessels which they used to sail around on the Atlantic and the Caribbean. As a result and Arawaks were able to colonize much of South America and the Caribbean Islands, their descendants still live there, notably in Brazil and Colombia. Most Arawaks left Antigua around 1100 AD. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the Caribs' superior weapons and seafaring prowess allowed them to defeat most of the West Indian Arawak nations, enslaving some and cannibalising others.
The Catholic Encyclopedia makes it clear that the European invaders had difficulty differentiating between the various groups of the native peoples they encountered. As a result, the number and types of ethnic/tribal groups in existence at that time may have been much more varied and numerous than just the two mentioned in this article. European and African diseases and slavery killed most of the Caribbean's native population. Smallpox was the greatest killer; some historians believe that the psychological stress of slavery may have played a part in the massive number of deaths amongst enslaved natives. Others believe the abundant but starchy, low-protein diet may have contributed to their severe malnutrition as they were used to a diet fortified with protein from the sea; the Spaniards did not colonise Antigua. The English settled on Antigua in 1632. Slavery, established to run sugar plantations around 1684, was abolished in 1834; the British ruled from 1632 to 1981, with a brief French interlude in 1666.
The islands became an independent state within the Commonwealth of Nations on 1 November 1981, with Elizabeth II as the first Queen of Antigua and Barbuda. Vere Cornwall Bird Sr became the first Prime Minister. Most of Barbuda was devastated in early September 2017 by Hurricane Irma, which brought winds with speeds reaching 295 km/h; the storm damaged or destroyed 95% of the island's buildings and infrastructure, leaving Barbuda "barely habitable" according to Prime Minister Gaston Browne. Nearly everyone on the island was evacuated to Antigua. Antigua and Barbuda both are low-lying islands whose terrain has been influenced more by limestone formations than volcanic activity; the highest point on Antigua is the remnant of a volcanic crater rising 402 metres. The shorelines of both islands are indented with beaches and natural harbours; the islands are rimmed by shoals. There are few. Both islands lack adequate amounts of fresh groundwater. Rainfall averages 990 mm per year, with the amount varying from season to season.
In general the wettest period is between November. The islands experience low humidity and recurrent droughts. Temperatures average 27 °C, with a range from 23 °C to 29 °C in the winter to from 25 °C to 30 °C in the summer and autumn; the coolest period is between February. Hurricanes strike on an average of once a year, including the powerful Category 5 Hurricane Irma, on 6 September 2017, which damaged 95% of the structures on Barbuda; some 1,800 people were evacuated to Antigua. An estimate published by Time indicated that over $100 million would be required to rebuild homes and infrastructure. Philmore Mullin, Director of Barbuda's National Office of Disaster Services, said that "all critical infrastructure and utilities are non-existent –
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Armenia)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia is a state body of executive power, which elaborates and implements the foreign policy of the Government of the Republic of Armenia and manages diplomatic service. The MFA acts according to legislation; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs coordinates the activities of the executive power bodies of the Republic in international arena. The activities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are aimed at strengthening of foreign security of the Republic of Armenia, maintaining of favorable external conditions for the development of the Republic of Armenia representing of RA positions in international area, protecting the interests of the Republic of Armenia and its citizens abroad, deepening of involvement within international organizations and international processes, further enhancement of cooperation with friendly and partner countries, normalization of relations with those countries with which there are problems, further development and deepening of ties with Armenian communities abroad.
The establishment of stability, cooperation and peace in the region is one of the priorities of RA foreign policy. Armenia spares no efforts for the formation of secure South Caucasus. In 1918, in parallel with the restoration of the statehood, Armenia gained international recognition and established diplomatic ties. Armenia established diplomatic relations with Germany, Austria-Hungary, Georgia, Turkey and other countries. Plenipotentiary representatives were appointed to the USA, Finland, Switzerland and other countries, Georgia and Iran opened diplomatic representations in Yerevan. After the establishment of Soviet rule in December, 1920, the People's Commissariat of Foreign Affairs of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic was founded, plenipotentiary representations were opened in the Soviet Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kars. After the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic was founded in July, 1922 the People's Commissariat of Foreign Affairs of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic was eliminated, taking into consideration the fact that the general management of TSFSR member states’ foreign policy was carried out by the TSFSR Council.
In 1922, after the formation of the USSR, the PCFA became union People’s Commissariat as the Soviet Union conducted a common foreign policy and, union republics delegated the function of conducting the foreign policy to the USSR. At the last stage of the Great Patriotic War, the Soviet leadership decided to expand the foreign policy functions of the Union’s republics, in particular, it was supposed to provide republics with the right to establish diplomatic and consular relations with foreign countries and to seek their membership in the UN. To prepare the necessary personnel the Faculty of International Relations was established at the Yerevan State University. According to the law, adopted by the Supreme Council of the USSR in 1944, the USSR PCFA turned from total union into union-republic model, which meant the restoration of the People’s Commissariats of Foreign Affairs in the governments of the Union’s republics. In the postwar years Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Armenian SSR operated under the guidance of the Government of the Armenian SSR and the Soviet MFA.
The structure of the Ministry included the political department, the consular department, department of information. Ministry was responsible for providing the Central Committee of Communist Party of Armenia and the Government of Armenian SSR with the information about the Republic and international situation, consular support of trade and economic, scientific and other relations of the Republic with foreign states, citizenship issues, visas, legalization of documents, correspondence with the “Inyurkollegiya” on issues of civil heritage and other property matters, correspondence of the governing bodies of the Armenian SSR with Soviet Union’s foreign missions. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Armenian SSR was a part of the Soviet diplomatic service, diplomatic staff of the Ministry received diplomatic ranks, from time to time was posted to the Soviet Union’s foreign missions. Other representatives of the Armenian SSR worked in the diplomatic service, many Armenians, some of whom held senior positions in the system of the Soviet MFA, became Soviet Ambassadors.
In 1975-1985 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Armenian SSR did a great and productive work on collecting information on developments in the Diaspora, on the Armenian issue and in the direction of preparing the decisions of republic's leadership and development the Political Armenology. The small staff of MFA of the Armenian SSR underwent the test of the devastating earthquake of 1988, when it was necessary to deal with the issues of organizing huge humanitarian aid arriving from abroad, as well as with issues of political and consular support. With the beginning of the Karabakh movement in 1988, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Armenian SSR was transferring international reactions to the events in Armenia, NK and the USSR to the leadership of the republic. In the Soviet Union during the “perestroika” years after the earthquake in 1988, the leadership of the Armenian SSR several times asked Moscow for greater involvement of representatives of the republic in the Soviet Union’s foreign missions in countries with large Armenian communities.
Only in 1960-82 diplomats, recommended by the Armenian SSR, worked at the Soviet Embassy in France. With the proclamation of independence of Armenia, act
Armenia the Republic of Armenia, is a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located in Western Asia on the Armenian Highlands, it is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, the de facto independent Republic of Artsakh and Azerbaijan to the east, Iran and Azerbaijan's exclave of Nakhchivan to the south. Armenia is a multi-party, democratic nation-state with an ancient cultural heritage. Urartu was established in 860 BC and by the 6th century BC it was replaced by the Satrapy of Armenia; the Kingdom of Armenia reached its height under Tigranes the Great in the 1st century BC and became the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion in the late 3rd or early 4th century AD. The official date of state adoption of Christianity is 301; the ancient Armenian kingdom was split between the Byzantine and Sasanian Empires around the early 5th century. Under the Bagratuni dynasty, the Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia was restored in the 9th century. Declining due to the wars against the Byzantines, the kingdom fell in 1045 and Armenia was soon after invaded by the Seljuk Turks.
An Armenian principality and a kingdom Cilician Armenia was located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea between the 11th and 14th centuries. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, the traditional Armenian homeland composed of Eastern Armenia and Western Armenia came under the rule of the Ottoman and Iranian empires ruled by either of the two over the centuries. By the 19th century, Eastern Armenia had been conquered by the Russian Empire, while most of the western parts of the traditional Armenian homeland remained under Ottoman rule. During World War I, Armenians living in their ancestral lands in the Ottoman Empire were systematically exterminated in the Armenian Genocide. In 1918, following the Russian Revolution, all non-Russian countries declared their independence after the Russian Empire ceased to exist, leading to the establishment of the First Republic of Armenia. By 1920, the state was incorporated into the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, in 1922 became a founding member of the Soviet Union.
In 1936, the Transcaucasian state was dissolved, transforming its constituent states, including the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, into full Union republics. The modern Republic of Armenia became independent in 1991 during the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Armenia recognises the Armenian Apostolic Church, the world's oldest national church, as the country's primary religious establishment; the unique Armenian alphabet was invented by Mesrop Mashtots in 405 AD. Armenia is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, the Council of Europe and the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Armenia supports the de facto independent Artsakh, proclaimed in 1991; the original native Armenian name for the country was Հայք, however it is rarely used. The contemporary name Հայաստան became popular in the Middle Ages by addition of the Persian suffix -stan.. However the origins of the name Hayastan trace back to much earlier dates and were first attested in circa 5th century in the works of Agathangelos, Faustus of Byzantium, Ghazar Parpetsi and Sebeos.
The name has traditionally been derived from Hayk, the legendary patriarch of the Armenians and a great-great-grandson of Noah, according to the 5th-century AD author Moses of Chorene, defeated the Babylonian king Bel in 2492 BC and established his nation in the Ararat region. The further origin of the name is uncertain, it is further postulated that the name Hay comes from one of the two confederated, Hittite vassal states—the Ḫayaša-Azzi. The exonym Armenia is attested in the Old Persian Behistun Inscription as Armina; the Ancient Greek terms Ἀρμενία and Ἀρμένιοι are first mentioned by Hecataeus of Miletus. Xenophon, a Greek general serving in some of the Persian expeditions, describes many aspects of Armenian village life and hospitality in around 401 BC, he relates that the people spoke a language that to his ear sounded like the language of the Persians. According to the histories of both Moses of Chorene and Michael Chamchian, Armenia derives from the name of Aram, a lineal descendant of Hayk.
The Table of Nations lists Aram as the son of Shem, to whom the Book of Jubilees attests, "And for Aram there came forth the fourth portion, all the land of Mesopotamia between the Tigris and the Euphrates to the north of the Chaldees to the border of the mountains of Asshur and the land of'Arara." Jubilees 8:21 apportions the Mountains of Ararat to Shem, which Jubilees 9:5 expounds to be apportioned to Aram. The historian Flavius Josephus states in his Antiquities of the Jews, "Aram had the Aramites, which the Greeks called Syrians. Of the four sons of Aram, Uz founded Trachonitis and Damascus: this country lies between Palestine and Celesyria. Ul founded Armenia. Armenia lies in the highlands surrounding the mountains of Ararat. There is evidence of an early civilisation in Armenia in the Bronze Age and earlier, dating to about 4000 BC. Archaeological surveys in 2010 and 2011 at the Areni-1 cave complex have resulted in the discovery of the world's earliest known leather shoe and wine-producing facility.
According to the story of Hayk, the legendary founder of Armenia, around 2107 BC Hayk fought against Belus, the Babylonian God of War, at Çavuştepe along the Engil river to establish the first Armenian state. This event coinc
Argentina the Argentine Republic, is a country located in the southern half of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, the country is bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Drake Passage to the south. With a mainland area of 2,780,400 km2, Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, the fourth largest in the Americas, the largest Spanish-speaking nation; the sovereign state is subdivided into twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires, the federal capital of the nation as decided by Congress. The provinces and the capital exist under a federal system. Argentina claims sovereignty over part of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; the earliest recorded human presence in modern-day Argentina dates back to the Paleolithic period. The Inca Empire expanded to the northwest of the country in Pre-Columbian times; the country has its roots in Spanish colonization of the region during the 16th century.
Argentina rose as the successor state of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, a Spanish overseas viceroyalty founded in 1776. The declaration and fight for independence was followed by an extended civil war that lasted until 1861, culminating in the country's reorganization as a federation of provinces with Buenos Aires as its capital city; the country thereafter enjoyed relative peace and stability, with several waves of European immigration radically reshaping its cultural and demographic outlook. The almost-unparalleled increase in prosperity led to Argentina becoming the seventh wealthiest nation in the world by the early 20th century. Following the Great Depression in the 1930s, Argentina descended into political instability and economic decline that pushed it back into underdevelopment, though it remained among the fifteen richest countries for several decades. Following the death of President Juan Perón in 1974, his widow, Isabel Martínez de Perón, ascended to the presidency, she was overthrown in 1976 by a U.
S.-backed coup which installed a right-wing military dictatorship. The military government persecuted and murdered numerous political critics and leftists in the Dirty War, a period of state terrorism that lasted until the election of Raúl Alfonsín as President in 1983. Several of the junta's leaders were convicted of their crimes and sentenced to imprisonment. Argentina is a prominent regional power in the Southern Cone and Latin America, retains its historic status as a middle power in international affairs. Argentina has the second largest economy in South America, the third-largest in Latin America, membership in the G-15 and G-20 major economies, it is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, World Trade Organization, Union of South American Nations, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the Organization of Ibero-American States. Despite its history of economic instability, it ranks second highest in the Human Development Index in Latin America; the description of the country by the word Argentina has been found on a Venetian map in 1536.
In English the name "Argentina" comes from the Spanish language, however the naming itself is not Spanish, but Italian. Argentina means in Italian " of silver, silver coloured" borrowed from the Old French adjective argentine " of silver" > "silver coloured" mentioned in the 12th century. The French word argentine is the feminine form of argentin and derives from argent "silver" with the suffix -in; the Italian naming "Argentina" for the country implies Terra Argentina "land of silver" or Costa Argentina "coast of silver". In Italian, the adjective or the proper noun is used in an autonomous way as a substantive and replaces it and it is said l'Argentina; the name Argentina was first given by the Venetian and Genoese navigators, such as Giovanni Caboto. In Spanish and Portuguese, the words for "silver" are plata and prata and " of silver" is said plateado and prateado. Argentina was first associated with the silver mountains legend, widespread among the first European explorers of the La Plata Basin.
The first written use of the name in Spanish can be traced to La Argentina, a 1602 poem by Martín del Barco Centenera describing the region. Although "Argentina" was in common usage by the 18th century, the country was formally named "Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata" by the Spanish Empire, "United Provinces of the Río de la Plata" after independence; the 1826 constitution included the first use of the name "Argentine Republic" in legal documents. The name "Argentine Confederation" was commonly used and was formalized in the Argentine Constitution of 1853. In 1860 a presidential decree settled the country's name as "Argentine Republic", that year's constitutional amendment ruled all the names since 1810 as valid. In the English language the country was traditionally called "the Argentine", mimicking the typical Spanish usage la Argentina and resulting from a mistaken shortening of the fuller name'Argentine Republic'.'The Argentine' fell out of fashion during the mid-to-late 20th century, now the country is referred to as "Argentina".
In the Spanish language "Argentina" is feminine, taking the feminine article "La" as the i
Australia the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area; the neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea and East Timor to the north. The population of 25 million is urbanised and concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, its largest city is Sydney; the country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, it is documented. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day; the population grew in subsequent decades, by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established.
On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories. Being the oldest and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils, Australia has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres. A megadiverse country, its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east and mountain ranges in the south-east. A gold rush began in Australia in the early 1850s, its population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, remains among the lowest in the world. Australia generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications and manufacturing. Indigenous Australian rock art is the oldest and richest in the world, dating as far back as 60,000 years and spread across hundreds of thousands of sites. Australia is a developed country, with the world's 14th-largest economy.
It has a high-income economy, with the world's tenth-highest per capita income. It is a regional power, has the world's 13th-highest military expenditure. Australia has the world's ninth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 26% of the population. Having the third-highest human development index and the eighth-highest ranked democracy globally, the country ranks in quality of life, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and political rights, with all its major cities faring well in global comparative livability surveys. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Pacific Islands Forum and the ASEAN Plus Six mechanism; the name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis, a name used for a hypothetical continent in the Southern Hemisphere since ancient times. When Europeans first began visiting and mapping Australia in the 17th century, the name Terra Australis was applied to the new territories.
Until the early 19th century, Australia was best known as "New Holland", a name first applied by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1644 and subsequently anglicised. Terra Australis still saw occasional usage, such as in scientific texts; the name Australia was popularised by the explorer Matthew Flinders, who said it was "more agreeable to the ear, an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth". The first time that Australia appears to have been used was in April 1817, when Governor Lachlan Macquarie acknowledged the receipt of Flinders' charts of Australia from Lord Bathurst. In December 1817, Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office. In 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known by that name; the first official published use of the new name came with the publication in 1830 of The Australia Directory by the Hydrographic Office. Colloquial names for Australia include "Oz" and "the Land Down Under". Other epithets include "the Great Southern Land", "the Lucky Country", "the Sunburnt Country", "the Wide Brown Land".
The latter two both derive from Dorothea Mackellar's 1908 poem "My Country". Human habitation of the Australian continent is estimated to have begun around 65,000 to 70,000 years ago, with the migration of people by land bridges and short sea-crossings from what is now Southeast Asia; these first inhabitants were the ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal Australian culture is one of the oldest continual civilisations on earth. At the time of first European contact, most Indigenous Australians were hunter-gatherers with complex economies and societies. Recent archaeological finds suggest. Indigenous Australians have an oral culture with spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime; the Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, obtained their livelihood from seasonal horticulture and the resources of their reefs and seas. The northern coasts and waters of Australia were visited s
Member states of the United Nations
The United Nations member states are the 193 sovereign states that are members of the United Nations and have equal representation in the UN General Assembly. The UN is the world's largest intergovernmental organization; the criteria for admission of new members to the UN are set out in Chapter II, Article 4 of the UN Charter: Membership in the United Nations is open to all peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgement 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. A recommendation for admission from the Security Council requires affirmative votes from at least nine of the council's fifteen members, with none of the five permanent members using their veto power; the Security Council's recommendation must be approved in the General Assembly by a two-thirds majority vote.
In principle, only sovereign states can become UN members, all UN members are sovereign states. Although five members were not sovereign when they joined the UN, all subsequently became independent between 1946 and 1991; because a state can only be admitted to membership in the UN by the approval of the Security Council and the General Assembly, a number of states that are considered sovereign according to the Montevideo Convention are not members of the UN. This is because the UN does not consider them to possess sovereignty due to the lack of international recognition or due to opposition from one of the permanent members. In addition to the member states, the UN invites non-member states to become observers at the UN General Assembly, allowing them to participate and speak in General Assembly meetings, but not vote. Observers are intergovernmental organizations and international organizations and entities whose statehood or sovereignty is not defined; the UN came into existence on 24 October 1945, after ratification of the United Nations Charter by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and a majority of the other signatories.
A total of 51 original members joined that year. The original members of the United Nations were: France, the Republic of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Bolivia, Byelorussia, Chile, Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Greece, Haiti, India, Iraq, Liberia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, Uruguay and Yugoslavia. Among the original members, 49 are either still UN members or had their memberships in the UN continued by a successor state; the other two original members and Yugoslavia, had been dissolved and their memberships in the UN not continued from 1992 by any one successor state. At the time of UN's founding, the seat of China in the UN was held by the Republic of China, but as a result of United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758 in 1971, it is now held by the People's Republic of China. A number of the original members were not sovereign when they joined the UN, only gained full independence later: Belarus and Ukraine were both constituent republics of the Soviet Union, until gaining full independence in 1991.
India was under British colonial rule, until gaining full independence in 1947. The Philippines was a commonwealth with the United States, until gaining full independence in 1946. New Zealand, while de facto sovereign at that time, "only gained full capacity to enter into relations with other states in 1947 when it passed the Statute of Westminster Adoption Act; this occurred 16 years after the British Parliament passed the Statute of Westminster Act in 1931 that recognised New Zealand's autonomy. If judged by the Montevideo Convention criteria, New Zealand did not achieve full de jure statehood until 1947." The current members and their dates of admission are listed below with their official designations used by the United Nations. The alphabetical order by the member states' official designations is used to determine the seating arrangement of the General Assembly sessions, where a draw is held each year to select a member state as the starting point. Several members use their full official names in their official designations and thus are sorted out of order from their common names: the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of Moldova, the United Republic of Tanzania.
Until 2019, North