The United Federation of Planets is incorporated in 2161, in the aftermath of the Romulan wars. It has a constitution that seeks mutual scientific, diplomatic, and cultural benefits for its members. It also guarantees important protections to sentient beings, including the Seventh Guarantee, which protects a citizen against self-incrimination.

All persons on Federation planets or traveling aboard Federation starships come under the constitution`s protection. Presently, the Federation boats more than 150 members, including planets, colonies, and other political units.

The governing body is the Federation Council, made up of representatives of the various members, it is located in the city of San Francisco on Earth`s North American continent. Heading the Federation Council is the President, whose offices are located in Paris, France, also on Earth.

The Federation was designed to help all members planets, and is an important player in galactic politics. There can be no doubt that the existence of the Federation has prevented many interstellar conflicts. After several periods of war, the Federation has established peace treaties with other major powers in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants.

In order to join the Federation, a planet must achieve peaceful world government, political stability, and provide its citizens with a number of basic rights. All would-be members must agree to abide by the Federation constitution. Membership is not granted lightly and it often takes a planet several years to quality. During this time a number of reviews may be made by Federation representatives, often Starship captains.

Although many planets have failed to qualify for membership, the Federation is more than willing to offer help to those planets that make serious attempts to qualify.

A good example is the planet Bajor. Since the Cardassian withdrawal in 2369, the Federation has established a presence on a former Cardassian space station, now known as Deep Space Nine.

Federation personnel have helped the Bajoran people in several ways. The Federation presence on Deep Space Nine has protected Bajor from Cardassian and Klingon attacks, the Federation has provided Bajor with industrial replicators, and Dr Julian Bashir has instituted an immunuization program. It is hoped that with this help, Bajor will soon become a valued member of the Federation.

In 2371, President Jaresh-Inyo institutes a brief period of martial law on Earth in response to a perceived threat from the newly- encountered Dominion.

The President`s Office ; Many important Federation buildings are located on Earth. Starfleet Headquarters and Starfleet Academy are in San Francisco in North America, and the President`s offices are in Paris, France.

Although they consider themselves to be a violent race, the Andorians have been members of the federation for over a hundred years.
 

 The Vulcans were founding members of the Federation. With their logical and dispassionate approach to politics, Vulcans such as Sarek have made excellent ambassadors.