United Nations Charter

United Nations Charter

Discussion
Ask a question about 'United Nations Charter'
Start a new discussion about 'United Nations Charter'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
The Charter of the United Nations is the foundational treaty
Treaty
A treaty is an express agreement under international law entered into by actors in international law, namely sovereign states and international organizations. A treaty may also be known as an agreement, protocol, covenant, convention or exchange of letters, among other terms...

  of the international organization
International organization
An intergovernmental organization, sometimes rendered as an international governmental organization and both abbreviated as IGO, is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states , or of other intergovernmental organizations...

 called the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

. It was signed at the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center
San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center
The San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center is located in San Francisco, California, and is one of the largest performing arts centers in the United States. It covers three hectares in San Francisco's Civic Center Historic District with 7,500 seats in its several venues...

 in San Francisco, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, on 26 June 1945, by 50 of the 51 original member countries (Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, the other original member, which was not represented at the conference, signed it later). It entered into force on 24 October 1945, after being ratified by the five permanent members of the Security Council—the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

 (later replaced by the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

), France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 (later replaced by the Russian Federation
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

), the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

—and a majority of the other signatories. Today, 193 countries are the members of the United Nations.

As a charter
Charter
A charter is the grant of authority or rights, stating that the granter formally recognizes the prerogative of the recipient to exercise the rights specified...

, it is a constituent treaty, and all members are bound by its articles. Furthermore, the Charter states that obligations to the United Nations prevail over all other treaty obligations. Most countries in the world have now ratified the Charter. One notable exception is the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

, which has chosen to remain a permanent observer state and therefore is not a full signatory to the Charter.

Summary


The Charter consists of a preamble
Preamble to the United Nations Charter
The Preamble to the United Nations Charter is the opening of the United Nations Charter.-History:Jan Smuts originally wrote the opening lines of the Preamble as, "The High Contracting Parties, determined to prevent a recurrence of the fratricidal strife which twice in our generation has brought...

and a series of articles grouped into chapters.

The preamble
Preamble to the United Nations Charter
The Preamble to the United Nations Charter is the opening of the United Nations Charter.-History:Jan Smuts originally wrote the opening lines of the Preamble as, "The High Contracting Parties, determined to prevent a recurrence of the fratricidal strife which twice in our generation has brought...

consists of two principal parts. The first part containing a general call for the maintenance of peace and international security and respect for human rights. The second part of the preamble is a declaration in a contractual style that the governments of the peoples of the United Nations have agreed to the Charter.
  • Chapter I
    Chapter I of the United Nations Charter
    Chapter I of the United Nations Charter lays out the purposes and principles of the United Nations organization. These principles include the equality and self-determination of nations and the obligation of member countries to obey the Charter, to cooperate with the UN Security Council and to use...

    sets forth the purposes of the United Nations
    United Nations
    The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

    , including the important provisions of the maintenance of international peace
    Peace
    Peace is a state of harmony characterized by the lack of violent conflict. Commonly understood as the absence of hostility, peace also suggests the existence of healthy or newly healed interpersonal or international relationships, prosperity in matters of social or economic welfare, the...

     and security
    Security
    Security is the degree of protection against danger, damage, loss, and crime. Security as a form of protection are structures and processes that provide or improve security as a condition. The Institute for Security and Open Methodologies in the OSSTMM 3 defines security as "a form of protection...

    .
  • Chapter II
    Chapter II of the United Nations Charter
    Chapter II of the United Nations Charter deals with membership of the United Nations organization. Membership is open to the original signatories and "all other peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able and...

    defines the criteria for membership in the United Nations.
  • Chapters III
    Chapter III of the United Nations Charter
    Chapter III of the United Nations Charter summarizes the principal organs of the United Nations. They are listed in the same order as the chapters detailing their composition, functions, and powers appear in the Charter. The placement of the General Assembly first in the list probably is due to the...

    -XV
    Chapter XV of the United Nations Charter
    Chapter XV of the United Nations Charter deals with the UN Secretariat. It designates the UN Secretary-General as the chief administrative officer of the organization, which includes the staff of ECOSOC, the Trusteeship Council, and other organs...

    , the bulk of the document, describe the organs and institution
    Institution
    An institution is any structure or mechanism of social order and cooperation governing the behavior of a set of individuals within a given human community...

    s of the UN and their respective powers.
  • Chapters XVI
    Chapter XVI of the United Nations Charter
    Chapter XVI of the United Nations Charter contains miscellaneous provisions prohibiting secret treaties, establishing the UN Charter as supreme over any other treaties, and providing for privileges and immunities of UN officials and representatives....

     and Chapter XVII
    Chapter XVII of the United Nations Charter
    Chapter XVII of the United Nations Charter deals with transitional security arrangements related to World War II, which was drawing to a close at the time of the Charter's promulgation. In an exception to the Charter's peace and security provisions, it allows member nations to continue attacking...

    describe arrangements for integrating the UN with established international law
    International law
    Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

    .
  • Chapters XVIII
    Chapter XVIII of the United Nations Charter
    Chapter XVIII of the United Nations Charter deals with amendments. The process is essentially modeled after the amendment process for the United States Constitution in that:*A two-thirds supermajority is required for adoption;...

     and Chapter XIX
    Chapter XIX of the United Nations Charter
    Chapter XIX of the United Nations Charter deals with ratification and signature of the UN Charter. It provided that the Charter would enter into force once ratified by the Permanent Five members of the UN Security Council and a majority of the other signatory states...

    provide for amendment
    Amendments to the United Nations Charter
    Amendments to the United Nations Charter can be made by a procedure set out in Chapter XVIII of the UN Charter. The UN Charter has been amended five times since 1945....

     and ratification
    Ratification
    Ratification is a principal's approval of an act of its agent where the agent lacked authority to legally bind the principal. The term applies to private contract law, international treaties, and constitutionals in federations such as the United States and Canada.- Private law :In contract law, the...

     of the Charter
    Charter
    A charter is the grant of authority or rights, stating that the granter formally recognizes the prerogative of the recipient to exercise the rights specified...

    .


The following chapters deal with the enforcement powers of UN bodies:
  • Chapter VI
    Chapter VI of the United Nations Charter
    Chapter VI of the United Nations Charter deals with peaceful settlement of disputes. It requires countries with disputes that could lead to war to first of all try to seek solutions through peaceful methods such as negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement,...

    describes the Security Council
    United Nations Security Council
    The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

    's power to investigate and mediate disputes;
  • Chapter VII
    Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter
    Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter sets out the UN Security Council's powers to maintain peace. It allows the Council to "determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression" and to take military and nonmilitary action to "restore international peace...

     
    describes the Security Council's power to authorize economic, diplomatic, and military sanctions, as well as the use of military force, to resolve disputes;
  • Chapter VIII
    Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter
    Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter deals with regional arrangements. It authorizes regional organizations and even requires attempts to resolve disputes through such agencies prior to intervention by the UN Security Council...

    makes it possible for regional arrangements to maintain peace and security within their own region;
  • Chapters IX
    Chapter IX of the United Nations Charter
    Chapter IX of the United Nations Charter deals with international economic and social cooperation. Article 55 reflects the philosophy of the UN that efforts should be made to impact the root causes of war:...

     and Chapter X
    Chapter X of the United Nations Charter
    Chapter X of the United Nations Charter deals with the UN Economic and Social Council. Originally, Article 61 provided that ECOSOC would consist of 18 members, but in 1965 the Charter was amended to expand ECOSOC to 27 members, before being amended to include 54 in 1971...

    describe the UN's powers for economic and social cooperation, and the Economic and Social Council
    United Nations Economic and Social Council
    The Economic and Social Council of the United Nations constitutes one of the six principal organs of the United Nations and it is responsible for the coordination of the economic, social and related work of 14 UN specialized agencies, its functional commissions and five regional commissions...

     that oversees these powers;
  • Chapters XII
    Chapter XII of the United Nations Charter
    Chapter XII of the United Nations Charter deals with the international trusteeship system. It reaffirms the twin goals mentioned in Chapter XI to "promote the political, economic, social, and educational advancement of the inhabitants of the trust territories, and their progressive development...

     and Chapter XIII
    Chapter XIII of the United Nations Charter
    Chapter XIII of the United Nations Charter deals with the UN Trusteeship Council. It guarantees each of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council a seat on the council as well as those administering trust countries, and as many other members elected by the UN General Assembly as may be...

    describe the Trusteeship Council, which oversaw decolonization
    Decolonization
    Decolonization refers to the undoing of colonialism, the unequal relation of polities whereby one people or nation establishes and maintains dependent Territory over another...

    ;
  • Chapters XIV
    Chapter XIV of the United Nations Charter
    Chapter XIV of the United Nations Charter deals with the International Court of Justice. Most provisions related to the World Court are contained in the Statute of the International Court of Justice, which is annexed to the Charter. Article 93 states that all UN members are members of the World Court...

     and Chapter XV
    Chapter XV of the United Nations Charter
    Chapter XV of the United Nations Charter deals with the UN Secretariat. It designates the UN Secretary-General as the chief administrative officer of the organization, which includes the staff of ECOSOC, the Trusteeship Council, and other organs...

    establish the powers of, respectively, the International Court of Justice
    International Court of Justice
    The International Court of Justice is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands...

     and the United Nations Secretariat
    United Nations Secretariat
    The United Nations Secretariat is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and it is headed by the United Nations Secretary-General, assisted by a staff of international civil servants worldwide. It provides studies, information, and facilities needed by United Nations bodies for...

    .
  • Chapters XVI through Chapter XIX deal respectively with XVI: miscellaneous provisions
    Chapter XVI of the United Nations Charter
    Chapter XVI of the United Nations Charter contains miscellaneous provisions prohibiting secret treaties, establishing the UN Charter as supreme over any other treaties, and providing for privileges and immunities of UN officials and representatives....

    , XVII: transitional security arrangements
    Chapter XVII of the United Nations Charter
    Chapter XVII of the United Nations Charter deals with transitional security arrangements related to World War II, which was drawing to a close at the time of the Charter's promulgation. In an exception to the Charter's peace and security provisions, it allows member nations to continue attacking...

     related to World War II
    World War II
    World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

    , XVIII: the charter amendment process
    Chapter XVIII of the United Nations Charter
    Chapter XVIII of the United Nations Charter deals with amendments. The process is essentially modeled after the amendment process for the United States Constitution in that:*A two-thirds supermajority is required for adoption;...

    , and XIX: ratification of the charter
    Chapter XIX of the United Nations Charter
    Chapter XIX of the United Nations Charter deals with ratification and signature of the UN Charter. It provided that the Charter would enter into force once ratified by the Permanent Five members of the UN Security Council and a majority of the other signatory states...

    .

Preamble



The Preamble to the treaty reads as follows:
"We the peoples of the United Nations determined: to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, And for these ends: to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples, Have resolved to combine our efforts to accomplish these aims: Accordingly, our respective Governments, through representatives assembled in the city of San Francisco, who have exhibited their full powers found to be in good and due form, have agreed to the present Charter of the United Nations and do hereby establish an international organization to be known as the United Nations."


Although the Preamble is an integral part of the Charter, it does not set out any of the rights or obligations of member states, rather its purpose is to serve as an interpretative guide for the provisions of the Charter through the highlighting of some of the core motives of the founders of the organisation.

Article 1


The Purposes of the United Nations are
  1. To maintain international peace
    Peace
    Peace is a state of harmony characterized by the lack of violent conflict. Commonly understood as the absence of hostility, peace also suggests the existence of healthy or newly healed interpersonal or international relationships, prosperity in matters of social or economic welfare, the...

     and security
    Security
    Security is the degree of protection against danger, damage, loss, and crime. Security as a form of protection are structures and processes that provide or improve security as a condition. The Institute for Security and Open Methodologies in the OSSTMM 3 defines security as "a form of protection...

    , to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;
  2. To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights
    Civil rights
    Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one's ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.Civil rights include...

     and self-determination
    Self-determination
    Self-determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or external interference...

     of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;
  3. To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and
  4. To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.

Article 2


The Organization and its Members, in pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the following Principles:
  1. The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.
  2. All Members, in order to ensure to all of them the rights and benefits resulting from membership, shall fulfill in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the present Charter.
  3. All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
  4. All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
  5. All Members shall give the United Nations every assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the present Charter, and shall refrain from giving assistance to any state against which the United Nations is taking preventive or enforcement action.
  6. The Organization shall ensure that states which are not Members of the United Nations act in accordance with these Principles so far as may be necessary for the maintenance of international peace and security.
  7. Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter Vll.

Chapter II: Membership



Chapter II of the United Nations Charter deals with membership of the United Nations organization

Chapter III: Organs


  1. There are established as principal organs of the United Nations: a General Assembly, a Security Council, an Economic and Social Council, a Trusteeship Council, an International Court of Justice and a Secretariat.
  2. Such subsidiary organs as may be found necessary may be established in accordance with the present Charter.

Chapter V: The Security Council



COMPOSITION

Article 23

1. The Security Council shall consist of fifteen Members of the United Nations. The Republic of China, France, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America shall be permanent members of the Security Council. The General Assembly shall elect ten other Members of the United Nations to be non-permanent members of the Security Council, due regard being specially paid, in the first instance to the contribution of Members of the United Nations to the maintenance of international peace and security and to the other purposes of the Organization, and also to equitable geographical distribution.

2. The non-permanent members of the Security Council shall be elected for a term of two years. In the first election of the non-permanent members after the increase of the membership of the Security Council from eleven to fifteen, two of the four additional members shall be chosen for a term of one year. A retiring member shall not be eligible for immediate re-election.

3. Each member of the Security Council shall have one representative.

FUNCTIONS and POWERS

Article 24

1. In order to ensure prompt and effective action by the United Nations, its Members confer on the Security Council primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and agree that in carrying out its duties under this responsibility the Security Council acts on their behalf.

2. In discharging these duties the Security Council shall act in accordance with the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations. The specific powers granted to the Security Council for the discharge of these duties are laid down in Chapters VI, VII, VIII, and XII.

3. The Security Council shall submit annual and, when necessary, special reports to the General Assembly for its consideration.

Article 25

The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter.

Article 26

In order to promote the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security with the least diversion for armaments of the world's human and economic resources, the Security Council shall be responsible for formulating, with the assistance of the Military Staff Committee referred to in Article 47, plans to be submitted to the Members of the United Nations for the establishment of a system for the regulation of armaments.

VOTING

Article 27

1. Each member of the Security Council shall have one vote.

2. Decisions of the Security Council on procedural matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members.

3. Decisions of the Security Council on all other matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members including the concurring votes of the permanent members; provided that, in decisions under Chapter VI, and under paragraph 3 of Article 52, a party to a dispute shall abstain from voting.

PROCEDURE

Article 28

1. The Security Council shall be so organized as to be able to function continuously. Each member of the Security Council shall for this purpose be represented at all times at the seat of the Organization.

2. The Security Council shall hold periodic meetings at which each of its members may, if it so desires, be represented by a member of the government or by some other specially designated representative.

3. The Security Council may hold meetings at such places other than the seat of the Organization as in its judgment will best facilitate its work.

Article 29

The Security Council may establish such subsidiary organs as it deems necessary for the performance of its functions.

Article 30

The Security Council shall adopt its own rules of procedure, including the method of selecting its President.

Article 31

Any Member of the United Nations which is not a member of the Security Council may participate, without vote, in the discussion of any question brought before the Security Council whenever the latter considers that the interests of that Member are specially affected.

Article 32

Any Member of the United Nations which is not a member of the Security Council or any state which is not a Member of the United Nations, if it is a party to a dispute under consideration by the Security Council, shall be invited to participate, without vote, in the discussion relating to the dispute. The Security Council shall lay down such conditions as it deems just for the participation of a state which is not a Member of the United Nations.

Chapter VII: Action with respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace, and Acts of Aggression



Chapter IX: International Economic and Social Co-operation



Chapter XI: Declaration regarding Non-Self-Governing Territories



Chapter XII: International Trusteeship System



Chapter XIV: The International Court of Justice



Chapter XV: The Secretariat

  • It comprises the secretary general and such other staff as the organization may require.
  • It provides services to the other organ of the united nation, the G.A, the S.C, the ECOSOC, and the trusteeship council, as well as their subsidiary bodies.
  • The secretary general is appointed by the G.A on the recommendation of security council.
  • The staff of the secretariat is appointed by the secretary general according to the regulation laid G.A.
  • The secretariat is located at the headquarter of the U.N in New York.
  • The secretariat also includes the regional commission secretariat at Baghdad, Bangkok, Geva and Santiago.

Function of Secretariat

  1. preparation of report and other documents containing information, analysis, historical background research finding, policy suggestions and so forth, to facilitate deliberations and decision making by other organs.
  2. to facilitate legislative organs and their subsidiary bodies.
  3. provision of meeting services for the G.A and other organs
  4. provision of editorial, translation and document reproduction services for the issuance of UN documents in different language.
  5. conduct of studies and provision of information to various member states in meeting challenge in various fields
  6. preparation of statistical publication, information bulletin and analytical work which the G.A. has decided
  7. organization of conferences experts group meetings and seminar on topics of concern to the international community
  8. provision of technical assistance to develop countries.
  9. understanding of service mission to countries, areas or location as authorized by the G.A or the security council

Chapter XVII: Transitional Security Arrangements



See also


  • Command responsibility
    Command responsibility
    Command responsibility, sometimes referred to as the Yamashita standard or the Medina standard, and also known as superior responsibility, is the doctrine of hierarchical accountability in cases of war crimes....

  • Nuremberg Principles
    Nuremberg Principles
    The Nuremberg principles were a set of guidelines for determining what constitutes a war crime. The document was created by the International Law Commission of the United Nations to codify the legal principles underlying the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi party members following World War II.- Principle...

  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights
    Universal Declaration of Human Rights
    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly . The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled...


External links