|Drafted||14 August 1941|
|Signed||26 June 1945|
|Location||San Francisco, California, United States|
|Effective||24 October 1945|
|Condition||Ratification by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and by a majority of the other signatory states.|
|Languages||Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish|
The Charter of the United Nations (also known as the UN Charter) of 1945 is the foundational treaty of the United Nations, an intergovernmental organization.The UN Charter articulated a commitment to uphold human rights of citizens and outlined a broad set of principles relating to achieving ‘higher standards of living’, addressing ‘economic, social, health, and related problems,’ and ‘universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.’ As a charter, it is a constituent treaty, and all members are bound by its articles. Furthermore, Article 103 of the Charter states that obligations to the United Nations prevail over all other treaty obligations.
A treaty is a formal written agreement entered into by actors in international law, namely sovereign states and international organizations. A treaty may also be known as an international agreement, protocol, covenant, convention, pact, or exchange of letters, among other terms. Regardless of terminology, all these instruments may be considered treaties subject to the same rules under international law.
The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization responsible for maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations, achieving international cooperation, and being a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. It is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. The UN is headquartered on international territory in New York City; other main offices are in Geneva, Nairobi, Vienna and The Hague.
An intergovernmental organization (IGO) or international organization is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states, or of other intergovernmental organizations. IGOs are established by a treaty that acts as a charter creating the group. Treaties are formed when lawful representatives (governments) of several states go through a ratification process, providing the IGO with an international legal personality. Intergovernmental organizations are an important aspect of public international law.
The Charter was discussed in detail during the San Francisco Conference starting on 25 April 1945, and was opened for signature on 26 June 1945.It was signed at the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center in San Francisco, United States, by 50 of the 51 original member countries (Poland, the other original member, which was not represented at the conference, signed it two months later). It entered into force on 24 October 1945, after being ratified by the original five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—the Republic of China (after 1949, located in Taiwan and was replaced on 25 October 1971 by the People's Republic of China), the Provisional Government of the French Republic (later replaced by the Fourth Republic and then the Fifth Republic), the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (later replaced by the Russian Federation), the United Kingdom, and the United States—and a majority of the other signatories. In the meantime, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki took place on 6 and 9 August, respectively; the introduction of this new weapon of warfare completely changed the security environment in which the UN Charter was promulgated. Most countries in the world have now ratified the Charter.
The San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center (SFWMPAC) is located in San Francisco, California. It is one of the largest performing arts centers in the United States. It covers 7.5 acres in the Civic Center Historic District, and totals 7,500 seats among its venues.
Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres (120,733 sq mi), and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With a population of approximately 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, and Szczecin.
The Provisional Government of National Unity was a government formed by a decree of the State National Council on 28 June 1945. It was created as a coalition between the Polish Workers' Party and politicians from close political sphere of Stanisław Mikołajczyk, former Prime Minister of the Polish government-in-exile.
24 October was later declared as United Nations Day by the United Nations General Assembly.
The United Nations officially came into existence on 24 October 1945.
The United Nations General Assembly is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN), the only one in which all member nations have equal representation, and the main deliberative, policy-making, and representative organ of the UN. Its powers are to oversee the budget of the UN, appoint the non-permanent members to the Security Council, appoint the Secretary-General of the United Nations, receive reports from other parts of the UN, and make recommendations in the form of General Assembly Resolutions. It has also established numerous subsidiary organs.
The Charter consists of a preamble and a series of articles grouped into chapters.
The Preamble to the United Nations Charter is the opening (preamble) of the United Nations Charter.
The preamble consists of two principal parts. The first part contains 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 and it is the first international document regarding human rights.
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, respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms and the obligation of member countries to obey the Charter, to cooperate with the UN Security Council and to use peaceful means to resolve conflicts. These "purposes and principles" reflect a premise that the effectiveness of the United Nations would be enhanced with broad guidelines to guide the actions of its Organisations and member states. However, some members were concerned that these proposals granted what they considered overly broad discretionary powers for the organs of the United Nations in the Dumbarton Oaks Conference proposals. And the adopted purposes and principles have been seen as reflecting the compromise achieved.
Peace is a concept of societal friendship and harmony in the absence of hostility and violence. In a social sense, peace is commonly used to mean a lack of conflict and freedom from fear of violence between individuals or groups. Throughout history leaders have used peacemaking and diplomacy to establish a certain type of behavioral restraint that has resulted in the establishment of regional peace or economic growth through various forms of agreements or peace treaties. Such behavioral restraint has often resulted in the reduction of conflicts, greater economic interactivity, and consequently substantial prosperity.
Chapter II of the United Nations Charter deals with membership to the United Nations (UN) organization. Membership is open to the original signatories and "all other peace-loving states" that accept the terms and obligations set forth in the UN Charter and, "in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations". According to Chapter II of the UN Charter, in order to be admitted to the UN, a country must first be recommended by the UN Security Council and then approved by vote of the UN General Assembly. In addition, the admission must not be opposed by any of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, sometimes referred to as the Permanent Five or P5.
The following chapters deal with the enforcement powers of UN bodies:
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; 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 organization.
The Purposes of the United Nations are
The Organization and its Members, in pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the following Principles:
Chapter II of the United Nations Charter deals with membership of the United Nations organization
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
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.
The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter.
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.
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.
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.
The Security Council may establish such subsidiary organs as it deems necessary for the performance of its functions.
The Security Council shall adopt its own rules of procedure, including the method of selecting its President.
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.
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.
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The Treaty on European Union (2007) is one of the primary Treaties of the European Union, alongside the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The TEU forms the basis of EU law, by setting out general principles of the EU's purpose, the governance of its central institutions, as well as the rules on external, foreign and security policy.
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The secretary-general of the United Nations is the head of the United Nations Secretariat, one of the six principal organs of the United Nations. The secretary-general serves as the chief administrative officer of the United Nations. The role of the United Nations Secretariat, and of the secretary-general in particular, is laid out by Chapter XV of the United Nations Charter.
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The United Nations System consists of the United Nations, and the six principal organs of the United Nations: the General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Trusteeship Council, International Court of Justice (ICJ), and the UN Secretariat, specialized agencies, and affiliated organizations. The executive heads of some of the United Nations System organizations and the World Trade Organization, which is not formally part of the United Nations System, have seats on the United Nations System Chief Executives' Board for Coordination (CEB). This body, chaired by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, meets twice a year to co-ordinate the work of the organizations of the United Nations System.
A war of aggression, sometimes also war of conquest, is a military conflict waged without the justification of self-defense, usually for territorial gain and subjugation.
Since the late 1990s there have been many calls for reform of the United Nations (UN). However, there is little clarity or consensus about what reform might mean in practice. Both those who want the UN to play a greater role in world affairs and those who want its role confined to humanitarian work or otherwise reduced use the term "UN reform" to refer to their ideas. The range of opinion extends from those who want to eliminate the UN entirely, to those who want to make it into a full-fledged world government. There have been reform efforts since the creation of the UN and closely associated with each of the Secretary-Generals.
A United Nations resolution is a formal text adopted by a United Nations (UN) body. Although any UN body can issue resolutions, in practice most resolutions are issued by the Security Council or the General Assembly.
The African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights is an international human rights instrument that is intended to promote and protect human rights and basic freedoms in the African continent.
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 and security".
Chapter IV of the United Nations Charter contains the Charter's provisions dealing with the UN General Assembly, specifically its composition, functions, powers, voting, and procedures.
Chapter V of the United Nations Charter contains provisions establishing the United Nations Security Council.
Chapter III of the United Nations Charter lays out the principal organs of the United Nations, and announces a gender nondiscrimination policy for United Nations hiring.
The Statute of the International Court of Justice is an integral part of the United Nations Charter, as specified by Chapter XIV of the United Nations Charter, which established the International Court of Justice.
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