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The UK has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
The UK is also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7 finance ministers, the G7 forum, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the World Trade Organization (WTO).Wales was annexed by the Kingdom of England under the Acts of Union of 15.A treaty between England and Scotland resulted in 1707 in a unified Kingdom of Great Britain, which merged in 1801 with the Kingdom of Ireland to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.In 1922, five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the country, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.These are the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed almost a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history.British influence can be observed in the language, culture, and legal systems of many of its former colonies.
The United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity.
The UK is considered to have a high-income economy and is categorised as very high in the Human Development Index, ranking 14th in the world.
It was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, it includes the island of Great Britain (the name of which is also loosely applied to the whole country), the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands.
Apart from this land border, the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to its east, the English Channel to its south and the Celtic Sea to its south-southwest, attributing to it having the 12th longest coastline in the world.
The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland.