• There was a deliberate decision after the failure of the League of Nations to make the next attempt to establish a global political actor sensitive to geopolitical realities. The underlying idea was to provide major states, defined in 1945 by reference to the winners in the Second World War (now an anachronism), with assurance that they could take part in the UN without jeopardising their national interests. In this regard, the UN has succeeded, as none of the big countries has withdrawn, and the Organisation has managed to achieve virtually universal membership of all sovereign states.