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The United Nations (UN) is an international Earth-based organization, and the predecessor of the United Nations Space Command and the Unified Earth Government. By the 26th century, the UN has been absorbed into a branch of the UEG and has become a largely vestigial entity, acting as a local administrative body among the national governments of Earth.
By the time humanity began colonizing the other planets of the Sol System in the late 21st century, the nations of Earth were not yet united under a single government, though the United Nations held considerable power over humanity.
In the early years of humanity's interplanetary colonization, it was mainly commercial interests that propelled outward expansion into the Sol System, the colonization programs initiated by Earth's national governments themselves being far less ambitious and efficient. Free of the restrictions of international law, many corporations operating in the colonies—particularly those on Mars—conducted extensive research and development into bio- and nanotechnologies. While these efforts yielded many new technological advancements, abuses by the corporations also generated major ethical concerns. To regulate the activities of the off-world corporate entities—particularly in the area of genetic technology—the UN extended the UN Genetic Rights Act to cover the colonies in 2165. This piece of legislation would later serve as the basis for the latter Mortal Dictata Act.
In 2160, United Nations Colonial Advisors were attacked on Io sparking the Jovian Moons Campaign. UN forces clashed against dissident forces again in 2162 in the Rainforest Wars. One year later, the UN commissioned a military force primarily made up of naval and marine forces, referred to as the "United Nations Space Command (UNSC)". With an approach echoing the policies of the United States in the early 21st century, the United Nations took charge of Earth's national governments as well as their disparate military forces,
By 2164, UN-backed militaries began a pattern of massive buildups leading into the Interplanetary War. Following the war in 2170, the United Nations formally established the Unified Earth Government (UEG) as humanity's combined governing entity from then on while the UNSC became a preeminent military body for Earth's "empire". The UNSC from this point forward began working in direct conjunction with and to enforce the directives of the UEG.
By the 26th century, the UN had become greatly diminished from its height in the mid-22nd century. Its function was relegated to overseeing administrative tasks on Earth, essentially a role similar to that for which it was originally created, with supreme power over the human race at large at the hands of the UEG. After the beginning of the Human-Covenant War, the UNSC gained ultimate control of the UEG and its branches, including the UN, as humanity's emergency military government. The UNSC returned power back to the civilian government on January 8, 2553.
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