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RATAN TATA 
LIBRARY 

DELHI SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS 





THE RAT AN TATA LIBRARY 
ci. no V • NAS- 2‘^Z JO 

Date of release for loan 

Ac. No. 

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A Commentary on the 
CHARTER OF THE 
UNITED NATIONS 




A Commentary on the 

CHARTER 

OF THE 

UNITED NATIONS 

by 

NORMAN BENTWICH, LL.D. (Hon.) 

barrister-at-law 

and 

ANDREW MARTIN, Ph.D. 

barrister-at-law 



LONDON 

ROUTLEDGE & KEGAN PAUL LTD. 
BROADWAY HOUSE: 66-74 CARTER LANE EC4 


First Published 1950 


PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY 
KNIGHT & PORSTER, LTD. 


LBEDS 



CONTENTS 


PAGE 

Preface vii 

The Evolution of the Charter ix 

CHAPTER 

COMMENTARY ON ARTICLES : 

Preamble 1 

I Purposes and Principles 5 

II Membership 19 

III Organs 28 

IV The General Assembly 32 

V The Security Council 58 

VI Pacific Settlement of Disputes 76 

VII Action with Respect to Threats to the Peace, 

Breaches of the Peace and Acts of Aggression 88 

VIII Regional Arrangements 109 

IX International Economic and Social Co-operation 116 

X The Economic and Social Council 128 

XI Declaration Regarding Non-Self-Governing 

Territories 141 

XII International Trusteeship System 146 

XIII The Trusteeship Council 159 

XIV The International Court of Justice 163 

XV The Secretariat 171 


v 



VI 


CONTENTS 


CHAPTER PAGE 

XVI Miscellaneous Provisions 177 

XVII Transitional Security Arrangements 184 

XVIII Amendments 187 

XIX Ratification and Signature 190 

Appendix I Covenant of the League of Nations 193 

II Charter of the United Nations 200 

III Statute of the International Court 

of Justice 218 

Bibliography 229 

Index 233 



PREFACE 


It is a primary condition of the establishment of peace, law 
and order between States that the individual citizen should 
understand the organization of the international community 
and gain some sense of world-citizenship. This consideration 
has been uppermost in our minds when writing this short Com¬ 
mentary on the Charter of the United Nations. It addresses itself 
not to the specialist in international law but, in the first place, 
to the general public interested in international affairs which, in 
newspaper reports of the proceedings of the United Nations, is 
constantly faced with references to Articles of the Charter. At 
the same time, we have tried to meet the needs of university 
students of International Law and International Relations and 
of members of adult educational classes in Current Affairs. 
Finally, we have borne in mind the requirements of the many 
delegates, civil servants and experts who attend the General 
Assembly of the United Nations and the manifold conferences 
of its different organs and specialized agencies. 

The understanding of the Charter requires some knowledge of 
the fundamental institutions and principles of international law. 
We have written on the assumption that not all our readers 
would have that knowledge ; and wherever necessary, have 
included in the Commentary a brief explanation of technical 
terms. On the other hand, considerations of space have made it 
imperative to restrict to a minimum references to official docu¬ 
ments and to the literature of the subject. Where we say that a 
point is controversial, the reader must take our word for it. 

Throughout the Commentary we have tried to show how, 
during the first three years of their existence, the organs of the 
United Nations have applied and interpreted the provisions of 
the Charter. To that extent we have abandoned the canon of 
legal science that, at the early stages of the practical application 
of a constitution, a commentary should be based exclusively on 
the text of the instrument and on the travaux preparatoires. 
We have set ourselves the objective of showing, not how the 
Charter ought to be interpreted by strictly legal standards, but 

vu 



vm 


PREFACE 


how it is being applied in actual practice. In other words, we have 
considered the Charter as the constitution of a living organism 
and the basis of a constant and manifold activity. 

A commentary should be objective ; nevertheless, we have not 
concealed our dissatisfaction with certain features of the Charter 
and disappointment at the relative political failure of the United 
Nations during its early career. The first treatises on the subject 
tended to be too hopeful ; and to see nothing but progress from 
the Covenant of the League. Since then the high hopes which 
were formed at San Francisco have given place to considerable 
disappointment. What was to be an instrument of world peace 
has proved to be a forum of world conflict. The General As¬ 
sembly as well as the Security Council has been freely used not 
to solve disputes, but to stimulate and exacerbate them. It would 
be foolish to suggest that the gradual division of the United 
Nations into two blocs engaged in a cold war should, or could, 
be ascribed to defects in the Charter. At the same time, it is clear 
that the unfortunate voting procedure prescribed for the Security 
Council has greatly contributed to preventing this most important 
organ of the United Nations from serving as an effective instru¬ 
ment of conciliation in major disputes ; and that, by leaving the 
precise definition of the Member States’ military obligations to 
separate agreements (none of which has in fact been concluded), 
the Charter has created an illusory system of collective security. 
The result has been, inevitably, a widening gap between what the 
Organization was meant to achieve and what it can be expected 
to achieve in the foreseeable future. 

In the collection of documentary material we have had valuable 
help from Mrs. Joan Brown and Miss Barbara Keeley, Reference 
Librarians of the United Nations Information Centre in London ; 
and we are much indebted to Miss Antonia Gerard and Mrs. 
Anna Martin for their generous and competent secretarial 
assistance. 

London, May 1949 Norman Bentwich 

Andrew Martin 



THE EVOLUTION OF THE CHARTER 


The succession from the League of Nations. One of the major 
tasks of the peace-making at the end of the First World War was 
to devise a permanent form for the habit of using international 
conferences as a means of settling disputes between States and 
organizing inter-State co-operation. That habit had been steadily 
gaining ground since the end of the Napoleonic wars ; but only 
one serious attempt had been made to create permanent machinery 
for the peaceful solution of conflicts. Before the Hague Confer¬ 
ences of 1899 and 1907, the movement for the judicial settlement 
of inter-State disputes had advanced by single instances and 
bilateral treaties. By setting up a Permanent Court of Arbitration, 
the Hague Conventions demonstrated both the feasibility and the 
desirability of standing institutions for the elimination of war. 

The architects of the peace settlement of 1919 set out to sup¬ 
plement the existing judicial organization by “ a general 
association of nations under specific covenants for the purpose 
of affording mutual guarantees of political and territorial in¬ 
tegrity to great and small States alike There was no question 
of setting up any form of supra-national government or, indeed, 
of seriously limiting the sovereignty of national States. The 
League of Nations was to be, essentially, a continuously function¬ 
ing international conference with an annual Assembly of Govern¬ 
ment representatives, a Council holding periodic meetings, and a 
permanent Secretariat. 

During the first ten years of its activity, from 1920 to 1930, the 
League realized some of the hopes of its founders. Although 
from the beginning it suffered from a fatal weakness owing to 
the non-adherence of the United States and the exclusion of the 
Soviet Union, which was feared as a subversive power, it served 
to maintain general peace. Particularly during the period 1924- 
1930, disputes were referred to it from many quarters of the world 
and settled by methods of conciliation. The system of mandates 
functioned satisfactorily. Post-war financial reconstruction was 
greatly speeded up by loans issued under the auspices of the 
League. Efficient organizations were built up for the abolition 
of slavery, the control of traffic in dangerous drugs and the traffic 

IX 



X CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

in women, for the protection of children, the relief and settlement 
of refugees, and the study of health and disease in their inter¬ 
national aspects. 

The second decade of the League’s history was a period of 
steady decline and disillusion. In the 1930’s, the Organization 
had to meet a double challenge, and it failed doubly. In 1931, 
Japan, a permanent member of the Council, embarked on a war 
of aggression against China, a Member of the League, and 
prosecuted the campaign in defiance of both the Council and the 
Assembly. In the same year, the economic slump, which had 
started in 1929, reached the proportions of a world-wide economic 
crisis ; and, although it was clear that only a combined effort 
could avert catastrophe, the Members of the League, instead of 
creating a mechanism of co-operation, resorted to a mechanism 
of commercial warfare. The World Economic Conference which 
was convened in London in 1933 was a complete futility. 

There followed a series of direct blows against the system of 
collective security. First, in 1933, Germany withdrew from the 
Disarmament Conference and gave notice of withdrawal from the 
League. In 1935, Italy started on a wanton aggression against 
Ethiopia, a Member of the League, and was met by a half-hearted 
application of economic sanctions, which were calculated to cause 
enough inconvenience to rouse the passions of the Italian people, 
but not enough economic pressure to be effective against ag¬ 
gression. In 1936, Germany re-occupied the Rhineland in defiance 
of the Versailles Treaty and the Locarno Pact. In the same year, 
Italy and Germany together intervened to help the Fascists in the 
Spanish Civil War ; and all the League could do was to make 
verbal protests. There followed, in 1938, the forcible incorporation 
of Austria in the German Reich ; and in March 1939, the German 
occupation of Czechoslovakia. In the face of these portents of 
an approaching general war, the League as an organization proved 
to be wholly impotent. During the fateful summer of 1939, not a 
single country called for a meeting of the League Council or the 
Assembly, either before or after the invasion of Poland by the 
German armies. 

The second World War began just twenty-five years after the 
outbreak of the first. The League of Nations was not dissolved, 
but it was an empty shell. It was a bitter irony that the Assembly, 
which met in December 1939, had to vote, because of the aggres¬ 
sion on Finland, for the expulsion of the Soviet Union which 
had been admitted only five years before. The memoiy of that 



THE EVOLUTION OF THE CHARTER XI 

expulsion has remained a factor in Russia’s international relations 
and in her attitude to the new world order of the United 
Nations. 

The utter failure of the League to avert a new world war has 
given rise to a notion that the legal organization of the inter¬ 
national community collapsed altogether at the outbreak of 
hostilities in September 1939. Constitutionally, that view is un¬ 
founded. The war did not destroy the legal existence of the 
League ; the Covenant continued in force until the formal 
winding-up of the organization by a resolution passed at its last 
Assembly in April, 1946. The political functions of the League 
ceased with the expulsion of the U.S.S.R. in December, 1939. 
But though the Assembly and the Council were not convened for 
the rest of the war, under emergency resolutions passed by the 
1939 Assembly, the Secretary-General, acting under the authority 
of the Supervisory Commission (the League’s permanent financial 
organ), was invested with powers sufficient to maintain not only 
the legal framework of the organization, but, at a reduced scale 
and in a decentralized form, some of its non-political functions. 
Economic and financial research, particularly into the problems 
of post-war reconstruction, and the work of the Health Section 
and the Opium Section of the Secretariat continued. The Inter¬ 
national Labour Organization established temporary headquarters 
at Montreal, Canada, and continued its activities throughout the 
war. The third principal organization of the League system, the 
Permanent Court of International Justice at The Hague, also 
continued in being. 

Thus the nucleus, and with it the idea, of a world organization 
survived the catastrophe of 1939 ; and at no time during the war 
was the re-establishment of a general political organization of 
States seriously in doubt. As the war progressed, however, it 
became more and more certain that the resuscitation of the 
League would be firmly opposed by the U.S.S.R., which was not 
prepared to rejoin an organization from whose ranks it had once 
been expelled ; and that it would find little support in the U.S.A. 
By 1943, the Great Powers among the Allies were agreed that these 
political considerations, and the hardly less important psycho¬ 
logical factor, that any post-war world organization had better 
be dissociated from the memories of the League’s political failure, 
required a new departure. 

The Moscow Declaration. On October 30, 1943, the Governments 
of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the Soviet 



XU CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

Union and China issued from Moscow a “ Declaration of Four 
Nations on General Security In Article 4, they stated 
“ That they recognize the necessity of establishing at the earliest 
practicable date a general international organization based on 
the principle of the sovereign equality of all peace-loving 
States, and open to membership by all such States, large and 
small, for the maintenance of international peace and security.” 
This Article — the first among the war-time statements of 
policy directly referring to the post-war organization of the inter¬ 
national community — affirmed three important principles : 

(1) The general organization of States was to be newly established. 
The idea of reviving the League in its original or in an amended 
form was discarded. 

(2) The organisation was to be based on the principle of the 
sovereign equality of its Members. The proposals, widely can¬ 
vassed during the war, for a more organic association of States 
on a federal basis were not to be implemented. The political 
atmosphere made it unlikely that, at the end of hostilities, the 
Allies would be more ready than they had been in 1919, to accept 
serious inroads on their national sovereignty. 

(3) The organization was to be open to all peace-loving States, 
large and small, regardless of their participation in the wartime 
coalition against the Axis Powers. 

Of the purposes of the new international organization. Article 4 
of the Declaration mentioned only the maintenance of inter¬ 
national peace and security. Article 7 of the Declaration referred to 
another objective : 

“ They (the Four Powers) will confer and co-operate with one 
another and with other Members of the United Nations to 
bring about a practicable general agreement with respect to the 
regulation of armaments in the post-war period.” 

This statement should be read in conjunction with a passage 
in the Preamble to the Declaration, which spoke of the necessity 
of maintaining international peace and security “ with the least 
diversion of the world’s human and economic resources for 
armaments”. That phrase, which was eventually embodied in 
Article 26 of the Charter, indicated an approach to the problem 
of disarmament fundamentally different from the ideas of 1919. 
In Article 8 of the Covenant, the members of the League recorded 
their conviction that the reduction of national armaments was 
an essential guarantee of the maintenance of peace, and that the 
private manufacture of armaments was open to grave objections. 



THE EVOLUTION OF THE CHARTER XID 

In the Moscow Declaration, the emphasis lay on the economic 
wastage involved in competitive armaments, not on their threat 
to the peace of the world ; and no stand was taken against the 
continuation of a system in which the manufacture of arma¬ 
ments is left to private enterprise. 

The Declaration by United Nations. Article 7 of the Moscow 
Declaration referred expressly to “ Members of the United 
Nations ” ; and the Preamble of the Declaration reaffirmed the 
determination of the signatories to prosecute the war until the 
unconditional surrender of the enemy, “ in accordance with the 
Declaration by United Nations of January 1, 1942”. This docu¬ 
ment is linked with the Charter not only historically, but organi¬ 
cally by Article 3 of the Charter ; all States which had signed 
the Declaration became eligible for original membership in the 
United Nations Organization. 

The Declaration by United Nations was first signed in Washing¬ 
ton on January 1, 1942, by the representatives of 26 belligerents; 
21 more nations adhered to it between June 5,1942 and March 1, 
1945. In the operative part of the document the signatories 
pledged themselves fully to employ their military and economic 
resources, in co-operation with each other, for the prosecution 
of the war and not to make a separate armistice or peace with 
the enemies. These provisions were, by their nature, irrelevant to 
the formulation of the Charter. But in the Preamble to the 
Declaration, the United Nations declared, first, that they sup¬ 
ported the “ common programme of purposes and principles ” 
embodied in the Atlantic Charter ; and, secondly, that complete 
victory was essential “ to defend life, liberty, independence and 
religious freedom and to preserve human rights and justice in 
their own lands as well as in other lands ”. That was the first 
occasion on which the international protection of human rights, 
which in 1945 came to be enshrined in several Articles of the 
Charter, was stated to be among the specific peace-aims of the 
Allies. 

The Atlantic Charter. The “ common programme of purposes and 
principles ”, to which the Declaration referred, had been embodied 
in a “ Joint Declaration of the President of the United States of 
America and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom”, 
signed on August 14, 1941, and known as the Atlantic Charter. 

It consisted of a set of eight principles. Five were relevant to 
the peace settlement rather than to the constitution of the United 
Nations. They were concerned with (a) the renunciation by all 



XIV CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

belligerents of any claim to territorial or other aggrandizement; 
(b) a territorial settlement in accordance with the freely expressed 
wishes of peoples ; (c) the right of all peoples to choose their form 
of government; (d) the access of all States, on equal terms, to 
trade and to the raw materials of the world ; and (e) the freedom 
of the high seas. 

The remaining three principles, on the other hand, had a strong 
formative influence on the San Francisco Charter. The “ hope to 
see established a peace which will afford to all nations the means 
of dwelling in safety within their own boundaries ” was sought 
to be fulfilled in Chapter VII of the Charter, which is designed to 
lay the foundations of a more effective system of collective security 
than that of the League. The belief that “ all the nations of the 
world, for realistic as well as spiritual reasons, must come to the 
abandonment of the use of force ” has become the keynote of 
Chapter VI, and generally, of all those provisions in the Charter 
dealing with the pacific settlement of disputes. Finally, the desire 
“ to bring about the fullest collaboration between all nations in 
the economic field, with the object of securing for all improved 
labour standards, economic adjustment and social security ”, has 
found ample expression in Chapters IX and X, which set out to 
organize the economic and social co-operation of the United 
Nations on a wider plane and in greater detail than the Covenant 
of the League had attempted. 

The Dumbarton Oaks Proposals. Through the Moscow Dec¬ 
laration of October 1943, which linked the Atlantic Charter and 
the Declaration by United Nations with the proposals for the 
establishment of a new general international organization, the 
four principal Allies assumed responsibility for the elaboration 
of a constitutional plan. By the late summer of 1944, the Foreign 
Offices of the four Governments had completed their preliminary 
studies and were ready for exploratory conversations. These were 
held at Dumbarton Oaks, near Washington, in two phases : 
from August 21 to September 28,1944, between the representatives 
of the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union ; 
and from September 29 to October 7, 1944, between the United 
States, the United Kingdom and China. The agreements were 
embodied in a document entitled “ Proposals for the Establish¬ 
ment of a General International Organization With the ex¬ 
ception of the voting procedure in the Security Council, on 
which the conversations yielded no agreement, these Proposals 
covered all subjects which the four delegations then considered 



THE EVOLUTION OF THE CHARTER 


XV 


to be the essential contents of a constitution for a new world 
organization. But the language was not, technically, the language 
of an international treaty. Obligations and functions were merely 
suggested, not formulated ; and on many points e.g. the qualifi¬ 
cations for membership only the basic ideas were laid down, 
without details. 

The organizational plan was, in its outlines, similar to that of 
the League. The action of the new organization was to be effected, 
as before, through an Assembly and a Council. The latter was to 
be called “ Security Council ”, to distinguish it from a second 
council, at that time envisaged as a subsidiary organ of the 
Assembly, which was to take charge of economic and social affairs. 
The idea of splitting up the work of what, in the system of the 
League, had been a single Council, was not new ; a reform of this 
kind had been strongly urged in 1939 by the Bruce Committee 
of the League. 

In addition to the General Assembly and the Security Council, 
the Organization was to have two principal organs : the Secret¬ 
ariat (which had ranked as a subsidiary organ in the hierarchy 
of the League) and an International Court of Justice. The Pro¬ 
posals did not specify whether this Court was to be the continua¬ 
tion of the already existing Permanent Court of International 
Justice at The Hague (closely related to, but not constitutionally 
an organ of, the League) or a new judicial body. 

Under the Covenant, the Assembly and the Council of the 
League were each competent to deal with any matter within the 
sphere of action of the Organization. Constitutionally, there was 
no delimitation of functions. The Dumbarton Oaks Proposals 
advocated a radical change. The Security Council was to carry 
“ primary responsibility ” for the maintenance of peace and 
security ; and the functions of the General Assembly were, in 
that sphere, to be reduced to discussion and, within certain 
limits, to recommendations. 

With regard to the new Assembly, another important departure 
from precedent was suggested. In the League, the Assembly 
had to decide by unanimous vote, except in procedural matters. 
Legally, the risk of the action of the Assembly being vetoed by a 
single dissentient member was ever-present; in practice, it had 
been considerably reduced by procedural rules and understandings. 
At Dumbarton Oaks it seemed advisable to banish the risk once 
and for all; and the Proposals were drafted on the basis that 
unanimity would not be required on any occasion, and that, apart 



XVI CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

from certain important questions to be decided by a qualified 
majority, the General Assembly would proceed by simple maj¬ 
ority vote. 

The proposals for the composition of the Security Council were 
modelled on the Covenant to the extent that they affirmed the right 
of the Great Powers to permanent representation. But while the 
tdtal number of seats on the Council of the League was variable— 
with the approval of the majority of the Assembly, the Council had 
power to create additional permanent and elective seats — it was 
now suggested that there should be a fixed total of eleven members, 
of whom six were to be elected by the General Assembly. 

These departures from the League model were of secondary 
importance compared with the proposed definition of the Security 
Council’s powers in the matter of sanctions. The Council of the 
League never possessed the right to compel Member States to 
take enforcement action. It could recommend them to do so, but 
without prejudice to the ultimate discretion of Members to decide 
whether a case for sanctions had arisen. If it did arise, they were 
under a direct and immediate obligation to each other, but not 
to the League as such, to apply economic sanctions; they were 
not, however, under any circumstances obliged actively to join 
in military operations. Under the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals, 
the right to determine the existence of an imminent or actual act 
of aggression was to be withdrawn from the Members and to be 
vested in the Security Council. It was for the Council to determine 
whether and when, and in what order, economic, diplomatic and 
military sanctions should be taken. Members were to be re¬ 
quired to join in these sanctions in the manner and to the extent 
decided, and not merely recommended, by the Council. Moreover, 
in the case of military sanctions, the armed forces contributed by 
Members were to act under the strategic direction of the Council 
and its own Military Staff Committee. 

These provisions involved a radical change in the status of 
Members and of the Organization itself. Nominally, Members 
were to retain their full sovereignty. Constitutionally, the Security 
Council was not a supra-national authority, only an agent acting 
for and on behalf of sovereign States. But the incidents of this 
particular relationship between principals and agent were so 
formulated as to amount to a delegation of authority, irrevocable 
for the duration of the Organization, and involving a duty for the 
principals to give effect to the decisions of the agent in all matters 
relating to sanctions. 



THE EVOLUTION OF THE CHARTER XVH 

This new conception of the relationship between sovereign 
States and the executive organ of a public international or¬ 
ganization went to the root of the legal character of the Or¬ 
ganization itself. The League, no organ of which wielded compul¬ 
sory powers over Member States, could be properly classified as 
an “ association ” of sovereign units. But the new world or¬ 
ganization conceived at Dumbarton Oaks did not conform with 
this or any other previous type of inter-State relationship. The 
United Nations is more “ organic ” than an association of States, 
but less organic than a composite State. The absence of legislative 
powers in the General Assembly and the tacit admission of the 
right of withdrawal suggest an analogy with confederations. 
But the analogy is far from being complete. The Security Council 
has compulsory powers which are not unlike the powers of a 
federal government in the field of defence ; and in the matter of 
the protection of human rights, the right of petition by individuals 
and groups, which is inherent in the Charter, establishes a close 
parallel to that direct relationship between federal organs and the 
nationals of component States which is an essential characteristic 
of federal constitutions. 

The primary concern of the Proposals was with matters of 
peace and security. The responsibilities of Members and of the 
Security Council with regard to the pacific settlement of disputes 
and to sanctions were defined in considerable detail. Economic 
and social co-operation, on the other hand, was treated with 
conspicuous brevity. Apart from providing a separate Council 
to direct this co-operation, the Proposals followed the conception 
of the Covenant. They were drafted on the assumption that con¬ 
siderations of efficiency militated against excessive centralization. 
The new organization was not to absorb the specialized agencies 
which were already in operation, or about to be established ; 
it was to co-ordinate their activities and prevent overlapping 
efforts. 

The system of mandates maintained by the League was not 
mentioned in the Proposals. Although its continuation, in a 
modified form, had been considered at Dumbarton Oaks, no 
final agreement could be reached in time for its inclusion in the 
document. 

The Chinese Proposals. In the second phase of the Dumbarton 
Oaks conversations the Chinese Government put forward certain 
suggestions which were approved by the United Kingdom and 
the United States, but, pending their formal acceptance by the 



xvm CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

Government of the U.S.S.R., could not be included in the pub¬ 
lished text of the Proposals. 

These suggestions were concerned with (1) a clear expression 
in the Charter of the principle that, in discharging its responsi¬ 
bilities for the pacific settlement of disputes, the Organization 
should act with due regard for justice and international law and 
not merely in furtherance of what may seem politically expedient; 
(2) the inclusion among the responsibilities of the Assembly of 
the development and codification of international law ; and (3) 
the extension of the activities of the Economic and Social Council 
to the field of educational and other forms of cultural co-operation. 

In due course, the Government of the U.S.S.R. agreed to join 
in sponsoring these proposals ; and at San Francisco, they were 
included in the final text of the Charter. 

The Yalta Agreement. A conference held in February 1945 at 
Yalta in the Crimea, between Mr. Churchill, President Roosevelt 
and Marshal Stalin, made further important contributions to the 
development of the Charter. 

In the first place, it was able to resolve the difficulty encountered 
at Dumbarton Oaks in reaching agreement on the voting procedure 
in the Security Council. The formula (Article 27 in the final text 
of the Charter) provided that, apart from procedural matters, 
which were to be decided by any seven votes out of a total of 
eleven, all decisions of the Security Council required the affirmative 
vote of seven members, including the concurring votes of the 
five permanent members. But a member who was a party to a 
dispute was to abstain from voting on motions concerned with 
the peaceful settlement of that dispute. 

Secondly, the Charter of the new world organization was to 
include provisions for the administration, under international 
supervision, of (a) the existing mandates of the League of Nations, 
( b ) territories to be detached from the Axis Powers, and (c) any 
other territory that might voluntarily be placed under trusteeship. 

Finally, a “ Conference of United Nations ” was to be called 
at San Francisco on April 25,1945, to prepare the Charter of the 
new world organization along the lines of the Dumbarton Oaks 
Proposals. The Governments qualifying for invitation were those 
which had declared war on Germany or Japan by March 1,1945, 
and had signed the Declaration by United Nations. 

The invitations were issued on March 5,1945 by the Government 
of the United States, on behalf of itself and the three other sponsors 
of the Conference, i.e. the Governments of the United Kingdom, 



THE EVOLUTION OF THE CHARTER xix 

the U.S.S.R. and China. France, who had not taken part in the 
conversations at Dumbarton Oaks, agreed to attend the Con¬ 
ference, but declined to act as a sponsor. 

Preliminary Conferences. Immediately after the publication of the 
Dumbarton Oaks Proposals, the British and United States Govern¬ 
ments issued explanatory commentaries ; and, throughout the 
Allied countries, great efforts were made by the written and spoken 
word to make the Proposals known to the mass of the people. 

The world-wide discussion of the Proposals received a fresh 
impetus from the publication of the voting formula agreed upon 
at Yalta, and from the invitation extended to all Governments 
participating in the San Francisco Conference to state their views 
and comments in advance, if they so wished. 

Apart from the preparations of individual Governments, groups 
of States arranged collective discussions both before and after 
receiving formal invitations to San Francisco. An Inter-American 
Conference on Problems of War and Peace met in Mexico City 
from February 21 to March 8, and placed on record (1) the claim 
of Latin America to adequate representation on the Security 
Council, (2) the desirability of solving inter-American disputes 
by regional methods, (3) the need for creating an international 
agency to promote intellectual and moral co-operation among 
nations, and (4) the support of Latin America for the principle 
of universality as an ideal towards which the new world 
organization should tend. 

Talks were held in London, in April 1945, between representa¬ 
tives of Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, the Union of 
South Africa and the United Kingdom, and resulted in the British 
Commonwealth accepting the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals as 
the basis of the United Nations Charter. But the final com- 
muniqud emphasized that in certain respects the Proposals re¬ 
quired “ clarification, improvement and expansion ”. 

A Committee of Jurists, representative of 44 Governments, met 
at Washington, from April 9 to 20, 1945, at the invitation of the 
United States Government, which was acting also for the other 
sponsoring Governments. The purpose of the meeting was the 
drafting of recommendations for the Statute of the principal 
judicial organ of the United Nations. 

Without pronouncing on the preliminary question whether 
this judicial organ should be a continuation of the Permanent 
Court at The Hague or a new tribunal, the Committee addressed 
itself to the task of producing a draft Statute suitable for adoption 



xx CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

either as an amended constitution for the old Court or as the 
constitution of a new Court. The result was a document which — 
apart from the textual adaptations required by the replacement 
of the League by the United Nations and from provisions, alto¬ 
gether lacking in the old Statute, for constitutional amendments — 
was identical with the old Statute. It included, however, alterna¬ 
tive texts on two important subjects. The first concerned the 
nomination of judges, and offered to the San Francisco Conference 
a choice between retaining the old system of nomination by the 
national groups in the Permanent Court of Arbitration, and a new 
system of nomination directly by Governments. The second 
alternative text dealt with the vital question whether the juris¬ 
diction of the Court should continue to be optional or should be 
obligatory. Eventually, the San Francisco Conference rejected 
both of the proposed changes. 

The Dumbarton Oaks Proposals contained no provision for 
the enforcement of the Court’s judgments. The Committee 
strongly urged the filling of this gap: and its recommendations 
led to the incorporation, in Article 94(2) of the Charter, of a 
clause investing the Security Council with a wider and more 
specific authority than the League Council had enjoyed, for 
giving effect to the judgments of the Court. 

The San Francisco Conference. The Conference assembled at 
San Francisco on April 25, 1945. Of the 47 signatories of the 
Declaration by United Nations, 46 were represented at the 
inaugural session. Poland, pending the recognition of her 
Provisional Government by the Western Allies, had not been 
invited, but provision was made for her to sign the Charter at a 
later date, as an original Member. On April 30, the Conference 
approved the admission of Argentina, the Byelorussian S.S.R. and 
the Ukrainian S.S.R. ; and on June 5, the admission of Denmark 
which had just been liberated. 

At a meeting of the Heads of Delegations it was agreed that 
the material to be considered by the Conference should be 
“ the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals, as supplemented by the 
Crimea Conference, and by the Chinese proposals agreed to 
by the sponsoring Governments, and the comments thereon 
submitted by the participating countries ”. 

The work of the Conference was divided among (a) four General 
Committees (Steering, Executive, Co-ordination and Credentials) ; 
(b) four Commissions to deal, respectively, with General Pro¬ 
visions, the General Assembly, the Security Council, and Judicial 



THE EVOLUTION OF THE CHARTER XXI 

Organization ; (c) twelve Technical Committees, set up within 
the Commissions, for the detailed examination of the chapters 
assigned to them. 

The work of the Technical Committees extended over a period 
of six weeks and involved the study of an immense volume of 
documents. Their recommendations were submitted (1) for 
approval, to the appropriate Commissions, and (2) for textual 
revision, to the Co-ordination Committee assisted by an Ad¬ 
visory Committee of Jurists. The comprehensive draft was then 
approved, first, by the Steering Committee and, on June 25, by 
the Conference in plenary session. On the following day, the 
Charter was signed by the delegates of 50 nations. The modifi¬ 
cations which the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals underwent, in the 
course of the Conference, fall under two headings : changes and 
additions. 

(A) Changes. Without altering the essential character of the 
organization contemplated in the Proposals, the Conference re¬ 
arranged the text in nineteen Chapters instead of the original 
twelve, substituted comparatively short Articles for the longer 
Sections of the original draft and removed many obscurities. 
The Purposes and Principles of the Organization were textually 
amplified, partly to make room for those considerations of 
“ justice and international law ” which had been stressed in the 
Chinese proposals, and partly to introduce the principle of non¬ 
intervention in domestic affairs, in a wide formulation which was 
advocated by many delegations, in particular the Australian. 
The qualifications for membership, left open in the Proposals, 
were strictly defined. In the organizational structure, the Economic 
and Social Council was raised to the rank of a principal organ, 
and a Trusteeship Council was added. The functions of the General 
Assembly were extended to cover all matters affecting the peace 
of the world or the general welfare of nations, and a specific duty 
was laid upon the Assembly to assist in the attainment of human 
rights and fundamental freedoms. Special qualifications were 
laid down for election to non-permanent seats in the Security 
Council, and the Council’s jurisdiction in the pacific settlement 
of disputes was extended so as to cover disputes voluntarily 
submitted to it by the parties, even in cases where international 
peace and security are not endangered. To the authority of the 
Council to suppress acts of aggression, the important power 
was added to apply preventive measures ; at the same time, the 
inherent right of Member States to take individual or collective 



XXU CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

measures of self-defence was recognized. The purposes of the 
Organization in the economic and social field were re-defined and 
amplified ; health and the promotion of educational and cultural 
co-operation were specifically included. The Economic and 
Social Council was given a free hand to set up Commissions; 
it was authorized to make recommendations not only to the Gen¬ 
eral Assembly and the specialized agencies, but also direct to 
Member Governments; and it was given power to arrange consult¬ 
ations with non-governmental organizations. 

In the Chapter dealing with the International Court of Justice, 
it was made clear that Members were not precluded from referring 
their disputes to other tribunals. The right to request the Court 
for advisory opinions was granted, in addition to the Security 
Council, to the General Assembly and to such other organs and 
specialized agencies as the Assembly may authorize to do so. 
To the Chapter on the Secretariat Articles were added to stress 
and safeguard its character of an International Civil Service im¬ 
mune from the influence of national Governments. Finally, the 
procedure laid down in the Proposals for the amendment of the 
Charter was completed by provisions for a General Conference 
to review the Charter as a whole. 

( B ) Additions. The most thorny question on the agenda of the 
Conference was the voting formula for the Security Council 
which had emerged from the Three-Power meeting at Yalta. 
The smaller Powers apprehended, as events have shown with 
good reason, that if one of the Big Five, or one of their proteges, 
menaced the peace, the Security Council would be powerless to 
act; and they therefore struggled to reduce the right of veto. 
But the Great Powers held out on this vital provision, and sought 
to justify it on the ground that they were to carry the main burden 
of maintaining world peace. The war was still being waged ; and 
the wartime alliance still kept the Powers together, though there 
were already serious, but unrevealed, rifts between them. 

In addition to embodying in the Charter the voting formula 
agreed at Yalta, the Conference added three new Chapters on 
non-self-governing territories. Chapter XI has been described as 
“ the first comprehensive statement of colonial policy to be 
included in an international instrument" ; its formulation and 
inclusion were due largely to the initiative of the United Kingdom 
and Australia. Chapter XII established an international trustee¬ 
ship system for the administration of the three categories of 
territories mentioned in the Yalta decisions. The functions of 



THE EVOLUTION OF THE CHARTER XXHI 

the Organization in relation to these territories were assigned partly 
to the Security Council and partly to a Trusteeship Council, whose 
composition and powers were described in detail in Chapter XIII. 

The Dumbarton Oaks Proposals provided that the Statute of 
the International Court “ should be annexed to and be part of 
the Charter The Conference considered the draft submitted 
by the Committee of Jurists and approved the final text of the 
Statute. 

Finally, the Conference added four Articles, grouped together 
as Chapter XIV under the heading of “ Miscellaneous Provisions”. 
The two Articles dealing with (a) the compulsory registration and 
publication of international treaties, and ( b ) the resolution of 
conflicts between obligations under the Charter and obligations 
under other instruments, had precedents in the Covenant of the 
League. The other two, which provide for the legal capacity of 
the Organization and for privileges and immunities, were designed 
to prevent the repetition of legal difficulties which the League had 
encountered because of the absence of provisions in the Covenant. 
Ratification. The Charter came into force on October 24, 1945, 
when the number of ratifications deposited with the Government 
of the United States reached the minimum required by Article 110. 
In order to bring the Organization into effective operation, it was 
still necessary, however, to complete certain preparations of a legal- 
technical character. 

The Preparatory Commission. On June 26, 1945, the signatories 
of the Charter, by an agreement on Interim Arrangements, 
established a “ Preparatory Commission of the United Nations ” 
for the purpose of making provisional arrangements for the first 
sessions of the General Assembly and the three Councils ; for 
the establishment of the Secretariat; and for the convening of the 
International Court of Justice. The Commission was to consist 
of one representative of each Member Government; and its 
functions were to be exercised, between sessions, by an Executive 
Committee of 14 members. The Preparatory Commission held 
its first session on June 27, 1945, at San Francisco and agreed 
that the Executive Committee should carry on the work of the 
Commission in London. 

The Executive Committee met on August 16,1945, and worked 
until November 24, when the full Preparatory Commission re¬ 
assembled for its second session. By December 23, 1945, the 
Commission and its eight Technical Committees produced a 
final Report on the subjects covered by its terms of reference. 



XXIV CHARTER OF THB UNITED NATIONS 

The documents drafted by the Commission, which formed the 
essential contents of the Report, included (1) Provisional Agenda 
for .the first sessions of the General Assembly, the Security 
Council and the Economic and Social Council, (2) Provisional 
Rules of Procedure for the General Assembly and the three 
Councils, (3) recommendations on the committee structure of the 
General Assembly and the organization of the Economic and Social 
Council, (4) a Draft Resolution for the General Assembly, calling 
on the States administering territories under League mandates 
to take practical steps for placing these territories under trustee¬ 
ship, (5) recommendations concerning the registration and publi¬ 
cation of treaties, (6) recommendations concerning privileges and 
immunities, including a Draft General Convention and a Draft 
Treaty with the United States for the location of the Headquarters 
of the United Nations, (7) Provisional Staff Regulations and 
Provisional Staff Rules for the Secretariat, (8) Provisional Fin¬ 
ancial Regulations for the United Nations, (9) recommendations 
concerning the location of the Headquarters of the United 
Nations in the United States of America, and (10) Draft Reso¬ 
lutions for the General Assembly concerning the assumption by 
the United Nations of certain functions, powers and activities 
of the League of Nations. 

Several of these documents, notably the Rules of Procedure, 
the Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and the Financial Regulations, 
have proved to be instruments of more than ephemeral value. 
They interpreted and developed the rudimentary procedural 
provisions of the Charter and became an integral part of the 
constitutional framework of the United Nations. 

Among the many recommendations of the Preparatory Com¬ 
mission, great political importance attached to the one con¬ 
cerning the permanent headquarters of the Organization. The 
Palace of the League at Geneva, although destined to become the 
property of the United Nations and to be used for its purposes, 
was not to be the home of the new Councils and the Secretariat. 
The Preparatory Commission recommended, and the First 
General Assembly decided, that the home of the Organization 
should be in the United States. That was a token of the passing 
of the primacy from Europe. In fact, the principal bloc of 
States within the Organization is composed of 22 American 
nations. Nevertheless, the first part of the First General Assembly, 
to which fell the task of considering and adopting the recom¬ 
mendations of the Preparatory Commission and setting up the 



THE EVOLUTION OF THE CHARTER XXV 

organs provided for in the Charter, was held in London from 
January 10 to February 14, 1946. 

The winding-up of the League. In December 1945, the Preparatory 
Commission set up a Committee to negotiate with the Super¬ 
visory Commission of the League a “ Common Plan ” for the 
transfer of the League’s assets. This “ Common Plan ” was, on 
February 12,1946, approved by the General Assembly of the United 
Nations which, at the same time, declared that the Organization 
was willing to take over from the League the custody of the 
original signed texts of international agreements deposited with 
the League Secretariat, and to continue the performance of cer¬ 
tain technical functions arising under the instruments in question. 
Thenceforth, these arrangements only required the formal assent 
of the League Assembly to become effective. That assent was 
given in a series of resolutions passed by the last Assembly of 
the League held at Geneva from April 8 to April 18, 1946 ; and 
from April 19, 1946, the League of Nations ceased to exist. 

There was yet to be determined, however, the extent to which 
the United Nations was to take over the technical services and 
non-political functions of the League, other than those concerned 
with the custody of international agreements or arising under 
them. Pending a survey of these functions by the Economic and 
Social Council, the General Assembly decided in February 1946 
to continue, provisionally, the work of the following League 
departments : the Economic, Financial and Transit Depart¬ 
ment, particularly the research and statistical work ; the Health 
Section, particularly the epidemiological service : and the Opium 
Section and the secretariats of the Permanent Central Opium 
Board and Supervisory Body. Eventually, in December 1946, 
the General Assembly passed a resolution approving, in general 
terms, the continuation of the non-political functions and activities 
previously performed by the League Secretariat and the various 
committees and commissions of the League, excepting the 
functions and activities entrusted direct to specialized agencies. 
This resolution was, however, without prejudice to the right of 
the General Assembly to decline the assumption of specific, 
non-routine functions arising under international agreements 
concluded during the existence of the League. 

Instruments complementary to the Charter. Neither the machinery 
nor the functions of the United Nations are governed exclusively 
by the provisions of the Charter. It is not a comprehensive code. 
Its procedural provisions must be read in conjunction with the 



XXVI CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

Rules of Procedure adopted by the various principal and sub¬ 
sidiary organs, with Staff Regulations, Financial Regulations and 
many other instruments of a technical character. There is an 
even greater abundance of international agreements relevant to 
the functions of the Organization. In the field of security, the 
part that can be effectively played by the United Nations is 
determined not only by the rules of the Charter, but by the various 
international treaties which have brought, and are still bringing, 
into life regional agencies for security or self-defence, such as the 
Inter-American system, the Brussels Pact, the North Atlantic 
Pact, the network of East-European alliances. Again, in the 
economic and social field, the functions of the Organization are 
limited, partly by the basic documents of the many specialized 
agencies and the agreements which these agencies have concluded 
with the United Nations, partly by regional arrangements, of 
which the Organization for European Economic Co-operation 
is an important example. Finally, various political, technical, 
administrative, arbitral and other functions have been, and are 
still being, entrusted to the United Nations by bilateral and 
multilateral treaties, including the Peace Treaties of 1947 with 
Italy, Roumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland. 1 

Thus, to speak of the Charter as “ the Constitution ” of the 
United Nations is a simplification. The reader of the Charter 
must constantly bear in mind the existence of a host of other 
instruments, all of which are, in varying degrees, relevant to the 
functioning of the new world organization. It is equally important 
that he should remember that, in comparison with the inter-war 
period, the scope of the international order is now considerably 
enlarged. The United Nations is a more comprehensive organiza¬ 
tion than the League; although it does not yet comprise the enemy 
States of the second World War, it has included from the begin¬ 
ning the Soviet Union, the United States and all the American 
countries. In the second place, its organs, particularly the Security 
Council, have been designed to be more continuously in action 
than the organs of the League. Again, the Organization is di¬ 
rectly concerned to assure the fundamental rights of the individual 
person. Finally, by the creation of many international functional 

1 The chief responsibilities of the United Nations under the Peace Treaties are (i) to 
assure the integrity and independence of the Free Territory of Trieste, (ii) to decide on 
the final disposal of the former Italian Colonies if the Big Four-Powers are unable to 
reach an agreed solution, and (ui) to appoint chairmen for the arbitral Commissions 
having ultimate jurisdiction over disputes concerning the interpretation and execution 
of the five Peace Treaties. 



THE EVOLUTION OF THE CHARTER 


XXVII 


bodies, the objects of international co-operation have been widely 
extended. 

In the original Conception of this new system, the emphasis 
lay on the central political organization and, consequently, the 
Charter was regarded as the most important constitutional instru¬ 
ment of the post-war period. That conception rested on the 
assumption that the unanimity between the Great Powers, which 
had made the winning of the war possible, would remain a per¬ 
manent feature of international relations. This assumption has 
been stultified. Since San Francisco, the historical record has 
been one of steadily growing estrangement and tension between 
the Soviet Union and its former allies. This tension has affected, 
in the first place, the capacity of the United Nations to safeguard 
international peace. The emphasis has shifted, gradually, from 
collective security as envisaged in Chapter VII of the Charter, to 
regional arrangements for security and self-defence, such as the 
Inter-American system, the East European alliances, the Brussels 
Pact and the North-Atlantic Treaty. The world is driven to regard 
pacts between groups of Powers as more important guarantees of 
security than the Charter itself. 

In the economic and social field, the development has been 
similar, although less marked. The Soviet Union has kept aloof 
from some of the most important functional organizations, 
including the International Labour Organization, the Food and 
Agriculture Organization and the International Trade Organiza¬ 
tion; and while it would be an exaggeration to say that the 
functional agencies show, as yet, a tendency to become regional, 
the hope that they would soon become universal has been dis¬ 
appointed. Moreover, certain fundamental problems of post-war 
reconstruction, particularly in Western Europe, have had to be 
solved outside the United Nations system altogether, through 
group-arrangements such as the Organization for European 
Economic Co-operation which has been established to administer 
the Marshall Plan at the receiving end. 

Constitutionally, these developments have not yet found 
expression. The Charter stands as it stood on the day it came 
into force. Time and again, the need for its amendment has been 
urged in the General Assembly and elsewhere. These suggestions 
have been consistently resisted by the Soviet Union and have no 
chance of being adopted while the struggle between East and West 
continues. As a result, some of the fundamental provisions of 
the Charter and, in particular, the Articles dealing with collective 



XXVUI CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

security, are out of accord with political realities; although 
legally binding, they are the goal of future endeavour rather than 
the landmarks of present achievement. 



COMMENTARY ON ARTICLES 


Preamble 

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 practise 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 repre¬ 
sentatives 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. 

Purpose of the Preamble. There are no definite rules of inter¬ 
national law concerning the form of treaties, but it is usual to 
preface their operative provisions by a statement of the motives 
for the conclusion of the treaty. This statement, which normally 
is followed by the names of the Heads of the contracting States 
and of their duly authorized representatives, is called the Preamble. 

The Preamble of the League Covenant summarized in a single 
paragraph both the fundamental objectives of the League and 
the means of achieving them. It declared that the purpose of the 


1 



2 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

League was to promote international co-operation and to achieve 
international peace and security. It went on to state that the 
means towards these ends were the acceptance of obligations not 
to resort to war, the prescription of open, just and honourable 
relations between nations, a firm establishment of the under¬ 
standings of international law as the actual rule of conduct among 
Governments, the maintenance of justice, and a scrupulous 
respect for all treaty obligations in the dealings of organized 
peoples with one another. 

The Purposes and Principles of the United Nations are set 
forth in detail in Articles 1 and 2 of the Charter. The Preamble is, 
in essence, an abridged version of those two articles, cast in more 
general terms. 

It is based on a draft prepared by Field-Marshal Smuts after 
the British Commonwealth conversations held in London in 
April 1945. Compared with the Preamble of the League Covenant, 
its most distinctive feature is the stress laid on the concern of the 
new Organization not only with the rights of States large and 
small, but also with the position of the individual, his fundamental 
freedoms, the equal rights of men and women, and the dignity 
and worth of the human person. 

The Preamble of the Covenant operated with legal concepts : 
obligations, prescriptions, rules of conduct. The Preamble of the 
Charter strikes a more political note with its emphasis on 
tolerance, social progress, better standards of life and larger 
freedom. Stress is laid on the democratic character of the 
Organization by the use of the phrase “ We the peoples of the 
United Nations”; while the Preamble of the Covenant still 
talked in terms of “ The High Contracting Parties ”. This de¬ 
parture from precedent was calculated to satisfy the popular 
demand that the new Organization should be primarily concerned 
with the welfare of peoples rather than the formal authority of 
Governments. But this change in the customary phraseology has 
no legal relevance. Peoples cannot enter into valid agreements 
except through their respective Governments ; and the last 
paragraph of the Preamble does, in fact, recognize that the 
authority of the Charter derives from the agreement of the 
Governments represented at San Francisco, and that Govern¬ 
ments, and not the peoples, are — in the legal sense — “ Members 
of the United Nations ”. 

Binding Force. The authorities on international law are divided on 
the question whether the preamble of an international instrument 



COMMENTARY ON ARTICLES 


3 


is as binding on the parties as any other part. But even those 
who hold that a preamble has not the same effect as the operative 
provisions of a treaty admit that it constitutes valid evidence, for 
purposes of interpretation, of the common intention of the parties 
at the time of making the treaty. For the Charter, the distinction 
is not in any case of practical importance ; there is nothing in the 
Preamble that would add to or subtract from the operative 
provisions of the main text. 

Name of the Organization. The title “ The United Nations ” 
had been suggested by President Roosevelt and by Field-Marshal 
Smuts. The suggestion was supported by the British Government 
on the ground that the name fittingly indicated that the 
Organization resulted from the common effort of nations which 
had saved civilization from Fascism, and whose close union 
would continue in the future. The proposed name did not, how¬ 
ever, go unchallenged at San Francisco. Several delegations felt 
that it might be unwise to perpetuate the title of what was in 
effect a military coalition formed during the Second World War, 
and through that title, certain implications of hostility against a 
group of States. Eventually the title 1 was adopted unanimously, 
as a tribute to the memory of its first sponsor, President Roosevelt. 
It has the slight disadvantage that the words “ United Nations ” 
now denote both the Organization as such and the nations which 
are its Members. This leads to considerable confusion in usage, 
even in official documents. 


1 By a resolution of December 7, 1946, the General Assembly recommended that the 
Members of the United Nations “ should take such legislative or other appropriate 
measures as are necessary to prevent the use, without authorization by the Secretary* 
General, of the emblem, the official seal and the name of the United Nations 




CHAPTER I 


PURPOSES AND PRINCIPLES 
Article 1 

The Purposes of the United Nations are :— 

1. To maintain international peace and security, and to that 
end : 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 and self-determination 
of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen 
universal peace ; 

3. To achieve international co-operation in solving inter¬ 
national problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humani¬ 
tarian 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. 

Binding Force. The objectives of the United Nations which were 
summarized in the Preamble are, in the present article, restated 
in fuller detail. These “ Purposes ” are not pious declarations of 
intention. They create legal rights in favour of the Organization 
as such, in favour of all Member States and, within certain 
limits, in favour of non-members. This legally binding force is 
expressly recognized in Article 14, which provides for the peaceful 
adjustment of situations arising, inter alia, from the violation of 
the Purposes (Article 1) and Principles (Article 2) of the United 
Nations. Paradoxically there is no provision in the Charter for 
the expulsion of Members who may render themselves guilty of 
the persistent violation of the Purposes, whereas under Article 5 
a persistent infringement of the Principles is a ground (indeed, 
the only ground) for applying that penalty. 

1. Maintenance of peace and security. This is rightly placed at the 
head of the list of the Organization’s objectives, for none of its 


5 



6 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


other aims can be achieved if there is no peace. Universal peace — 
peace between and within States — is the ultimate objective; but 
the primary objective is international peace. The Organization 
does not claim authority to intervene in internal conflicts as 
long as their repercussions do not endanger international peace. 

The first task of the Organization is to preserve peace. In the 
face of a threat to peace or of a breach of it, the organs of the 
United Nations are not entitled in the first instance to inquire 
whether the status quo was in conformity with the principles of 
justice and international law. An attempt to adjust the status quo 
to those principles must wait until the threat or use of force has 
been stopped. At San Francisco it was urged that this conception 
of the Organization’s attitude to the moral and legal foundation 
of peace was too rigid, and might lead to the United Nations 
becoming the guardian of forced and morally unjustifiable settle¬ 
ments on the Munich pattern. That argument was overruled on 
the principle that “ order comes before the law ”. Faced with an 
imminent threat of war, the United Nations must be prepared 
to act as policemen before they will act as arbitrators. 

In maintaining international peace the Organization relies on a 
system of collective security, i.e. on arrangements — set out 
partly in the Charter, partly in special agreements to be con¬ 
cluded under Article 43 — whereby all Members must co-operate 
in the prevention and suppression of threats to the peace and 
acts of aggression. For fuller details the reader is referred to 
Chapter VII. 

Breaches of the peace are usually preceded by open disputes or, 
at least, by situations pregnant with disputes. It is one of the main 
tasks of the United Nations to bring about without resort to 
force the settlement of such disputes and the adjustment of dan¬ 
gerous situations. The methods of adjustment and settlement are 
set out in detail in Chapter VI. 

2. Development of friendly relations. It is obviously more difficult 
to maintain peace in an atmosphere of suspicion, fear, resentment 
and jealousy than in a community of friendly nations. But when 
the Charter declares the development of friendly relations to be 
one of the chief purposes of the United Nations, it gives no 
pointer to any definite line of action. The text does not go beyond 
enabling the Organization to sponsor any scheme for the better¬ 
ment of international understanding. 

The reference to the “ equal rights and self-determination of 
peoples ” does not involve a guarantee that the United Nations 



PURPOSES AND PRINCIPLES 


7 


will alter the status quo in accordance with these principles. 
The text is cautious : “ respect ” for those principles will have to 
be the “ basis ” of the proposed development of friendly relations. 

The postulate of equal rights is a legal principle. It is universally 
admitted by international law, but in relation to sovereign 
States, 1 not in relation to “ peoples ”. 

Self-determination was one of the basic political concepts of 
the peace settlement of 1919, and was reaffirmed in passages of 
the Atlantic Charter which expressed a desire “ to see no terri¬ 
torial changes that do not accord with the freely expressed wishes 
of the peoples concerned ”,and proclaimed respect for “ the right 
of all peoples to choose the form of government under which 
they will live ”. 

In essence, Article 1(2) is a declaration of good-will towards 
peoples which have not yet achieved self-determination in either 
the legal or the political sense ; and at the same time a notice of 
opposition to what are usually called the methods of power 
politics. But it would be unwarranted to argue that the paragraph 
is a sufficient basis for immediate claims by not fully self-governing 
peoples for a change in their status. 2 3 

The phrase authorizing the Organization “ to take other 
appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace ” is in¬ 
definite. Organs of the United Nations may rely on this general 
clause when they propose to take measures which are not 
specifically authorized in the Charter, and yet seem suitable to 
promote the cause of peace. It is noteworthy that, whereas para¬ 
graph 1 speaks of “ international ” peace, paragraph 2 refers to 
“ universal ” peace — a wider concept which seems to embrace 
the stability of internal relations. Article 2(7) prohibits inter¬ 
vention by the United Nations in essentially domestic matters, 
but under the present clause the Organization has authority to 
take due account of domestic situations when formulating any 
programme which does not involve “ intervention” in the technical 
sense of the word. 2 

3. International co-operation. The first two paragraphs of this 
Article have dealt with the chief political purposes of the Or¬ 
ganization. Paragraph 3, dealing with the non-political activities 
of the United Nations is not — as is sometimes suggested — 
purely ancillary to the definition of the Organization’s responsi- 

1 See comment on Article 2(1). 

9 See comment on Article 73. 

3 See comment on Article 2(7). 



8 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

bility for the maintenance of peace and security. The solution of 
economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems is essential 
to creating conditions which are favourable to peace. Besides, 
the League experiment has shown that a world organization may 
fail to maintain peace and yet achieve lasting results in other 
fields. To create greater economic stability, wider prosperity, 
more complete social justice, to raise educational standards and 
relieve distress in any part of the world : these are aims which in 
themselves are worthy of the efforts of a universal international 
organization. This idea has found practical application in the 
setting up of an Economic and Social Council, a principal organ 
of the United Nations specifically charged with the furtherance 
of international co-operation in the non-political field. 

The promotion of, and the encouragement of respect for, 
human rights and fundamental freedoms have received specific 
mention among the Organization’s principal objectives. Before 
the First World War international law tended to concern itself 
almost exclusively with relationships between Governments, 
without claiming authority to protect the citizen against his own 
Government. The experiences of the inter-war period, the world¬ 
wide tensions arising from the discrimination practised by certain 
Governments against racial, religious, social and political groups, 
have added impetus to the movement for the international pro¬ 
tection of human rights. The term had never before been authori¬ 
tatively defined ; the working out of a definition has become 
one of the responsibilities of the United Nations. 1 But it is 
generally accepted that “ human rights and fundamental free¬ 
doms ” mean those minimum rights of the individual which at 
any given stage of civilization are deemed to be inseparable 
attributes of the human person. They are by no means confined 
to the “ Four Freedoms” listed by President Roosevelt in one of 
his memorable speeches. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, 
freedom from fear and freedom from want stand, each of them, 
for a group of rights in the political, social, economic and spiritual 
sphere of human life. The Charter does not specify them ; it 
only postulates that, whatever these freedoms may be in their 
ultimate definition, they must be available to all without dis¬ 
tinction as to race, sex, language or religion. 

A word of warning, however, is necessary. Article 1(3) does not 
amount to a guarantee that the United Nations will presently 
enforce the undisturbed enjoyment of human rights and funda- 

1 See comment on Article 62. 



PURPOSES AND PRINCIPLES 


9 


mental freedoms. That is the ultimate purpose ; but the Charter 
only asserts that the Organization will strive to promote, and 
encourage respect for, human rights, e.g. by studying the state 
of these rights in the various countries, by trying to find a common 
denominator acceptable to all, or at least to the majority of States, 
and by endeavouring to secure the adoption of suitable inter¬ 
national conventions. 

4. Co-ordination. It is not envisaged that all international action 
in the political, economic, social, cultural and humanitarian field 
shall necessarily flow through the United Nations, still less that 
all existing international organizations shall be absorbed by the 
Secretariat. The text speaks of “ a centre ” — not of “ the centre ”. 
The idea is of co-ordination rather than of strict centralization ; the 
Organization is to provide a forum for discussion and a clearing¬ 
house for information in all matters of international relevance. 1 

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 fulfil 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 ana security. 

1 For a fuller treatment of the subject, see Chapter X, and particularly the comment 
on Article 55 . 



10 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


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 VII. 

Binding force. In the pursuit of the Purposes set out in Article 1. 
the Member States and the Organization (which has a legal 
existence separate from that of its Members) are bound by 
fundamental Principles. These Principles are set out in the form 
of definite obligations, the persistent violation of which may, under 
Article 6 of the Charter, lead to the expulsion of the offending 
Member. 

1. Sovereign equality. The term “sovereign equality” combines 
two different concepts. Neither of them means exactly what the 
words imply in ordinary usage. 

“ Sovereignty ”, in its generally accepted sense, implies that the 
State reigns supreme over its territory and over all persons and 
things therein ; and also that the State will not accept orders from 
any outside authority or be bound by any rule not of its own 
making. 

No State — and in particular, no Member of the United 
Nations — is in effect sovereign to such an unlimited extent. 
All are bound by international law. They are bound not only 
by those rules of international law which they have expressly 
accepted in treaties and conventions. These could still be called 
“ rules of their own making ”. States are bound also by that 
part of international law which is not set out in treaties, but has 
evolved from the customs and practices of civilized States in 
their mutual relationships. Moreover, Members of the United 
Nations are also bound by the provisions of the Charter, many of 
which impose strict limitations on the State’s freedom of action 
in relation to its own territory, citizens and resources. The most 
striking are those which require each Member to take part in 
“ sanctions ”. In the face of a threat to, or of an actual breach of, 
the peace, the Security Council, (which, when viewed from the 
angle of a sovereign State, is an “ outside authority ”), may call 
upon the military and economic resources of any Member of the 
United Nations ; it has a claim on its manpower and, within 
certain limits, to the use of its territory ; it can order any Member 
State to do certain things, and refrain from doing others. 



PURPOSES AND PRINCIPLES 


11 


The sovereignty of a Member State of the United Nations is 
therefore of a limited kind. By signing the Charter, it delegates 
to the Organization powers which it could previously wield 
without any limitations, other than those which follow from 
specific treaty obligations and the customary rules of international 
law. Moreover, not even that residue of sovereignty which remains 
unaffected by specific provisions in the Charter is safe from 
curtailment. Article 2(7) purports to prohibit the Organization 
from intervention in matters which are “ essentially domestic ” ; 
but the limits of the “ essentially domestic ” jurisdiction of a 
State are fluid. Matters which today may, by universal agree¬ 
ment, be still within those limits, might tomorrow be lifted 
from the sphere of domestic jurisdiction — not so much by a 
change in the principles of international law as by the Organiz¬ 
ation’s own interpretation of its responsibilities. 

The concept of “ equality ” is linked with the theory of 
sovereignty. If no sovereign State, however small, is legally bound 
to accept orders from any other State or outside authority, 
however powerful, it follows logically that, as members of the 
international community, all States are equal. None can be bound 
except by its consent ; and no decisions in which they have not 
concurred can be enforced against them. 

Members of the United Nations are not equal in this sense. 
Some Members have special privileges. The five Great Powers 
have permanent seats in the Security Council and the Trusteeship 
Council ; others have not. In the Security Council the negative 
vote of one of the Great Powers has the weight of the negative 
vote of five smaller Powers taken in the aggregate. When it comes 
to amending or revising the Charter, the Great Powers’ concur¬ 
rence is essential ; other Members must submit to the will of the 
majority, unless they prefer to withdraw from the Organization 
altogether. 1 

Moreover the conception that States, being equals, cannot be 
bound by majority decisions is incompatible with the Charter. 
In the League, apart from exceptional cases, all decisions of the 
Assembly and the Council had to be unanimous. Not so in the 
United Nations. All its organs decide by a majority vote in all 
matters ; subject to the veto of the Great Powers, even the Security 
Council so decides. As a rule the simple majority of those present 
and voting is sufficient. No qualified majority is required except 
in the Security Council (Article 27), in the case of certain matters 

1 See comment on Article 6. 



12 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

of importance dealt with by the General Assembly (Article 
18), and for the amendment and revision of the Charter (Articles 
108-109). 

As applied to a Member of the United Nations, “ equality ” 
therefore has a specific meaning. It means that all States are 
equal before the law : the violation of the rights of the smallest 
State must be taken as seriously as the violation of the rights 
of the mightiest. It follows that, in deciding on disputes between 
its Members, the Organization must act impartially, unmoved by 
considerations of power. Equality also means that each Member 
is entitled to immunity from interference with those affairs which 
are essentially its own concern ; that the “ personality ”, terri¬ 
torial integrity and political independence of small States must 
be respected ; and that might and wealth do not relieve any State 
of the duty to comply faithfully with its international obligations. 

2. Good faith. Treaty obligations must be fulfilled. That hardly 
needed saying. The emphasis of the text lies elsewhere. First, 
in the reminder that the Organization can only live up to its full 
potentialities if all Members, not only some of them, fulfil their 
obligations. Secondly, that obligations must be fulfilled in good 
faith. Whether obligations are so fulfilled is a matter on which 
the various organs of the United Nations will form their own 
opinion and act accordingly. “ Good faith ” is undoubtedly a 
flexible term. But so is malice ; and yet, in the common law of 
many countries malice has proved to be capable of definite 
interpretation. 

3. Pacific settlemeni of disputes. The procedure for the peaceful 
settlement of disputes is set out in detail in Chapters VI and XIV. 
To ensure that Members avail themselves of that procedure 
is one of the fundamental objects of the Organization. The 
corresponding duty of Members, through its inclusion among 
the Principles, becomes a fundamental obligation. 

This obligation has important limitations. In the first place, it 
only relates to international disputes — not to disputes of a 
domestic character. In the second place, the Organization is not 
concerned with all kinds of international disputes — only with 
those which may endanger international peace and security. 
Nevertheless, Members are not at liberty to settle minor disputes 
by force or the threat of force ; unless they are prepared to settle 
these disputes peacefully, they must leave them in abeyance. 

On the other hand, it is contrary to the intentions of the Charter 
that major disputes shall remain unsettled for any length of time. 



PURPOSES AND PRINCIPLES 


13 


The obligation of Members is not negative, a mere abstention 
from the use of force. It is a positive duty, designed to clear the 
atmosphere from the dangers inherent in unsettled disputes. 
Once a potentially dangerous conflict has arisen. Members must 
set in motion the procedure of settlement without undue delay, 
whether or not the other party is a Member. 

The term “ peaceful means ” has no definite meaning. Article 33 
enumerates some of them, but the list is not exhaustive ; the 
General Assembly and the Security Council have power to add 
to it, either by the combination of existing methods of settlement 
or by creating precedents for new procedures. 

4. Threat or use of force. The Charter does not eliminate the 
threat or use of force from international relations. On the con¬ 
trary, Members are required to join in the use of force whenever 
they are called upon by the Security Council. That obligation is 
the very foundation of the Charter’s system of collective security. 
But Members must refrain from the threat or use of force in any 
manner that is inconsistent with the Purposes of the United 
Nations ; and that prohibition covers everything except self- 
defence (Article 51) and participation in collective sanctions. 
The text singles out two specific groups of cases. No threat or use 
of force is permissible against (1) the territorial integrity or (2) 
the political independence of any State. It does not matter whether 
that State is a Member or not. Whether any action is in effect 
directed against territorial integrity or political independence is a 
question of fact which will be determined by the appropriate 
organs of the United Nations. 

Where the League Covenant forbade “ resort to war ”, the 
Charter prohibits “ the threat or use of force ”. The different 
terminology is justified by the experience of the inter-war period. 
The use of force without an actual declaration of war has 
developed to a fine art. By prohibiting what is of the essence of 
war (i.e. the use of force), the Charter intends to cut short the 
unending squabble which attends a decision as to the existence 
of a state of war. Unfortunately, “ force ” itself is a flexible 
term. Under modern conditions the threat or use of economic 
retaliation may be as effective against a weaker State as the 
threat or use of armed force. But it appears that the prohibition 
of Article 2(4) is directed exclusively at force in the sense of 
“armed force”. 

5. Assistance. Every Member must join, if called upon, in sanctions 
applied by the United Nations. None of them can lawfully ignore or 


B* 



14 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

resist that call on the ground that it wishes to pursue a policy of 
neutrality, or has by treaty pledged neutrality to the State against 
which sanctions are applied. Nor is a Member entitled to render 
any assistance whatsoever to such a State, though it may have 
promised it by treaty. 

Sanctions are not the only actions to which the fifth paragraph 
of the Article relates. The actions of the Organization cover wide 
sectors of economic, social, cultural and humanitarian co¬ 
operation ; and all Members are in duty bound to support them 
with every means in their power. 

The duties of Members of the Organization may in certain 
cases clash with their obligations under other international 
treaties, particularly those concluded before the Charter came 
into force. This conflict is formally resolved by Article 103, which 
provides that in such cases the obligations under the Charter 
must prevail. 

6. Non-members. Whether international treaties can validly im¬ 
pose obligations on States which are not parties to them is a 
highly controversial problem. In any case the Charter does not 
purport to impose legal obligations on non-members. It does, 
however, impose upon the Organization itself an obligation to 
ensure—by persuasion, if possible, but by the application of force, 
if necessary—the compliance of non-members with the Principles 
of the United Nations. The former will have to obey not as a 
matter of law, but as the result of the realities of power. However, 
the authority claimed by the Organization is strictly limited. 
There must be no interference with non-members, except so far 
as it may be necessary for the maintenance of international peace 
and security. Secondly, the only demand that can be made on 
outsiders is that they act in accordance with the Principles of the 
Charter. For practical purposes these can be reduced to one 
fundamental proposition : disputes must be settled peacefully, 
and the threat or use of force for selfish ends is outlawed. There is 
nothing in this to which any outsider could legitimately object. 
It is a different question whether, by its record so far, the United 
Nations has made good its claim to be accepted by the whole 
world as the arbiter of a new international order based on the 
rule of law. 

As a corollary to the limited authority it claims over them, 
the Organization holds itself at the disposal of non-members who 
may wish to avail themselves of its services. The terms are set 
out in Articles 35 and 93. 



PURPOSES AND PRINCIPLES 


15 


7. Domestic jurisdiction. It is a recognized principle of international 
law that, over a wide range of their responsibilities, national States 
are immune from outside interference. The way in which a nation 
frames its political constitution ; the division of powers between 
the executive, legislative and judicial organs of the State ; the 
principles and methods of public administration ; the regulation 
of the relationship between the citizen and his Government ; 
questions of economic, social and cultural policy — all these are 
commonly regarded as matters of national, not of international 
concern. Freedom of action in these spheres has always been 
jealously guarded by national governments and consistently 
admitted by international law. But the limits of this “ domestic 
jurisdiction ” have not been closely defined. It is clear that a 
matter ceases to be within exclusive domestic jurisdiction as soon 
as it is regulated by international treaty. The converse of that 
rule does not operate with equal force. Many matters may not be 
regulated by international treaties, and yet the action of national 
governments in these matters may have tangible, and indeed 
violent, international repercussions. The way in which national, 
racial or cultural minorities are treated in one State may cause the 
gravest resentment in another State where members of the same 
national, racial, cultural or political group are in the majority 
or have considerable influence. The immigration laws of one 
country may create difficult problems for others which are forced 
by the lack of national resources to encourage the emigration of 
their surplus population. The customs and tariff policy of an 
importing State is of the utmost concern to States with large 
exports to sell.. It is not a matter of indifference to countries in 
search of raw materials if certain Powers bar access to them 
through a restrictive colonial policy. The practice of regulating by 
international treaties a great variety of matters which transcend 
the interests of a single State has been steadily growing in modern 
times. As a result the borderline between domestic jurisdiction 
and international regulation has become fluid, and the field which 
international law can properly recognize as being solely within the 
jurisdiction of a national State is steadily narrowing. 

The existence of a borderline is recognized by the Charter ; 
but no attempt is, or could be, made to define the two fields it 
separates. With constant pressure for the international regulation 
of more and more incidents of government, a dogmatic definition 
is no longer possible. At the same time the absence of a definition 
has already created, and must continue to create, increasing 




16 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

tension within the Organization. Naturally every attempt to 
project its authority into fields previously reserved to national 
governments provokes resistance. The success or failure of the 
United Nations experiment depends to a considerable extent on 
the manner in which the reservation of the Charter in regard to 
domestic jurisdiction will be interpreted. 

At this stage it is difficult to predict the probable trend of 
interpretation. It will be determined by the relative strength, 
within each organ of the United Nations, of the groups of States 
favouring or resisting the restriction of national sovereignty. 
The Security Council (in which the Soviet Union, with its un¬ 
concealed opposition to any surrender of sovereignty, wields a 
power of veto) is likely to apply the Seventh Principle in a more 
restrictive manner than any of the other principal organs. The 
General Assembly has already proved that it is ready to overrule 
objections to its competence if it is satisfied that friendly relations 
between nations had, in fact, been impaired by actions which are 
ex hypothesi essentially domestic. 1 

From the legal point of view, the following considerations are 
relevant to the interpretation of the text: 

(a) Matters “ essentially domestic ”. The Dumbarton Oaks 
Proposals suggested that “ matters which by international law 
are solely within the domestic jurisdiction of the State con¬ 
cerned ” should be exempt from the jurisdiction of the Security 
Council. At San Francisco it was decided that the exemption 
should apply not only to the Security Council, but to the Or¬ 
ganization as a whole ; and further, that it should be applicable 
to all activities of the Organization (e.g. social and economic 
co-operation), and not only to disputes and situations relevant 
to the maintenance of peace. Moreover, the reference to inter¬ 
national law as a measuring rod was dropped ; and the phrase 
“ solely within the domestic jurisdiction ” was replaced by the 
term “ essentially within the domestic jurisdiction ”, on the 
ground that, under modern conditions, there are few things in 
which one State is alone interested. 

The deletion of the reference to international law seems to 
indicate that, from the point of view of the United Nations, it is a 
question of fact and not of law whether a given matter justifies 
intervention by the Organization. The only reliable theoretical 
standard—that of international law—has been discarded. Political 
theory is an unworkable measuring rod for the purposes of an 

1 See comment on Article 10 and Article 14. 



PURPOSES AND PRINCIPLES 


17 


organization whose members conduct their respective national 
lives on the most contradictory principles of political science. 
Whether an issue is essentially domestic must, therefore, be 
decided by practical standards ; and no other is conceivable than 
the reaction of the outside world to a given situation arising in, 
or to an action taken by, a national State. Clamour in the out¬ 
side world is not sufficient justification for the United Nations to 
intervene. But the Seventh Principle must not be allowed to bar 
the way if, after proper and impartial investigation, the com¬ 
petent organ of the United Nations has come to the conclusion 
that, though domestic in appearance, an issue calls for inter¬ 
national action. 

(b) Intervention. The Charter does not say that the Organization 
must take no notice of essentially domestic issues, but only 
declares that it must refrain from two specific lines of action. 

First, it must not require its Members to submit for settlement 
disputes or situations arising from essentially domestic matters. 
If they submit them of their own volition, neither the Security 
Council nor the General Assembly are entitled to object. 

Secondly, the Organization’s activities must stop short of inter¬ 
vention. “ Intervention ” has a technical meaning in international 
law. It means “ dictatorial interference by a State in the affairs 
of another State for the purpose of maintaining or altering the 
actual condition of things” 1 — a direct pressure exercised 
through force or the threat of force or, at least, through a demand 
purporting to be made by right. The discussion or study of a 
problem, or an inquiry into it, by any organ of the United Nations 
is not “ intervention ”; not even a formal recommendation is 
intervention if it does not purport to decide the issue against one 
or several of the parties. Recommendations not addressed to 
an individual State but disposing of a problem in general terms 
cannot, as a rule, be regarded as intervention. 

(c) Enforcement measures. The essentially domestic character of 
an issue does not bar intervention by the United Nations when 
the conflict has resulted in a threat to the peace, a breach of the 
peace, or an act of aggression. The Charter is built on the over¬ 
riding principle that the importance of averting or stopping 
breaches of the peace transcends all considerations of sovereignty. 

(d) The position of non-members. The prohibition of intervention 
in domestic matters is so formulated that it protects Members 
and non-members equally. Conversely, when it comes to threats 

1 Oppenheim-Lauterpacht op. cit. Vol. I., p. 272. 



18 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

to the peace, breaches of the peace or acts of aggression, the 
Security Council is as free to act against non-members as it is 
against Members. 

(e) The role of the International Court. Since in the final formu¬ 
lation of the Seventh Principle the criterion of international law 
has been abandoned, neither Members nor any organ of the 
United Nations have any obligation to refer to the International 
Court of Justice the question whether, in a disputed case, the 
issue is essentially domestic. Members can do so by agreement, 
and, under Article 96, organs of the United Nations and special¬ 
ized agencies may ask the Court for an advisory opinion. 



CHAPTER II 


MEMBERSHIP 
Article 3 

The original Members of the United Nations shall be the 
States which, having participated in the United Nations Con¬ 
ference on International Organization at San Francisco, or 
having previously signed the Declaration by United Nations 
1st January, 1942, sign the present Charter and ratify it in 
accordance with Article 110. 

Classes of Members. The Charter provides for two classes of 
Members : (a) original and (b) those admitted later. 

There is no discrimination in favour of the original as against 
later Members. They all enjoy the same privileges and share the 
same burdens. The distinction, however, is important, in that, as 
regards original Members, their participation in the Organization 
is considered as acquired by right, while that of future Members 
is dependent on the fulfilment of certain conditions. 
Qualifications for original membership. These were (a) ratification 
of the Charter (b) participation in the San Francisco Conference, 
or previous adherence to the United Nations Declaration of 
January 1, 1942. 

All the signatories to the Declaration attended the Conference 
with the exception of Poland, who could not be invited pending 
the establishment of a Government of national unity, as stipulated 
in the decisions of the Yalta Conference of February, 1945. 
There are 51 original Members of the United Nations. 
Difference from the League system. The regulation of original 
membership by the Charter differs from the regulation in the 
Covenant on two points: 

(a) The Allied and Associated Powers of the First World War 
which ratified the Treaty of Versailles, or any other Peace Treaty 
incorporating the Covenant, were automatically entitled to original 
membership of the League. Original membership of the United 
Nations depended on ratification of the Charter itself. 

(b) Under the Covenant, 13 States which remained neutral 
during the First World War were declared eligible for original 
membership subject to their adherence to the Covenant. Under 


19 



20 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

the Charter no neutral of the Second World War could become 
an original Member of the United Nations. 

The five sponsoring Great Powers and the majority of the 
signatories of the Charter ratified it by October 24, 1945, and 
became Members on that date. The remainder became Members 
on the day when they deposited their instruments of ratification 
with the Government of the U.S.A. 1 

Article 4 

1. Membership in the United Nations is open to all other 
peace-loving States which accept the obligations contained in 
the present Charter and, in the judgement of the Organization, 
are able and willing to carry out these obligations. 

2. The admission of any such State to membership in the 
United Nations will be effected by a decision of the General 
Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council. 

Conditions of admission. Five conditions must be fulfilled: 

(1) The applicant must be a State. The Charter does not define the 
attributes of statehood. Normally, a community becomes a State 
when — de facto or de jure, expressly or by implication — it is 
recognized as such by the Family of Nations. But the United 
Nations is not bound to regard previous general recognition as a 
necessary criterion. The mere fact that one or more Members of 
the Organization have refused to give recognition to a State does 
not prevent the General Assembly and the Security Council from 
admitting it to membership, if, from the circumstances of the 
case, they conclude that the community in question has passed 
the stage of being merely “ a State in the making ”. On the other 
hand, once a State has been admitted, it would seem that no 
Member of the United Nations is entitled to withhold individual 
recognition — at any rate, de facto. 

Full sovereignty is not an essential condition. The Byelorussian 
S.S.R. and the Ukranian S.S.R. are original Members of the 
Organisation although, as parts of the U.S.S.R. they are not 
fully sovereign. It does not, however, follow that the constituent 
States of a federal unit are normally eligible for membership. 
The case of the two Soviet Republics was exceptional in that, 
under the recently amended constitution of the U.S.S.R., they 
had been authorized, in theory at least, to conduct their external 


1 Sec List of Signatory States on p. 217. 



MEMBERSHIP 


21 


affairs independently. Without that constitutional amendment 
they could not have become Members of the Organization. 

Membership is not confined to States having a democratic 
system any more than it was in the League of Nations. As, how¬ 
ever, Article 1(3) proclaims as one of the fundamental purposes 
of the Organization the promotion of human rights and funda¬ 
mental freedoms, it is arguable that States in which fundamental 
political freedoms are lacking are not eligible for membership. 1 
Moreover, an interpretative commentary approved by the San 
Francisco Conference with regard to the admission of new 
Members made it clear that this Article 
“ cannot be applied to the States whose regimes have been 
established with the help of military forces belonging to the 
countries which have waged war against the United Nations, 
as long as those regimes are in power ”. 

That interpretation was directed against General Franco’s 
Government in Spain. Later, in the Potsdam Declaration of 
August 2,1945, the United Kingdom, the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. 
expressly declared that “ they for their part would not favour 
any application for membership put forward by the present 
Spanish Government ”. 

(2) The applicant must accept the obligations contained in the 
Charter. 

It is not clear that acceptance must be unconditional in all cases. 
Under the Covenant, neutrals of the First World War were eligible 
for membership of the League on condition that they acceded 
to the covenant “without reservation”. All the same, in 1920, 
the Council of the League approved the admission of Switzerland, 
notwithstanding its reservations in regard to military sanctions. 

It is questionable whether any reservations of neutrality will 
be permissible under the Charter. In the League, no Member was 
under any legal obligation to take part in military sanctions, 
apart from affording passage through its territory. Article 2(5) 
of the Charter, on the other hand, imposes on Members an un¬ 
qualified obligation to “ give the United Nations every assistance 
in any action it takes in accordance with the present Charter ” : 
and Article 43 provides that “ all Members undertake to make 
available to the Security Council, on its call and in accordance 
with a special agreement or agreements, armed forces, assistance 

1 It was on these grounds that the British, United States and French delegations to 
the Security Council have so far opposed the admission of Roumania, Bulgaria and 
Hungary. 



22 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


and facilities, including rights of passage, necessary for the 
purpose of maintaining international peace and security 

(3) The applicant must be a peace-loving State. To quote the 
records of the San Francisco Conference 

“ to declare oneself peace-loving does not suffice. What nation 

has ever professed any other sentiments ? ” 

The condition of “ peace-lovingness ” is therefore a question of 
fact, to be determined by the Security Council and the General 
Assembly after careful scrutiny of the historical and political record. 

(4) The applicant must be willing to carry out the obligations of 
the Charter. A mere declaration of intention is obviously not 
sufficient, but the Charter makes no mention of the right of the 
Security Council and the General Assembly to call for specific 
undertakings. In the League, the position was different. Under 
Article 1 of the Covenant, the admission of new Members 
was dependent on their providing effective guarantees of a 
sincere intention to meet their international obligations. The 
first League Assembly (1920), when considering the applications 
of the Baltic States and Albania, required them to grant national 
minorities a status similar to those guaranteed in the “ Minorities 
Treaties ” drawn up in 1919 ; and in 1923, Ethiopia had to 
guarantee the abolition of slavery as a condition of admission. 

The Security Council and the General Assembly have not, 
so far, defined their position to the question whether they had 
power to call for proof, in the form of specific undertakings, of an 
applicant’s willingness to carry out the obligations of the Charter. 1 

(5) The applicant must be able to carry out the obligations of the 
Charter. This condition, which had no precedent in the Covenant, 
affords an opportunity for a general survey of political, economic 
and social conditions in the applicant State and, particularly, for 
an expression of opinion on the stability of its r6gime. Unpopular 
dictatorships are unstable ex hypothesi; they are unsuitable 
applicants for membership of an Organization which must be 
able to rely on the staying power of Member Governments in 
emergency situations which may easily arise from a call to 
arms under Article 42. 

1 Opportunity has not been lacking. The admission of Roumania, Bulgaria and 
Hungary has been opposed in the Security Council on the basis that their regimes showed 
no respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. The applications have been 
rejected on the formal ground that they failed to secure the necessary number of votes. 
In the view of the present writers, it would have been permissible for the Council to say 
that it was not prepared to recommend these States for admission until they had given 
specific undertakings for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms 
in a manner acceptable to the United Nations. 



MEMBERSHIP 


23 


Extraneous conditions. In October 1947 the Soviet delegation to 
the Security Council vetoed the admission of Italy and Finland 
on the grounds that the five European allies of Germany must be 
deemed to form, for the purposes of Article 4, an inseparable 
group; no member of the group could be admitted without the 
simultaneous admission of all the others ; if the applications of 
Roumania, Bulgaria and Hungary failed owing to the opposition 
of the Western Powers, those of Italy and Finland must also fail. 
Likewise, the Soviet delegation resisted the applications of Trans¬ 
jordan, Eire and Portugal ; it contended that it was an implied 
condition of admission that the attitude and behaviour of appli¬ 
cant States towards the aggressors of the Second World War 
must have been impeccable. The Soviet Union also opposed the 
admission of Austria, on the ground that the proposed State 
Treaty between that country and the Allied Powers was still in 
abeyance. 

Faced with the deadlock in the Security Council, the General 
Assembly, in November, 1947, requested the International Court 
of Justice for an advisory opinion. In its Opinion delivered on 
May 28, 1948, the Court by a majority declared that: 

(a) a Member of the United Nations which is called upon, in 
virtue of Article 4 of the Charter, to pronounce itself by its 
vote, either in the Security Council or in the General As¬ 
sembly, on the admission of a State to membership in the 
United Nations, is not juridically entitled to make its consent 
to the admission dependent on conditions not expressly 
provided by paragraph (1) of the said Article ; and 

(b) in particular, a Member of the Organization cannot, while 
it recognizes the conditions set forth in that provision to be 
fulfilled by the State concerned, subject its affirmative vote 
to the additional condition that other States be admitted to 
membership in the United Nations together with that State. 

On the basis of this Advisory Opinion, the General Assembly, 
in December, 1948, requested the Security Council to reconsider 
the applications of Italy, Finland, Transjordan, Portugal, Eire 
and Austria. 1 

Procedure. Under the Rules of Procedure of the Security Council 
and the General Assembly, a State which desires to become a 
Member must submit a formal application to the Secretary- 
General. The latter sends a copy of the application to the General 
Assembly or, if it is not in session, to all Members. The original 

1 These applications were still in abeyance in May 1949. 



24 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


application is placed before the Security Council; and the Council 
is expected to make a recommendation at the next session (regular 
or special) following the receipt of the application. Normally 
the case is first examined by a committee of the Council on which 
all its members are represented. If the Council makes a positive 
recommendation (and this requires a majority of seven votes, 
including the concurring votes of the five permanent members), 
the recommendation is forwarded to the Assembly with a complete 
record of the discussion. The Assembly then re-examines the 
application on its merits, and decides by a two-thirds majority of 
those present and voting. If the application is approved, member¬ 
ship becomes effective as from the date of the Assembly Reso¬ 
lution. 

If the Security Council rejects the application or postpones 
its consideration, it must submit a special report to the Assembly 
with a complete record of the discussion. The rejection is not 
final. Reconsideration may at any time be requested by the 
applicant or any Member of the Organization or the General 
Assembly. 1 

New Members admitted under Article 4. Afghanistan, Iceland, 
and Sweden became Members with effect from November 9, 
1946 ; Siam with effect from December 15, 1946; Yemen and 
Pakistan with effect from September 30, 1947; the Union of 
Burma with effect from April 19, 1948; and Israel with effect 
from May 11, 1949. 


Article 5 

A Member of the United Nations against which preventive 
or enforcement action has been taken by the Security Council 
may be suspended from the exercise of the rights and privileges 
of membership by the General Assembly upon the recom¬ 
mendation of the Security Council. The exercise of these 
rights and privileges may be restored by the Security Council. 

Conditions of suspension. Only Member States against which 
preventive or enforcement action has been taken (Chapter VII) 
may be suspended from the rights and privileges of membership. 
The main purpose is to prevent States guilty of a threat to the 
peace, a breach of the peace or an act of aggression (Article 39) 
from obstructing the Organization in the discharge of its functions. 

1 In the League, the admission of new Members was within the jurisdiction of the 
Assembly ; no recommendation from the Council was necessary. 



MEMBERSHIP 


25 


There is no guarantee that this purpose can be achieved if the 
offending State is a permanent member of the Security Council 
and, as such, entitled to veto any recommendation under this 
Article, 

The powers of the Security Council and the General Assembly 
are permissive. They may, but they need not, suspend an offending 
Member. 

Procedure. The Assembly decides by a two-thirds majority of the 
members present and voting, but it cannot act without a positive 
recommendation from the Security Council. The voting procedure 
in the Council is governed by Article 27(3), but the proviso that a 
party to a dispute shall abstain from voting does not apply to 
decisions under the present Article. 

Whereas the concurrent action of the Council and the Assembly 
is necessary to suspend the rights and privileges of a Member, 
these may be restored by the Council acting alone. 

Effects of suspension. Suspension does not in any way affect the 
obligations of the Member ; it only affects its rights and privileges. 
As a rule, suspension and restoration must operate on the 
totality of these rights. 1 Whether the application of the Article 
has any effect on the rights and privileges of the Member in 
specialized agencies (Article 57) depends on the constitution of 
the agency concerned. 2 


Article 6 

A Member of the United Nations which has persistently 
violated the Principles contained in the present Charter may be 
expelled from the Organization by the General Assembly upon 
the recommendation of the Security Council. 

Termination of membership. There are three ways in which a 
State may cease to be a Member of the Organization : (1) the 
termination of its sovereign statehood ; (2) withdrawal ; (3) 
expulsion. 

Termination of statehood. This case required no express regulation 
in the Charter, as it follows from Article 2(1) and Articles 3-4 
that membership of the Organization is inseparable from sovereign 


1 A partial suspension of rights is, however, possible under Article 19. 
a Article (3) of the Constitution of UNESCO provides that a Member which has 
been suspended from the exercise of its rights and privileges in the United Nations must 
be suspended from its rights of membership in UNESCO, if the United Nations so requests. 



26 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


statehood. It comes to an end ipso facto with the loss of that 
status, e.g. when a Member becomes part of a federal State. 
Withdrawal. Under the Covenant 1 any Member of the League 
could withdraw after giving two years’ notice, provided that its 
international obligations, and particularly those under the Coven¬ 
ant, were fulfilled. Members could also withdraw if they dis¬ 
sented from an amendment to the Covenant. 2 

The Charter contains no provision admitting the right to with¬ 
draw from the Organization. The San Francisco Conference 
took the view that, if such a right were expressly granted, some 
Members might use it as a means of escape from long-term 
obligations, or as a weapon with which to extort concessions 
from the Organization. But the appropriate committee of the 
Conference included in its report a declaration that, notwithstan¬ 
ding the absence of specific provisions in the Charter, withdrawals 
would be admissible if (1) exceptional circumstances compelled 
a Member to “ leave the burden of maintaining international 
peace and security on the other Members” ; (2) if,“deceiving the 
hopes of humanity, the Organization was revealed to be unable 
to maintain peace, or could do so only at the expense of law and 
justice” ; and (3) if the rights and obligations of a Member were, 
without his concurrence, changed by amendment of the Charter 
or, conversely, if an amendment accepted by the majorities 
prescribed in Articles 108-109 failed to secure the requisite 
number of ratifications.® 

Expulsion. No Member of the Organization can be expelled for 
an isolated breach of its obligations under the Charter, however 
grave it may be. Expulsion is applicable only in the case of a 
“ persistent ” violation of the Principles set forth in Article 2. 
Particular importance attaches to the Second Principle which 
prescribes the fulfilment in good faith of all obligations assumed 
“ in accordance ” with the Charter. This phrase would seem to 
cover, in addition to obligations “ under ” the Charter, all treaty 
obligations accepted under the auspices of the Organization. 
A fortiori, repeated threats to, or violations of, the peace (Article 
39) may entail expulsion, whether or not Article 5 had been 
previously applied against the offending State. 

Expulsion terminates both the rights and the obligations 
attached to membership, but does not altogether withdraw the 

1 Covenant, Article 1. 

2 Covenant, Article 26. 

8 See comment on Articles 108 and 109. 



MEMBERSHIP 


27 


expelled Member from the jurisdiction of the Organization. 
As a non-member, the State concerned may still be compelled 
by the Organization to act in accordance with the Principles of the 
Charter so far as may be necessary for the maintenance of peace 
and security, 1 and in the conditions of Article 32 and Article 
35(2) it may still claim access to the Security Council and the 
General Assembly. 

Moreover, expulsion is no bar to a subsequent application for 
re-admission, provided the conditions of Article 4 are fulfilled. 

Expulsion requires the concurrent action of the Security 
Council and the General Assembly in the same way as suspension 
under Article 5. 2 This makes a permanent member of the Security 
Council virtually immune from expulsion, except in the highly 
improbable case that it had been previously suspended under 
Article 5 from the rights and privileges of membership. 


1 Article 2(6). 
4 See p. 25. 



CHAPTER III 


ORGANS 
Article 7 

1. There are established as the 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. 

“ Principal ” and “ subsidiary ” organs. The division into principal 
and subsidiary organs applies only to the central organization 
and not the United Nations system as a whole. The manifold 
functional organizations (Article 57) are not organs of the 
United Nations but “ specialized agencies ”. Again, the 
regional agencies referred to in Chapter VIII are not organs 
of the United Nations, even in those cases where all the constituent 
States are Members of the United Nations. 

The distinction between principal and subsidiary organs does 
not imply a hierarchy of functions in the sense that subsidiary 
organs only deal with ancillary tasks. The Military Staff 
Committee (Article 47) or the Interim Committee of the General 
Assembly (established under Article 22) are entrusted with 
functions of the utmost importance. Again, subordination to 
a principal organ is not an essential feature of subsidiary 
organs. The Secretariat is a principal organ, and yet it is sub¬ 
ordinated to instructions from other bodies, some of which may 
be subsidiary organs (e.g. the Human Rights Commission). 
Nor is it an essential element of the definition that the subsidiary 
organ shall have been set up by a principal organ. The Military 
Staff Committee derives its existence direct from Article 47 of 
the Charter; and none of the principal organs has authority to 
abolish it or change its composition or curtail its responsibilities. 

Thus the essential difference between principal and subsidiary 
organs lies elsewhere. The number and designation of the principal 
organs having been established by the Charter, none of them can 
be abolished, and no further organs set up without amendment of 
the Charter. In contrast, any number of subsidiary organs can 


28 



ORGANS 


29 


be set up, and (save for the Military Staff Committee) abolished 
or reorganized, without recourse to the complicated procedure 
of constitutional amendment. In this respect, the discretionary 
powers of the competent principal organs are limited only by 
Article 68, which provides that the Economic and Social Council 
must set up commissions “ in economic and social fields and for 
the promotion of human rights 

Relations between principal organs. The character of these relations 
is more complicated than it was in the League, if only because the 
number of principal organs has increased from two to six. The 
Covenant (Article 2) provided that “ the action of the League . . . 
shall be effected through the instrumentality of an Assembly and 
of a Council, with a permanent Secretariat ”. If we compare that 
with Article 7 of the Charter, we find that (1) the functions of 
what used to be one Council are now divided between three co¬ 
ordinated bodies : the Security Council, the Economic and Social 
Council and the Trusteeship Council ; (2) the Secretariat has 
become a principal organ ; and (3) the Court, which was not an 
organ of the League, but a separate body closely connected with 
it, is now an integral part of the Organization. 

Interdependence. The Charter establishes no hierarchy among 
the principal organs. None of them can operate independently 
of one or more of the others. In some cases this interdependence 
takes the form of subordination ; but the same organ, which is 
subordinated for some purposes, appears as the superior organ 
in other matters. 

Thus the three Councils are subordinated to the Assembly, 
inasmuch as (1) their members (excepting the permanent members 
of the Security Council and of the Trusteeship Council) are 
elected by the Assembly ; (2) the finance required for their 
activities is voted by the Assembly (Article 17) ; (3) they have to 
report to the Assembly (Article 15) ; (4) any agreements between 
the Economic and Social Council and the specialized agencies are 
subject to approval by the Assembly (Article 63(1)); (5) the 
Economic and Social Council has to perform any functions that 
may, from time to time, be assigned to it by the Assembly (Article 
66(3)); (6) the Economic and Social Council must not perform 
services at the request of Members or specialized agencies, except 
with the approval of the Assembly ; and (7) generally, the 
Economic and Social Council and the Trusteeship Council 
operate “ under the authority ” of the Assembly (Article 60 and 
Article 85). 



30 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


On the other hand, the Assembly is subordinated to the 
Security Council, in that, under Article 12, while the Council is 
seised of any dispute or situation affecting peace and security, 
the Assembly must not make any recommendation on the matter, 
except by request of the Council. 

Several important activities require joint action by the Security 
Council and the General Assembly, such as (1) the admission 
of new Members (Article 4) ; (2) the suspension of the rights and 
privileges of Members 1 (Article 5) ; (3) the expulsion of Members 
(Article 6) ; (4) the determination of conditions on which non¬ 
members may become parties to the Statute of the International 
Court of Justice (Article 93) ; (5) the appointment of the Secretary- 
General (Article 97) ; and (6) revision of the Charter (Article 
109). 

The Charter contains express provisions for “ assistance ” by 
one principal organ to another, i.e. (1) by the Economic and 
Social Council to the Security Council (Article 65) ; (2) by the 
Trusteeship Council to the Assembly (Article 85) ; (3) by the 
Economic and Social Council to the Trusteeship Council (Article 
91) ; and (4) by the International Court of Justice, in the form of 
advisory opinions, to the Assembly and the Security Council 
(Article 96). 2 

The maintenance of international peace and security is, under 
Article 24, the “primary” responsibility of the Security Council. 
Primary responsibility, however, does not mean exclusive juris¬ 
diction. In fact, with the exception of enforcement measures, all 
questions relating to international peace and security (including 
disarmament and the regulation of armaments) are within the 
concurrent jurisdiction of the Security Council and the Assembly. 
Functions entrusted to subsidiary organs. See comment on Articles 
22, 29, 47 and 68. 


Article 8 

The United Nations shall place no restrictions on the 
eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and 
under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary 
organs. 

1 But suspended rights and privileges may be restored by the Security Council without 
reference to the Assembly. 

2 Since the entry into force of the Charter, general authority to request the Court for 
advisory opinions has been given to the Economic and Social Council, to the Trusteeship 
Council and to specialized agencies (see comment on Article 96). 



ORGANS 


31 


The mere ratification of the Charter involves no obligation for 
Member States to abolish such discrimination against women as 
may exist under their respective national laws. It is one of the 
basic assumptions of the Charter 1 that in time the equal rights of 
men and women will be admitted all over the world. The achieve¬ 
ment of that objective is, however, left to national action and to 
international conventions concluded under the auspices of the 
Organization and of the appropriate specialized agencies. 

The Article, therefore, has a limited application. It guarantees 
that the Organization, as such, will place no restrictions on the 
eligibility of women, on an equal footing with men, for partici¬ 
pation in its principal and subsidiary organs. As far as posts in 
the Secretariat are concerned, the Organization has it in its power 
to give full effect to this principle of equality ; and in that respect 
its record is exemplary. But it is for the Member Governments 
alone to decide whether and to what extent they will respect the 
equality of women in appointing representatives to the General 
Assembly, the three Councils and the various subsidiary organs. 


1 See the Preamble, Article 1(3), Article 33(c) and Article 76. 



CHAPTER IV 


THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 


Composition 

Article 9 

1. The General Assembly shall consist of all the Members 
of the United Nations. 

2. Each Members shall have not more than five representatives 
in the General Assembly. 

Character of the Assembly. The General Assembly is the only 
principal organ in which all Member States are directly and 
continuously represented. Full effect is given in its organization 
to the principle of sovereign equality proclaimed in Article 2(1). 
Whereas in the Security Council and the Trusteeship Council the 
Great Powers have privileged representation, and in the former 
also privileged voting rights, in the General Assembly the equality 
of Members is unqualified. 

It is a fallacy to talk of the General Assembly as a World 
Parliament. Parliament connotes legislative powers : and the 
General Assembly has not those powers. If an analogy is wanted, 
it would be more accurate to say that the General Assembly, 
similarly to the Assembly of the League, is a standing conference 
of the States of the world, great and small. We have come to take 
for granted such a standing conference and to expect it to develop 
a consciousness and tradition of its own. But we may remember 
that in 1920 it was something new. 

In the earlier system of the Concert of Europe no permanent 
organization of any kind was available to the smaller European 
Powers for co-operation in solving issues of general policy. 
The position was much the same in the Americas. Admittedly, 
many diplomatic congresses, with the participation of the lesser 
Powers, were held in the decades preceding the First World War ; 
but they dealt with specialized problems of a technical character, 
not with political problems of universal interest. The permanent 
association of the smaller Powers with political decisions on world 
issues dates from the Covenant of the League. 

Thus, in the wider framework of the Family of Nations, the 
General Assembly is destined to play the same part as the 


32 



THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 


33 


Assembly of the League. But within the framework of the Or¬ 
ganization itself, the characteristics of the two assemblies are 
different. Under the Covenant, the “ action ” of the League was 
to be effected “ through the instrumentality of an Assembly and 
of a Council ”: the powers of the two organs were undifferentiated, 
and each of them had both deliberative and executive functions. 1 
In contrast, the Charter prescribes a clear-cut differentiation 
of competence. The General Assembly is debarred from taking 
any “ action ” in the sphere of security; all decisions relating to 
provisional measures and sanctions (Chapter VII) are reserved for 
the Security Council exclusively. The powers of the General As¬ 
sembly do not go beyond “ recommendations ” in any field of 
international activity. Its main functions are the consideration of 
general principles, the discussion of particular questions, the initia¬ 
tion of studies. It is a deliberative assembly whose impact on 
Member States and the outside world depends on the cogency of 
its arguments and the moral authority of its recommendations. 
Such administrative powers as it has only operate within the 
Organization. Some of them, notably the election of the non¬ 
permanent members of the Councils, the adoption of the budget 
and the approval of trusteeship agreements, may have a consider¬ 
able influence on the policy of the executive organs and on the 
financial and military strength of the Organization as a whole ; 
but this influence is indirect. 

Composition. The Dumbarton Oaks proposals did not specify 
the number of representatives allowed to each Member State. 
Even at San Francisco, several delegations felt that Members 
should be free to decide on the size of their delegations, provided 
no delegation had more than one vote. Eventually, they yielded 
to the concern expressed by some of the small States lest the 
Great Powers should send delegations of an overwhelming size ; 
and finally the maximum number of representatives was fixed 
at five. 2 3 

Under the Rules of Procedure, in addition to its principal 
representatives, each Member is entitled to send to the Assembly 
not more than five “ alternate representatives ” and an unlimited 
number of advisers, experts and persons of similar status. The 
reasons for this are technical. Apart from the fact that the principal 

1 Article 15 of the Covenant enabled the Council to refer to the Assembly any dis¬ 
putes between Members, and made it compulsory for the Council so to do if either party, 
within fourteen days after the submission of the dispute to the Council, requested that it 

should be referred to the Assembly. 

3 In the Assembly of the League the maximum number was three. 



34 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


delegates need expert advice on many items of the agenda, five 
delegates are not, as a rule, sufficient to assure the adequate 
representation of Members in the numerous committees and 
sub-committees which transact most of the business of the 
Assembly. The advisers, experts and persons of similar status may 
act as members of committees, but not of the Assembly in plenary 
session, and they are not eligible for appointment as chairmen, 
vice-chairmen or rapporteurs of committees. These posts, and 
seats in the General Assembly in the place of principal repre¬ 
sentatives, are reserved for the alternate representatives. 

The Charter does not recognize any hierarchy within the 
national delegations, but in consequence of the rule (Article 18) 
whereby each Member State can only cast one vote, the Or¬ 
ganization must, in some form or other, take note of internal 
arrangements designed to regulate the use of voting power. 
The Rules of Procedure are formulated on the assumption that 
each delegation has a chairman with power to designate alternate 
representatives for plenary sessions, and advisers, experts and 
persons of similar status as members of committees. The Rules 
do not specify the powers of the chairman in regard to voting 
rights in plenary sessions, but in practice each delegation votes 
through its chairman or through a member designated by him. 


Functions and Powers 

Article 10 

The General Assembly may discuss any questions or any 
matters within the scope of the present Charter or relating to 
the powers and functions of any organs provided for in the 
present Charter, and, except as provided in Article 12, may 
make recommendations to the Members of the United Nations 
or to the Security Council or to both on any such questions 
or matters. 

General clause. Articles 10-17 which are grouped under 
the title “ Functions and Powers ” do not fully dispose of either 
subject. Further functions and powers are allotted to the Assembly 
in Chapters IX-X and in Chapter XII. 

All these provisions are either permissive or mandatory: 
they either allow or require the Assembly to perform specific 
functions. 



THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 


35 


This Article, which belongs to the group of permissive provisions, 
is a “ general clause It defines the functions of the Assembly 
in the widest possible terms. All the remaining permissive pro¬ 
visions are specific applications of this clause and do not limit 
its general scope. 

History. Article 3 of the Covenant authorized the Assembly of 
the League to “ deal at its meetings with any matter within the 
sphere of action of the League or affecting the peace of the world ”. 
The Dumbarton Oaks Proposals sought to restrict the com¬ 
petence of the new Assembly in two directions. First, decisions 
on “ action ” were to be reserved for the Security Council, and 
the risk of the Assembly and the Council making conflicting or 
overlapping recommendations was to be excluded ; these res¬ 
trictions are embodied in Article 11(2) and Article 12 of the 
Charter. Secondly, the Proposals sought to limit the field of the 
Assembly’s discussions ; these were to be confined to the general 
principles of co-operation in the maintenance of peace and 
security (including disarmament), specific questions relating to 
peace and brought before the Assembly by Member States or the 
Security Council, situations likely to impair the general welfare, 
co-operation in the political, economic and social fields, and 
administrative matters. 

The San Francisco Conference did not accept this second group 
of restrictions. The catalogue of subjects suggested at Dumbarton 
Oaks seemed to be comprehensive, but like all catalogues could 
not be relied upon to provide for every eventuality. It was felt, 
moreover, that the Assembly should be able to discuss specific 
questions relating to peace and security upon its own initiative, 
not only at the request of Members or the Security Council. 

In its final form, the Article is hardly less general than Article 
3 of the Covenant. It deals with two main groups of subjects : 
(1) matters within the scope of the Charter, and (2) the powers 
and functions of the organs of the United Nations. 

Matters within the scope of the Charter. For practical purposes, 
this phrase covers the whole field of international relations. The 
Charter is applicable not only to the international action of Mem¬ 
ber States, but, in the field of security, also to the action of non¬ 
members (Article 2(6)). It deals with the co-operation of Mem¬ 
bers not only within the Organization, but also outside it: 
“ regional arrangements ” (Article 52) are not permissible unless 
they are consistent with the Purposes and Principles of the 
United Nations. Again, the Assembly is not debarred from 



36 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


discussing the domestic affairs of States. First, discussion and 
recommendation are not “ intervention ” in the sense prohibited 
by Article 2(7): and secondly, the responsibilities assumed by the 
Organization for the promotion of respect for human rights 
have narrowed considerably the field of essentially domestic 
jurisdiction. 1 

Powers and functions of organs. None of the principal organs of 
the United Nations can be set up, or continue after its appointed 
term, without the concurrence of the General Assembly. The 
non-permanent members of the Councils, the judges of the Inter¬ 
national Court of Justice, the Secretary-General of the United 
Nations are all elected by the Assembly, and re-elections are in 
its gift. All principal organs, except the Court, must make 
periodic reports to the Assembly, and for the financial means of 
their existence they all depend on the Assembly’s budgetary 
powers. 

Constitutionally therefore the Assembly is the supreme super¬ 
visory organ of the United Nations, and, at the same time, the 
final authority on the interpretation of those provisions in the 
Charter which define the competence of principal and subsidiary 
organs. 2 


Article 11 

1. The General Assembly may consider the general principles 
of co-operation in the maintenance of international peace and 
security, including the principles governing disarmament and 
the regulation of armaments, and may make recommendations 
with regard to such principles to the Members or to the 
Security Council or to both. 

2. The General Assembly may discuss any questions relating 
to the maintenance of international peace and security brought 
before it by any Member of the United Nations, or by the 
Security Council, or by a State which is not a Member of the 
United Nations in accordance with Article 35, paragraph 2, 
and, except as provided in Article 12, may make recommenda¬ 
tions with regard to any such questions to the State or States 
concerned or to the Security Council or to both. Any such 
question on which action is necessary shall be referred to the 

1 See the discussion in the Assembly of the Spanish Question (1946-7) ; the Treatment 
of Indians in the Union of South Africa (1946, 1947 and 1949); the Observance in Bulgaria 
and Hungary of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1949). 

9 The question of controversial interpretations of the Charter is discussed under 
Article 111. 



THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 


37 


Security Council by the General Assembly either before or 
after discussion. 

3. The General Assembly may call the attention of the Security 
Council to situations which are likely to endanger international 
peace and security. 

4. The powers of the General Assembly set forth in this 
Article shall not limit the general scope of Article 10. 

Scope. The powers set forth in this Article are all permissive, and 
they are all concerned with peace and security. The last paragraph 
of the text makes it clear that no limitation of the general scope 
of Article 10 is involved. 

The provisions are subdivided in two main heads : paragraph 
1 concerns the general principles of international co-operation 
in matters of security, and paragraphs 2 and 3 the responsibilities 
of the Assembly in regard to specific problems affecting inter¬ 
national peace. 

The text follows closely the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals, 
using “ consider ” in relation to principles and “ discuss ” in 
relation to specific questions. It has been suggested that the verbal 
distinction is deliberate, that “ consideration ” is more compre¬ 
hensive than “ discussion ” and contemplates the making of a 
recommendation. That view seems to be unwarranted. The 
Assembly’s right to make recommendations following a “ dis¬ 
cussion ” is expressly admitted in Article 10 and Article 11(2). 
If there is any difference between the two terms, it is that 
“ consideration ” points to a broad and probably periodical 
review of principles, while “ discussion ” is concerned with 
immediate issues. 

“ General principles ” : (1) Co-operation in the maintenance of 
peace and security. The practical purpose of referring to the 
Assembly the general principles relating to this subject is not 
clear. They are laid down with particularity in Articles 1 and 2 
and Chapters VI and VII, and cannot be changed without formal 
amendment of the Charter. The Assembly itself felt uncertain 
about the way it should discharge this responsibility and, in 
November 1947, invited the Interim Committee to make 
suggestions “ on methods to be adopted to give effect to that part 
of Article 11 (paragraph 1) which deals with the general principles 
of co-operation in the maintenance of international peace and 
security ”. 1 


1 For further comment* see Article 13. 



38 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


“ General principles ” : (2) Disarmament and regulation of arma¬ 
ments. It is not for the Assembly, but exclusively for the Security 
Council (Article 26), to work out the plans of a system for the 
regulation of armaments, and the Charter does not say that in 
these plans the Council will have to be guided by principles 
recommended by the Assembly. 

Nevertheless, the Assembly has repeatedly taken occasion to 
make recommendations on such principles. In conjunction with 
the setting up of the Atomic Energy Commission (a body whose 
membership and terms of reference were determined by the 
Assembly, but which immediately passed under the control of 
the Security Council) the Assembly, in January 1946, laid down 
that it was desirable to extend, between all nations, the exchange 
of basic scientific information for peaceful ends ; to control 
atomic energy so as to ensure its use for peaceful purposes ; to 
eliminate from national armaments atomic weapons and all other 
major weapons adaptable to mass destruction ; and to devise 
effective safeguards, by way of inspection and other means, to 
protect complying States against the hazards of violation and 
invasion. Again, in December 1946, the Assembly passed a 
formal resolution in which it recognized the need for an early 
general regulation and reduction of armaments and armed forces, 
but refrained from formulating fundamental principles apart 
from a few generalities: it was desirable that the general pro¬ 
hibition, regulation and reduction of armaments be directed 
towards the major weapons of modern warfare, and not merely 
towards the minor weapons: it was essential to provide practical 
and effective safeguards through inspection and other means, 
and to establish within the framework of the Security Council 
an international system operating through special organs. 

On two specific points, however, the General Assembly asserted 
its authority. The Security Council was not to submit draft 
treaties or conventions to Member States without the previous 
approval of the Assembly. Secondly, the Assembly made a recom¬ 
mendation to Members, without any reference to the Security 
Council 

“to undertake the progressive and balanced withdrawal, 
taking account of the needs of occupation, of their armed forces 
stationed in ex-enemy territories ; and the withdrawal without 
delay of their armed forces stationed in the territories of 
Members of the United Nations without their consent freely 
and publicly expressed in treaties or agreements consistent 



THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 


39 


with the Charter and not contradicting international agree¬ 
ments 

This part of the resolution was linked with the problem of general 
disarmament by a further recommendation to Members for 
“ a corresponding reduction of national armed forces and a 
general progressive and balanced reduction of national armed 
forces 

This last recommendation manifestly went beyond the limits of 
the Assembly’s authority to consider the “ general principles ” 
of disarmament; it was a direct call for action. 

Specific questions relating to peace and security. The second 
paragraph of this Article is applicable only to questions brought 
before the Assembly by a Member, or by the Security Council, 
or by a non-member acting under Article 35(2). Apart from this 
last category, the question need not be concerned with a contro¬ 
versial issue. Relevance to peace and security, and not the exis¬ 
tence of a conflict, is the test. 1 It is not essential that the question 
should involve a present or potential danger to peace. That 
condition applies only when the Assembly, acting on its own 
initiative, proposes to bring a “ situation ” to the attention of the 
Council under paragraph 3. 2 

Relation to Security Council. (1) The mere fact that the Council 
is seised of a question does not prevent the Assembly from dis¬ 
cussing it. But if the question before the Council is a dispute or 


1 In February 1946, on the proposal of Byelorussia, the Assembly made a recommen¬ 
dation to Members for the arrest of war criminals still at large, and for their immediate 
removal, for trial and punishment, to the countries in which the crimes were committed. 
The issue was not controversial, but it was clearly relevant to peace. 

2 Noteworthy decisions made under Article 11(2) include : 

On the Spanish Question , a recommendation in December 1946, that the Franco 
Government be debarred from membership in specialized agencies, and from 
participation in conferences or other activities arranged by the United Nations or the 
specialized agencies ; and that all Member States immediately recall from Madrid 
their Ambassadors and Plenipotentiary Ministers. 

On the Treatment of Indians in South Africa , a recommendation of December 1946, 
that such treatment “ should be in conformity with the international obligations under 
the agreements concluded between the two Governments and the relevant provisions 
of the Charter*'. 

On the Greek Question a call addressed to Albania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia in 
October 1947, to discontinue aid and assistance to the guerrillas ; and specific recom¬ 
mendations for the settlement of the dispute, including the establishment of a Special 
Committee of the Assembly to assist the Governments concerned. 

On the Korean Question , the setting up, in November 1947, of a United Nations 
Temporary Commission to facilitate and expedite the participation of elected repre¬ 
sentatives in re-establishing national independence ; and in December 1948, a dec¬ 
laration that there has been established a lawful Government of the Republic of Korea. 
This was coupled with a recommendation that the Occupying Powers withdraw their 
forces as early as practicable, and the establishment of a Commission of Korea, mainly 
for the purpose of bringing about the unification of the country. 



40 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


situation in the meaning of Article 34, the Assembly must not 
make recommendations, except at the Council’s request. (2) If 
in the view of the Assembly action is necessary on any question 
before it, 1 that question must be referred to the Council, either 
before or after discussion. In this context, “ action ” means 
action under Chapter VII 2 3 . (3) If the question before the Assembly 
is a situation in the meaning of Article 34, the Assembly may 
refer it to the Council, even if no action under Chapter VII seems 
to be necessary. The wording of paragraph 3 (“ call the attention 
of the Council ”) suggests reference without specific recom¬ 
mendations. 


Article 12 

1. While the Security Council is exercising in respect of any 
dispute or situation the functions assigned to it in the present 
Charter, the General Assembly shall not make any recom¬ 
mendation with regard to that dispute or situation unless the 
Security Council so requests. 

2. The Secretary-General, with the consent of the Security 
Council, shall notify the General Assembly at each session 
of any matters relative to the maintenance of international 
peace and security which are being dealt with by the Security 
Council, and shall similarly notify the General Assembly, or 
the Members of the United Nations if the General Assembly 
is not in session, immediately the Security Council ceases to 
deal with such matters. 

Field of application. Paragraph 1 of the Article applies only to 
disputes or situations, the continuance of which is likely to en¬ 
danger the maintenance of peace and security. If that character 
of the dispute or situation is in doubt, the Article applies never¬ 
theless, pending investigations by the Council under Article 34. 
It ceases to apply if the Council finds that the continuance of the 
dispute or situation involves no danger to peace and security. 

Paragraph 2 covers the wider field of “ any matters ” related 
to peace and security ; that includes, for instance, plans for the 
regulation of armaments. Its provisions are administrative and 

1 “ Questions on which action is necessary ” may include not only disputes and 

situations, but any emergency, e.g. a sudden threat, or act, of aggression. 

3 Goodrich-Hambro, op. cit. p.99 take the view that, in the context of Paragraph 2, action 
means everything the Council has power to do under Chapters V—VIII. But the right of 
the Assembly to conduct its own investigations has never been challenged, and Article 14 
makes it clear that the Assembly is competent to recommend measures of peaceful ad¬ 
justment. 



THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 


41 


do not by themselves involve any restriction of the competence 
of the Assembly. 

Restriction of the Assembly's competence. The Article does not 
limit the Assembly’s right to discuss any matter within the scope 
of Article 10, whether or rj.ot the Security Council is seised of it. 
The limitation is solely on the Assembly’s power to make recom¬ 
mendations : the Assembly muWnot, without a request from tl|e 
Council, make recommendations on a dispute or situation in 
respect of which the Council is exerciMng the functions assigned 
to it in Chapters VI-VII of the Charter. 

The presence of a dispute or situation on the agenda of the 
Council is prima facie evidence that the Council is in the process 
of exercising those functions. It is not, however, conclusive 
evidence. The responsibilities of the Assembly in matters of 
security must not be frustrated by disputes and situations being 
kept indefinitely on the agenda of the Council, without proper 
action taken. In the view of the present writers, the Assembly, 
by virtue of its general supervisory powers (Article 10), is entitled 
to find that the Council has failed to exercise its functions in 
relation to a particular dispute or situation, and to consider 
itself free from the restriction of paragraph 1. 

Recommendations which had been made by the Assembly 
before a dispute or situation was placed on the agenda of the 
Council are not affected by this Article. 

Recommendations at the request of the Council. Although a 
request from one organ of the United Nations to another would 
appear to be essentially procedural, it is one of the perplexities 
created by the Five-Power Statement on Voting Procedure that a 
request under this Article is a matter of substance for the purposes 
of Article 27, and may be vetoed by any permanent member of 
the Council. But it is by now established in practice that the 
request need not be express, and that it can be implied by the 
removal of the dispute or situation from the agenda of the 
Council; a decision to that effect is not subject to the veto. 1 
Administrative provisions. Paragraph 2 of the Article is self- 
explanatory. Paradoxically, the consent of the Council, on which 
the action of the Secretary-General depends, seems to be a matter 
of substance under the Five-Power Statement and may be vetoed 
by any permanent member. 

1 This procedure was followed in October 1946 to enable the Assembly to make 
recommendations on the Spanish Question , and in September 1947 in the Greek Question . 
For the recommendations of the Assembly in these two cases, see comment on 
Article 11. 



42 CHARTER OF THB UNITED NATIONS 

Article 13 

1. The General Assembly shall initiate studies and make 
recommendations for the purpose of :— 

(a) promoting international co-operation in the political 
field and encouraging the progressive development of 
international law and its codification ; 

(i b ) promoting international co-operation in the economic, 
social, cultural, educational ana health fields, and assisting 
in the realization of human rights and fundamental 
freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language 
or religion. 

2. The further responsibilities, functions and powers of the 
General Assembly with respect to matters mentioned in para¬ 
graph 1 (b) above are set forth in Chapters IX and X. 

Mandatory character of Article. Whereas it is optional for the 
General Assembly to consider, and make recommendations on, 
the subjects mentioned in Articles 10-11 and Article 14, the 
Assembly has a positive obligation to initiate studies and make 
recommendations for the promotion of the objectives set out in 
paragraph 1 of this Article. Broadly speaking, the purposes of 
the United Nations are twofold : (1) the maintenance of peace 
and security, and (2) the promotion of international co-operation 
in political and non-political fields. This Article is concerned 
with the Assembly’s responsibilities under the second heading. 
Co-operation in the political field. The meaning of the first part 
of sub-clause (a) is obscure. A comparison with Article 11(1) 
creates the impression that by “ co-operation in the political 
field ” the Charter means something different from “ co-operation 
in the maintenance of international peace and security ”. In 
practice, it is difficult to draw a line of demarcation or find any 
political subjects of international concern which are not, at the 
same time, relevant to peace. The Assembly itself soon became 
aware of the difficulty and, in November 1947, made it one of 
the terms of reference of the Interim Committee 1 to study suitable 
methods for giving effect to sub-clause (a) of this Article and to 
paragraph 1 of Article 11. These studies have not yet been com¬ 
pleted, but the approach of the Interim Committee has been on 
the lines that the two Articles cannot be rigidly separated, except 
so far as under Article 11(1) the Assembly will be concerned 
with general principles and under sub-clause (a) of this Article 

1 See comment on Article 22. 



THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 


43 


with practical measures. 1 Of the vast field of political co-operation, 
the Interim Committee has so far explored one sector, viz. the 
pacific settlement of disputes. Its initial recommendations in¬ 
cluded (1) the appointment of rapporteurs and conciliators in 
cases brought before the Security Council; (2) the establishment 
of a panel for inquiry or conciliation available to Member States 
and non-members alike; and (3) amendments to the General Act 
of 1928 for the Pacific Settlement of Disputes. These recommen¬ 
dations were endorsed by the Third Assembly in May 1949. 
Development of international law. Compared with national law, 
international law regulates a relatively small number of subjects. 
There are two principal ways in which the United Nations may 
bring about the steady development of the Law of Nations. 
First, it can encourage Member States to regulate by inter¬ 
national treaty a growing number of relationships in the political, 
economic and social fields, and thereby to diminish progressively 
the area of domestic jurisdiction or “ State discretion ”. Secondly, 
the Organization has it in its power to create precedents. Inter¬ 
national law derives not only from treaties, but also from custom. 
The more States respond in individual cases to recommendations 
of the Assembly for the treatment in a specific manner of specific 
incidents of international concern, the stronger will be the 
precedents on which Governments can and should rely in future 
cases of like nature. 

Codification of international law. International law is still largely 
uncodified. Its rules are scattered over a great many treaties and 
precedents. Whether codification is altogether desirable is a 
controversial issue between international lawyers. On the one 
side it is argued that codification would crystallize the law at its 
present stage of development, and make more difficult its adapt¬ 
ation to changing circumstances. On the other hand, codification 
would eliminate many of those controversies, now frequently 
encountered in practice, which revolve round the question 
whether a subject of international concern is covered by a legal 
rule at all. 

The Charter manifestly favours codification, but not neces¬ 
sarily in the sense of reducing the whole body of international 
law to a single code. Less ambitious projects, e.g. the re-statement 

1 In addition to the recommendations mentioned in connection with Article 11(1), 
noteworthy decisions of the Assembly in the political field included the Resolution of 
November 3, 1947, condemning war-mongering propaganda, and the Resolution of 
November 17, 1947, on the teaching in the schools of Member States of the Purposes 
and Principles, the structure and activities of the United Nations. 



44 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


or the formulation by international treaty of the law relating to 
one specific subject, are also “ codification ”. x The Charter itself 
is a code and so are other multilateral conventions, including 
the constitutions of the specialized agencies. 1 2 

In December 1946 the Assembly established a “ Committee 
on Progressive Development of International Law and its Codi¬ 
fication ” to study suitable methods for giving effect to its responsi¬ 
bilities under the Article. On the recommendation of the Com¬ 
mittee, in November 1947, the Assembly decided to set up a 
permanent International Law Commission of experts. The 
fifteen members of the Commission were elected in November 
1948 for a three-year term and they commenced work in April 
1949. The first major tasks assigned to the Commission include 
(1) The preparation of a Declaration on the rights and duties of 
States; (2) the formulation of the principles of international law 
recognized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal; and (3) the 
preparation of a code of offences against the peace and security 
of mankind. At its first session the Commission selected 14 more 
subjects for future codification and assigned tentative priorities 
to the international law of (i) treaties, (ii) arbitral procedure, and 
(3) the regime of the high seas. 

One of the most effective means of furthering the development 
of international law is the promotion of public interest in the 
subject. Acting on this principle, the Assembly, in November 
1947, recommended the Member States to extend the teaching 
of international law in their universities and higher educational 
institutions. 

Economic and social co-operation. Sub-clause (b) of the Article is a 
re-statement of the objectives set out in Article 1(3). Whereas in 
the political field primary responsibility for the functions of the 
Organization rests with the Security Council, in the economic 
and social fields the General Assembly is the supreme authority. 
The Economic and Social Council, and its network of subsidiary 
organs, 3 are clearly subordinated by Article 60 to the directions 
of the Assembly. The subject will be discussed in greater detail 
in connection with Chapters IX-X. 


1 See the International Bill of Human Rights and the Convention on the Prevention of 

Genocide under Article 62 ; also the Conventions on the privileges and immunities of 
the United Nations and of the specialized agencies under Articles 104-105. 

3 See Article 57. 

* See Article 68. 



THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 


45 


Article 14 

Subject to the provisions of Article 12, the General Assembly 
may recommend measures for the peaceful adjustment of any 
situation, regardless of origin, which it deems likely to impair 
the general welfare or friendly relations among nations, in¬ 
cluding situations resulting from a violation of the provisions 
of the present Charter setting forth the Purposes and Principles 
of the United Nations. 

“ Peaceful change ”. The United Nations is not founded on the 
assumption that the status quo is to be rigidly preserved, and that 
every attempt to change existing frontiers or treaty obligations 
must be resisted. The League was not founded on that assumption 
either, but in the new Organization the tendency toward change 
is more marked. Article 10 of the Covenant, in which the Members 
of the League undertook to respect and preserve against external 
aggression the territorial integrity of each other, had been relied 
upon as a solemn undertaking for the preservation of the territorial 
status quo. There is no such provision in the Charter. Again, 
under Article 19 of the Covenant, the League Assembly could 
advise only the reconsideration of treaties which had become in¬ 
applicable and the consideration of international conditions 
whose continuance was a potential danger to world peace. The 
Charter goes a long step further. The adjustments which the 
United Nations Assembly may recommend are confined neither 
to treaties nor to “ dangerous ” situations. The Assembly may 
deal with any situation, regardless of its origin in treaties or 
otherwise ; and the test it has to apply is not the strict one of 
security, but the broader test of general welfare and friendly 
relations. More important still, the Charter, unlike the Covenant, 
enables the Assembly to recommend the adjustment not only 
of relations between States, but also of situations within a State. 
This applies even where the situation is essentially within domestic 
jurisdiction, or is at least alleged to be so. 1 Recommendations — 
and the Assembly can only make recommendations under this 
Article — are not “ intervention ” in the sense prohibited by 
Article 2(7). 

1 In the case of The Treatment of Indians in the Union of South Africa , the Union 
Government maintained that the discriminating statutes complained of by the Indian 
Government were within domestic jurisdiction. The General Assembly, overruling the 
objection, made recommendations under Articles 11 and 14 of the Charter, including a 
suggestion for a round-table conference between India, Pakistan and the Union of South 
Africa (see Resolutions of November 17, 1947 And May 14, 1949). 


C* 



46 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


Field of application. “ Situation”, in the context of this Article, 
refers not only to those situations more precisely defined in 
Article 34, but to any state of affairs which in the judgement of 
the Assembly is likely to impair the general welfare or friendly 
relations among nations. 1 

The field which the Article was intended to cover is so wide 
that it would have been futile to enumerate or classify the situ¬ 
ations to which it can be properly applied. The text gives only one 
example : the violation of the Purposes and Principles of the 
United Nations. The point is important, because recommendations 
under this Article are the only way in which the Organization can 
deal with such infringements of the Purposes (Article 1) as may 
fall short of actual threats to, or breaches of, the peace. The 
Principles (Article 2) are also protected by Article 6, which cannot, 
however, be invoked except in the case of “ persistent ” violations, 
and then only subject to the veto of the Great Powers. The present 
Article, therefore, is an additional and more easily enforced 
safeguard. 

Binding force. The recommendations of the Assembly, if addressed 
direct to Members, are not binding. But recommendations 
addressed to organs of the United Nations must be complied 
with. Even the Security Council is expected to act upon them, 
provided the recommendation from the Assembly does not purport 
to dispose of a dispute or situation of the character defined in 
Article 34, or to prescribe specific action under Chapter VII. 2 

Article 15 

1. The General Assembly shall receive and consider annual 
and special reports from the Security Council; these reports 
shall include an account of the measures that the Security 
Council has decided upon or taken to maintain international 
peace and security. 

1 In April 1947, the United Kingdom Government as Mandatory Power for Palestine 
placed the question of the future government of that territory before the General Assembly. 
On November 29, 1947, the Assembly recommended to the United Kingdom as Manda¬ 
tory Power and to all other Members of the United Nations the adoption of a “ Plan of 
Partition with Economic Union'* : and declared, in reliance on Article 14 of the Charter, 
that its recommendations were based on the consideration “ that the present situation 
in Palestine is one which is likely to impair the general welfare and friendly relations 
among nations 

2 The Assembly Resolution of November 29, 1947, on the Future Government of 
Palestine requested the Security Council to “ take the necessary measures, as provided 
for in the (Partition) Plan, for its implementation Although one permanent member 
of the Council (the United Kingdom) was opposed to the Plan, the duty of the Council 
to cany out the part assigned to it was not challenged. 



THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 


47 


2. The General Assembly shall receive and consider reports 
from the other organs of the United Nations. 

Purpose. It is essential to the functioning of the Organization that 
all Members should receive periodic information on the activities 
of its organs and be given regular opportunities for the expression 
of their views. The General Assembly, the only organ on which 
all Members are represented, is the natural channel for the 
diffusion of such information and the appropriate forum for its 
discussion. It is this function, coupled with the budgetary powers 
granted in Article 17, which constitutes the Assembly the supreme 
supervisory organ of the United Nations. 

Interpretation. The text of the Article is ambiguous. The words 
“ shall receive ” create the impression of an obligation imposed 
upon all other organs to supply the Assembly with such reports 
as it may require. In reality, the words impose an obligation on 
the Assembly itself: it must receive and deal with any reports 
the other organs may submit. The corresponding obligation of 
the Councils and the Secretariat is regulated elsewhere in the 
Charter : by Article 24(3) for the Security Council, by Article 98 
for the Secretary-General, by Article 60 for the Economic and 
Social Council, and by Article 85 for the Trusteeship Council. 1 
The point is important because, if the obligation of the Security 
Council were based on Article 15, the Assembly would be able to 
call for special reports whenever it thought fit. In effect, the 
supply of special reports is, under Article 24(3), at the discretion 
of the Council, which is entitled to disregard any request the 
Assembly may make for other than annual reports. 

“ Consideration ” of reports. It is clear from the transactions of 
the San Francisco Conference that the Assembly has no power 
to record formal disapproval of any reports submitted by other 
organs. In the case of the Security Council such disapproval 
would amount to encroachment on the Council’s primary res¬ 
ponsibility (Article 24(1)) for the maintenance of peace and 
security. 

“ Consideration ” implies two functions : (1) discussion, which, 
in view of the mandatory formulation of the text, is a positive 
duty of the Assembly, and (2) recommendations, at the option of 
the Assembly, on any subject dealt with in a report. Within the 

1 Article 60 and Article 85 do not expressly stipulate reports, but an obligation to 
supply them follows from the subordination of these two Councils to the authority of 
the Assembly. 



48 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


limits of Article 12, recommendations may be properly made 
even on subjects discussed in the reports of the Security Council. 

If the Assembly is dissatisfied with any report, it may express 
its dissatisfaction either in the form of recommendations on their 
subject-matter, or by “ drawing the attention ” of the organ 
concerned to critical observations made on the report while it 
was being debated in the full Assembly or its committees. 1 

Article 16 

The General Assembly shall perform such functions with 
respect to the international trusteeship system as are assigned 
to it under Chapters XII and XIII, including the approval 
of the trusteeship agreements for areas not designated as 
strategic. 

See comment on Chapters XII-XIII. 


Article 17 

1. The General Assembly shall consider and approve the 
budget of the Organization. 

2. The expenses of the Organization shall be borne by the 
Members as apportioned by the General Assembly. 

3. The General Assembly shall consider and approve any 
financial and budgetary arrangements with specialized agencies 
referred to in Article 57 and shall examine the administrative 
budgets of such specialized agencies with a view to making 
recommendations to the agencies concerned. 

Importance of budgetary control . In appearance, the power con¬ 
ferred upon the Assembly in paragraph 1 is purely administrative. 
In reality it involves important supervisory and policy-making 
functions. When the Covenant of the League was drafted, no 
compromise could be reached on the controversial issue whether 
these functions should be entrusted to the Council or to the 
Assembly of the League. The question was left open, but from 
1924 onwards budgetary powers were, in fact, exercised by the 
Assembly. The Charter confirms that practice. 

Machinery. The Budget Estimates are prepared by the Secretariat, 
and before presentation to the General Assembly are examined 

1 The Assembly adopted this procedure after the examination of the first report of 
the Economic and Social Council; see Assembly Resolution of December 15, 1946. 



THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 


49 


by the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary 
Questions. 1 The report of this committee is presented to the 
General Assembly at the beginning of the annual regular session, 
and is immediately referred to one of the Main Committees. 2 
The committee stage completed, the plenary session of the As¬ 
sembly decides by a two-thirds majority of those present and 
voting (Article 18(2)). The adoption of the Budget constitutes 
an authorization to the Secretary-General to incur obligations 
and expenditures for the purposes and up to the amounts voted. 
The first four Budgets. The General Assembly appropriated : 


For the financial year 1946 
For the financial year 1947 
For the financial year 1948 
For the financial year 1949 


U.S. Dollars 
19,390.000 
28,616.568 
34,825.195 
33,487.128 


The main headings of the Budget Estimates 3 for 1949 were as 
follows : 


1 

Sessions of the General Assembly, the Councils, 

U.S. Dollars 


Commissions and Committees . 

2,516.650 

II 

Special Conferences, Investigations and Inquiries ... 

125.690 

III 

New York Office. 

24,335.300 

IV 

European Office. 

3,526.590 

V 

Information Centres (exclusive of the Information 



Services in Geneva). 

754.490 

VI 

Regional Economic Commissions (other than Econ¬ 



omic Commission for Europe) . 

820.610 

VII 

Hospitality . 

20.000 

VIII 

Advisory Social Welfare Functions . 

675.000 

IX 

International Court of Justice. 

695.257 


Total . 33,469,587 


Contributions. Paragraph 2 of the Article follows the precedent 
of Article 6(5) of the League Covenant as amended in 1924. 4 * 

In apportioning the expenses among Member States, the General 
Assembly is assisted by an expert Committee on Contributions. 6 


1 See Article 22. 

a Committee V. (“ Administrative and Budgetary **) ; see Article 22. 

* These were slightly less than the appropriations eventually voted by the Assembly. 

4 Before the 1924 amendment the expenses of the League were not apportioned by 
the Assembly, but borne by the Members in accordance with the apportionment of the 

expenses of the International Bureau of the Universal Postal Union. 

8 See Article 22. 



50 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

For the financial year 1949 the scale of assessments ranged 
between 39.89 per cent, of the total (U.S.A.) and 0.04 per cent, of 
the total (Costa Rica, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Liberia, 
Nicaragua, Paraguay and Yemen). For the same financial year the 
assessments of the five Great Powers were as follows : 

Per cent . of tota! 


U.S.A. 

... 39.89 

United Kingdom. 

... 11.37 

U.S.S.R. 

6.34 

France . 

6.00 

China . 

6.00 


69.60 


Specialized agencies The question of an integrated or consolidated 
budget for the United Nations and the specialized agencies was 
debated at the second regular session of the Assembly, and referred 
to the Secretary-General for further study. After consultation with 
the administrative heads of the specialized agencies, the Secretary- 
General declared in his Third Annual Report that, “ apart from 
any question of desirability, the constitutional and political pre¬ 
requisites for a consolidated budget are not capable of immediate 
fulfilment ”. Under the agreements concluded in accordance with 
Article 63, with the exception of the International Bank for 
Reconstruction and Development and the International Monetary 
Fund, all specialized agencies are required to transmit their 
administrative budgets to the Secretary-General of the United 
Nations, for examination by the Secretariat and recommendations 
by the General Assembly. 

The “ financial arrangements ” mentioned in paragraph 3 are 
concerned mainly with loans from the “ Working Capital Fund ” 
of the United Nations to the specialized agencies, particularly 
during the initial period of the activities of new agencies, and 
with the sharing of the costs of common fiscal and administrative 
services, including conference facilities. 

Voting 

Article 18 

1. Each Member of the General Assembly shall have one 
vote. 

2. Decisions of the General Assembly on important questions 
shall be made by a two-thirds majority of the members present 
















THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 


51 


and voting. These questions shall include : recommendations 
with respect to the maintenance of international peace and 
security, the election of the non-permanent members of the 
Security Council, the election of the members of the Economic 
and Social Council, the election of members of the Trustee¬ 
ship Council in accordance with paragraph 1(c) of Article 86, 
the admission of new Members to the United Nations, the 
suspension of the rights and privileges of membership, the 
expulsion of Members, questions relating to the operation of 
the trusteeship system, and budgetary questions. 

3. Decisions on other questions, including the determination 
of additional categories of questions to be decided by a two- 
thirds majority, shall be made by a majority of the members 
present and voting. 

Equality of votes. Each Member State has one vote in the General 
Assembly. To that extent, the Charter gives full effect to the 
principle of sovereign equality proclaimed in Article 2(1). 1 
The majority rule. Except on such “ important questions ” as are 
listed in paragraph 2, or may in future be defined, the General 
Assembly decides by a simple majority vote. 

This is a significant departure from the Covenant of the League 
which, apart from exceptions specifically stated, 2 prescribed the 
rule of unanimity for the League Assembly, with the result that 
every Member of the League had a virtual right of veto. 

The majority required by this Article 3 is the majority of “ the 
members present and voting”. Abstentions do not operate as 
negative votes, nor can the absence from a meeting of less than 
half the total membership bar a valid decision. 4 
Qualified majority. There are two classes of questions on which 
the General Assembly decides by a two-thirds majority : (1) the 
“ important questions ” listed in paragraph 2 ; and (2) additional 
categories of questions to be determined under paragraph 3. 
“ Important questions ”. These are : 

(a) Recommendations with respect to the maintenance of peace 
and security. 


1 The voting rights of Members are not necessarily equal in the specialized agencies. 

9 No unanimity was required for substantive resolutions falling short of “ decisions "• 
procedural matters, the admission of new Members to the League, the appointment of 
additional permanent members of the Council, and the approval of an appointment by 
the Council to the post of Secretary-General. 

* A different rule applies under Articles 108-109 ; see comment on pp. 187-9. 

4 Under the Rules of Procedure the majority of the members of the Assembly consti¬ 
tutes a quorum. 



52 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


These include (i) all recommendations under Article 11, (ii) any 
recommendations made under Article 12 upon the request of the 
Security Council, and (iii) recommendations under Article 14 
insofar as they relate to situations which involve a danger to 
peace and security. 

(b) Elections to the three Councils (Article 23(2), Article 61 and 
Article 86(1)). 1 

(c) The admission of new Members and the suspension and expulsion 
of Members (Articles 4-6). 

(d) Questions relating to the operation of the trusteeship system 
(Chapters XII and XIII). 

(e) Budgetary questions (Article 17). 

Additional categories. By a simple majority of its members present 
and voting, the Assembly may determine that, in addition to those 
listed in paragraph 2, further categories of questions shall require 
a two-thirds majority vote. 

This power—it has not yet been used—is limited by those pro¬ 
visions of the Charter and of the Statute of the International 
Court of Justice which expressly stipulate a majority other than 
of two-thirds. 2 

As a simple majority of members is entitled to create additional 
categories, so at any time it may abolish them by a subsequent 
vote. But none of the questions listed in paragraph 2 can be 
withdrawn from the two-thirds majority rule without amendment 
of the Charter. 

Voting procedure. Under the Rules of Procedure, votes are nor¬ 
mally taken by a show of hands or by standing. Any representative 
may request a roll-call, which is taken in the English alphabetical 
order of the names of members. All elections, including the 
appointment of the Secretary-General, are made by secret ballot. 

If the voting is equally divided on matters other than elections, 
a second vote is taken at a meeting to be held within forty-eight 
hours. If there is a second tie, the motion is rejected. If a tie 
occurs in an election, the President draws lots, but in elections 
to the three Councils the balloting continues until a candidate 
secures the two-thirds majority required. 


1 Paradoxically, the appointment of Secretary-General is not listed among the 
“ important questions ”, although its importance is far greater than for instance, the 
filling of a vacancy on the Trusteeship Council. 

9 Under Article 109(3) a simple majority vote will be sufficient at the tenth annual 
session of the General Assembly to call a General Conference for the purpose of reviewing 
the Charter. Under Article 10(1) of the Statute of the Court, an absolute majority of 
votes in the General Assembly is sufficient for the election of judges. 



THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 


53 


Article 19 

A Member of the United Nations which is in arrears in the 
payment of its financial contributions to the Organization 
shall have no vote in the General Assembly if the amount of 
its arrears equals or exceeds the amount of the contributions 
due from it for the preceding two full years. The General 
Assembly may, nevertheless, permit such a Member to vote 
if it is satisfied that the failure to pay is due to conditions 
beyond the control of the Member. 

In view of the unsatisfactory experience of the League with 
respect to the regularity of its income, the Charter prescribes the 
suspension of the voting rights of Members which may fall into 
serious arrears in the payment of their financial contributions. 
The suspension applies only to voting rights in the General 
Assembly ; voting rights in the Councils remain unaffected. 

It is not intended to penalize Members for financial difficulties 
beyond their control. The Assembly at its discretion may grant 
dispensation from the suspension of voting rights, either generally 
or for particular sessions or meetings. 

The Member’s voting rights are restored immediately on pay¬ 
ment of a sum which reduces the arrears below a figure represen¬ 
ting the contributions due for the two full years preceding the 
date of suspension. 


Procedure 


Article 20 

The General Assembly shall meet in regular annual sessions 
and in such special sessions as occasion may require. Special 
sessions shall be convoked by the Secretary-General at the 
request of the Security Council or of a majority of the Members 
of the United Nations. 

Regular sessions. The Covenant did not prescribe annual sessions, 
only sessions “ at stated intervals It was the regular practice 
of the League to convene the Assembly “ in general session ” 
every year. The Charter confirms that practice. 

Under the Rules of Procedure, the regular session begins on 
the third Tuesday in September. The session may be postponed 



54 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


if all Members agree: and there is at least one precedent for 
postponement with the consent of a simple majority. 1 

It is now established by practice that the Assembly may divide 
a regular session in several parts, with an interval of several 
months between two parts. 

Special sessions. The Secretary-General must convene a special 
session whenever he is requested to do so by the Security Council 2 
or by a majority of Members. 

In such cases, the session must be held within 15 days from the 
receipt of the request. 

Place of meetings. The General Assembly meets at the head¬ 
quarters of the Organization unless a previous session decided 
otherwise, or a majority of Members requests that the next session 
be held at another place. 


Article 21 

The General Assembly shall adopt its own rules of procedure. 
It shall elect its President for each session. 


Rules of Procedure. Provisional Rules of Procedure were drawn 
up by the Preparatory Commission 3 and remained in force until 
January 1,1948, when they were replaced by a revised set of Rules. 
These Rules regulate in detail the time and place of sessions, the 
preparation and adoption of the agenda, the composition of 
delegations, the presidency of the Assembly, the structure of its 
committees, the conduct of business and particularly of voting, 
the official and working languages of the Assembly, its records 
and the services of the Secretariat. 4 

Presidency. At the opening of each session the Assembly elects a 
President to hold office until its close. At the same time and for 
the same period it elects seven Vice-Presidents. The Assembly 
has a free choice, but in the case of Vice-Presidents the Rules of 
Procedure prescribe that due regard shall be paid to ensuring the 


1 The second part of the first session was postponed from September 23 to October 23, 

1946, with the previous consent of 37 Members. 

3 Whether the making of such a request by the Security Council is a procedural 
matter in the sense of Article 27(2), is doubtful. 

8 See pp. xxiii-xxiv. 

4 It is beyond the scope of this work to give a full account of the Rules of Procedure. 
Brief references are included under the appropriate Articles of the Charter. For the full 
text of the Rules of Procedure, see United Nations Document Ref. No. A/482. 



THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 


55 


representative character of the Assembly’s General Committee 1 
of which all Vice-Presidents are ex officio members. 

If there is a tie, the President has no casting vote. Indeed, 
neither the President nor any Vice-President who may be in the 
chair must vote at all. The voting rights of his country must be 
exercised by another member of the delegation. 

Article 22 

The General Assembly may establish such subsidiary organs 

as it deems necessary for the performance of its functions. 

Terminology. This Article is a specific application of Article 7(2) 
which provides for the setting up of such subsidiary organs of 
the United Nations “ as may be found necessary ”. It is con¬ 
venient to deal under this heading not only with ad hoc bodies 
set up for the discharge of specific functions, but with the com¬ 
mittee structure of the Assembly in general. a 
Classification. The committees and subsidiary organs of the 
General Assembly may be classified under four headings (1) 
Procedural Committees, (2) Main Committees, (3) Standing 
Committees, (4) Ad hoc bodies. 

Procedural Committees. There are two : 

(i) The General Committee is the “ steering ” organ of the 
Assembly. It advises on the agenda for the session as a whole and 
for each plenary meeting, determines the priority of items, co¬ 
ordinates the proceedings of other committees and revises the 
text, but not the substance, of the resolutions passed in full 
assembly. Its 14 members include the President and seven Vice- 
Presidents of the Assembly and the chairmen of the six Main 
Committees. 

(ii) The Credentials Committee is elected at the beginning of 
each session to examine the credentials of delegations. 

Main Committees. There are six of these and all Member States 
have a seat on each. 

1 See comment on Article 22. 

3 It is arguable that the term “ subsidiary organ ” should be reserved either for bodies 
not concerned with the routine business of the Assembly or for bodies invested with a 
greater degree of independence (e.g. the International Law Commission or the Board of 
Auditors) than its permanent committees. But it is difficult to draw a line of demarcation: 
and the Rules of Procedure speak of “ committees and subsidiary organs ” without 
indicating any distinguishing criteria. 



56 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


Committee I. (“ Political and Security ”) deals with all political 
matters and questions of security on the agenda and with the 
admission, suspension and expulsion of Members. 

Committee II. (“ Economic and Financial ”), and 

Committee III. (“ Social, Humanitarian and Cultural ”) deal 
with the programmes and activities of the Economic and Social 
Council, its subsidiary organs, and the specialized agencies. 

Committee IV. (“ Trusteeship ”) deals with all questions arising 
under Chapters XI-XIII of the Charter. 

Committee V. (“ Administrative and Budgetary ”) deals with 
the responsibilities of the Assembly under Article 17, Article 19 
and Chapter XV. 

Committee VI. (“ Legal ”) examines legal problems referred by 
other Committees and deals with requests to the International 
Court of Justice for advisory opinions, 1 all matters arising under 
Chapter XVI and Chapter XVIII, and generally, with the develop¬ 
ment and codification of international law. 

Standing Committees. There are two : 

(i) The Advisory Committee for Administrative and Budgetary 
Questions is responsible for the expert examination of the budget 
of the United Nations and of the specialized agencies, and 
of financial and budgetary arrangements with the agencies. It 
has nine members, two of whom must be financial experts of 
recognized standing. 

(ii) The Committee on Contributions advises the General 
Assembly on (a) the apportionment of expenses among Members ; 
(b) appeals for a change of assessment; and (c) the application 
of Article 19. It has ten members. 

The members of both Standing Committees are elected indi¬ 
vidually for a term of three years. 2 
Ad hoc bodies. These may be classified as follows : 

(i) The Interim Committee of the General Assembly, (the “ Little 
Assembly ”) was first set up by Assembly Resolution of November 
13, 1947, for the purpose of assuring the continuity of the 
functions of the General Assembly between the closing of the 

1 Sec Article 96. 

2 Shortly after the change of regime in February 1948, the new Czechoslovak Govern¬ 
ment terminated the appointment of Dr. Jan Papanek, until then Czechoslovakia’s 
permanent representative at the United Nations. At the time of his dismissal, Dr. Papanek 
was a member of both Standing Committees. He contended that the members of these 
Committees were elected personally as experts and not as representatives of Govern¬ 
ments, and that the termination of their appointment as Government representatives did 
not affect their membership. This point of view was supported by the Legal Department 
of the Secretariat, and, on October 16, 1948, it was confirmed by the General Assembly. 



THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 


57 


second and the opening of the third regular session. It was re¬ 
established in December, 1948, for the period between the closing 
of the first part of the third session and the opening of the fourth. 
The Committee’s terms of reference include (a) matters specifi¬ 
cally referred to it by the General Assembly ; (b) such disputes 
or situations which have been proposed for inclusion in the agenda 
of the General Assembly, and in the view of the Committee are 
important and require preliminary study ; (c) the examination of 
suitable methods to give effect to the responsibilities of the 
General Assembly under Article 11(1) and Article 13(1 a) of the 
Charter ; (d) advice to the Secretary-General on any case for the 
summoning of a special session of the General Assembly ; (e) the 
conduct of investigations and the appointment of commissions of 
inquiry in matters arising within the scope of the Committee’s 
duties. 

The setting up of the Interim Committee was opposed by the 
Soviet bloc as an alleged encroachment on the exclusive com¬ 
petence of the Security Council to deal between regular sessions 
of the General Assembly with questions of peace and security. 
To meet that objection, the Assembly has made the Committee’s 
terms of reference subject to a proviso which prohibits the Com¬ 
mittee from considering any matter of which the Security Council 
may be seised. 

Each member of the General Assembly has the right to appoint 
one representative to the Committee, but no such appointments 
have been made by the Soviet bloc. 

(ii) Specialized committees in charge of organizational matters, 
e.g. the Permanent Headquarters Committee, the League of 
Nations Committee, the Committee on UNRRA, the Special 
Technical Committee on Post-UNRRA Relief, the Committee 
on Procedure and Organization, the Board of Auditors, and 
many others. 

(iii) Expert Committees to assist in the discharge of specialized 
functions of the General Assembly, e.g. the Committee on the 
Progressive Development of International Law and its Codifi¬ 
cation, and the International Law Commission. 

(iv) Committees and Commissions of inquiry and conciliation, e.g. 
the Special Committee on Palestine (November 1947), the Pales¬ 
tine Conciliation Commission (December 1948), the two United 
Nations Commissions on Korea (November 1947 and December 
1948), and the Special Committee on the Balkans (November 
1947). 



CHAPTER V 


THE SECURITY COUNCIL 


Composition 

Article 23 

1. The Security Council shall consist of eleven 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 six 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 main¬ 
tenance 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, however, three 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. 

Number of seats. The number of seats on the Security Council is 
fixed at eleven. This is a radical departure from the structure of 
the League Council in which the number of seats was variable. 1 

The new system has its advantages. As the number of members 
is rigidly laid down, the lesser Powers have no inducement, which 
they had in the League, to press for further seats ; they have 
numerical superiority in any case. Moreover a Council of eleven 
members is a body of manageable size. The Council of the League 
tended to grow too large for prompt and effective action. 


1 The original number was nine, including permanent seats for the five Principal 
Allied and Associated Powers. But the Council, with the approval of the Assembly, had 
power to create further permanent and non-permanent seats. By 1938 the number of 
elective seats had risen to eleven. 

58 



THE SECURITY COUNCIL 


59 


Permanent Members. The Great Powers have permanent seats 
for much the same reason as they had in the Council of the 
League. The ultima ratio of any proceedings of the Council is the 
threat of force; and no effective economic or military sanctions are 
conceivable without the concurrence of the Great Powers. 

Unlike the Covenant, the Charter prescribes a fixed number of 
permanent seats. China, France, the Soviet Union, the United 
Kingdom and the U.S.A. remain permanent members whether 
or not any of them ceases to be a Great Power. 1 No other State, 
not even a new Great Power which might emerge from the 
federation of a number of lesser Powers, can obtain a permanent 
seat except by amendment of the Charter. 

Non-permanent members. Under the Covenant, the non-permanent 
members of the League Council were to be selected by the 
Assembly “ in its discretion ” and “ from time to time ”, i.e. for 
periods to be determined by the Assembly. 2 

The Charter departs in two ways from the system of the 
Covenant. First, it withdraws from the discretion of the General 
Assembly the question of rotation. Secondly, it establishes 
positive criteria for the choice of candidates. 

Term of office. Non-permanent members are elected for a term of 
two calendar years. This is a shorter period than the one pres¬ 
cribed for members of the Economic and Social Council and the 
Trusteeship Council. It gives the lesser Powers a speedier chance 
of obtaining a seat. The same purpose is served by the rule that a 
retiring member of the Security Council is not eligible for im¬ 
mediate re-election. 3 

Qualifications. In filling the six elective seats on the Council the 
General Assembly is faced with a delicate problem. It must be 
led by two considerations which do not necessarily converge. 
First, the distribution must be fair to the Organization, by affor¬ 
ding representation to those Member States, or groups of them, 
which owing to their strategic location, manpower, or economic 
resources can make a valuable contribution to security. 4 


1 There was an abortive suggestion at San Francisco that the permanent members 
should not be designated by name, and that the Organization should be free to determine 
from time to time which are the five Principal Powers entitled to permanent membership. 

2 From 1926, the Assembly used these discretionary powers subject to a number of 
self-imposed rules. Eventually these crystallized into a system based on equitable geo¬ 
graphical distribution, rotation and the limitation of re-elections. 

9 The rule operates only against re-election immediately on retirement; no specific 
“ waiting period ” is prescribed. 

4 The importance in this respect of Canada, Australia, Brazil and the Netherlands 
was strongly stressed at San Francisco. 



60 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


Secondly, the distribution must be fair to the general member¬ 
ship : every Member State should sooner or later be given an 
opportunity to serve on the Council. For the lesser Powers this 
is an important point of prestige, and the Organization itself 
stands to gain by every Member State acquiring first-hand 
knowledge of the Council’s political and technical approach to 
the causes and symptoms of international conflicts. 

The Charter reduces these considerations to a formula which 
establishes two criteria for the guidance of the General Assembly 
without, however, making them absolutely binding. These are : 

(1) The contribution of the candidate to the maintenance of 
international peace and security and to the other purposes of the 
Organization. 

This refers both to past and future contributions. The Assembly 
must take into account not only the historical record and potential 
contributions to economic and military sanctions, but also the 
record and potentialities of the candidate in regard to the ob¬ 
jectives stated in Article 55. 

(2) Equitable geographical distribution. As far as possible there 
should be adequate representation not only for all continents, 
but also for groups of States which form distinct geographical 
units within a continent. 1 

Number of representatives. Each Member State is entitled to one 
representative on the Council. 


1 At the first election (January, 1946) the six seats went to Egypt, Mexico and the 
Netherlands for one year ; and to Australia, Brazil and Poland for two years. 

At the second election (November, 1946) Syria was elected in the place of Egypt; 
Colombia in the place of Mexico ; and Belgium in the place of the Netherlands. 

At the third election (September-November, 1947), Canada was elected in the place 
of Australia ; Argentina in the place of Brazil; and the Ukraine in the place of Poland. 

At the fourth election (October, 1948) Norway was elected in the place of Belgium ; 
Cuba in the place of Colombia ; and Egypt in the place of Syria. 

As a result of these elections the distribution of non-permanent seats among the chief 
geographical units may be summarized as follows in relation to the period January 1946— 
December 1949 : 

one seat for the British Dominions ; 
two seats for Latin America ; 
one seat for the Near and Middle East ; 
one seat for Western Europe ; 
one seat for Eastern Europe. 

Taking the Council as a whole the eleven seats were during the same period distributed 
as follows : 
five seats for Europe ; 
three seats for the Americas ; 
one seat for the British Dominions ; 
one seat for the Far East (China); 
one seat for the Near and Middle East, 



THE SECURITY COUNCIL 


61 


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. 

“ Primary responsibility ”. Under the Covenant, the maintenance 
of peace was the responsibility of the Council and the Assembly 
of the League in equal measure. The Charter has conferred primary 
responsibility on the Security Council. The assumption was that 
prompt and effective action is easier for a small and continuously 
functioning body than for an unwieldy assembly which cannot 
be convened speedily enough to meet sudden emergencies. 
Owing to the paralysing effect of the permanent members’ power 
of veto (Article 27(3) ) that hope has been disappointed. 

The responsibility of the Council is primary, but not exclusive. 
Articles 10-15 reserve for the General Assembly subsidiary powers 
which are designed, though not necessarily sufficient, to prevent 
a drift to war in case the Security Council should prove to be 
incapable of dealing with dangerous conflicts. 1 
Delegation of powers. The rule that in all matters concerning 
peace and security the Security Council acts “on behalf of”, 
i.e. as agent for, the Member States is one of the fundamental 
provisions of the Charter. The Members of the League retained 
in full measure the right to decide, each of them individually, 
whether the conditions in which they were severally obliged to 
apply sanctions, had been fulfilled. 2 In the United Nations the 

1 By the autumn of 1947, it became apparent that the effectiveness of the Assembly’s 
subsidiary powers depended to a large extent on greater continuity in its work. The 
Assembly has sought to meet this requirement by setting up an Interim Committee 
(“ Little Assembly ”) for bridging the time-gap between full regular sessions ; see comment 
on Article 22. 

2 See comment on Article 39. 



62 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

power to decide whether peace is in danger, and whether preven¬ 
tive or repressive action is necessary, is delegated to the Security 
Council. By so delegating it, and by accepting the obligation 
prescribed in Article 25, the Member States have yielded up a 
significant portion of their sovereign rights. If the League was a 
purely “ co-operative ” organisation, the United Nations, at 
least in the sphere of security, may be properly called an “ or¬ 
ganic ” international institution. As applied to the League, the 
term “ international government ” was wholly inappropriate, 
for the League had no powers to wield without the consent of 
all its Members. In contrast, the United Nations, within the 
limits of the Security Council’s delegated powers, was meant to 
become a nucleus of genuine world government. 

No arbitrary powers. In discharging its duties relating to the 
pacific settlement of disputes, the prevention and repression of 
aggression and the administration of trust territories of strategic 
importance, the Security Council must act in accordance with the 
Purposes and Principles laid down in Articles 1 and 2. It has wide 
discretion, but no arbitrary powers. It must respect the sovereignty 
of Member States, especially in matters which are essentially 
domestic. It must respect the principle of the equal rights and 
self-determination of peoples. In the settlement of disputes it 
must be guided by justice and not by mere political expediency. 
When force is used, the Council must see that the territorial 
integrity and political independence of States do not suffer. But 
within the limits of these and the other fundamental Purposes and 
Principles, the Security Council is a free agent. In its semi-judicial 
functions it is not bound by any rigid rules of evidence. In framing 
methods of settlement it is guided by its own assessment of the 
chances of their success ; and when force has been unlawfully 
threatened or used, the Council is sole judge of the amount and 
kind of force that should be marshalled against it. At San Fran¬ 
cisco these wide powers were much criticised, and it was urged 
that, in order to prevent possible excesses of authority, a definition 
of aggression should be incorporated in the Charter. Experience 
has proved that these anxieties were exaggerated. Throughout 
the first years of its existence, the Council, far from overstepping 
the limits of its discretion, was forced into excessive caution and 
passivity under the ever-present threat of the veto. 

Annual and special reports. See comment on Article 15 and 
Article 98. 



THE SECURITY COUNCIL 


63 


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. 

Decisions. It is a corollary of the delegation of powers under 
Article 24 that Members must abide by the decisions of the 
Council. But the obligation is limited to “ decisions ” properly 
so-called ; mere recommendations of the Council are not legally 
binding. Members do not, for instance, violate the Charter if they 
refuse or fail to apply procedures or methods of adjustment 
recommended by the Council under Article 36. They cannot, 
however, lawfully challenge a decision under Article 39 that 
aggression has been threatened or committed ; and if “ called 
upon ” to comply with provisional measures under Article 40 
or to join in sanctions in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, 
Members must obey. 

Relation to Article 106. This Article applies only to the decisions 
of the Security Council itself. Members are not legally bound to 
join in sanctions which, under Article 106, the five Great Powers 
are authorized to take “ on behalf of the Organization ”. 1 

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 arma¬ 
ments. 

The approach to the problem. The Covenant of the League 
(Article 8) recognized (1) that the maintenance of peace required 
the reduction of national armaments, and (2) that the private 
manufacture of armaments was “ open to grave objections ”. 
On the second point the Charter is completely silent. On the first 
point, it seeks the reason for the reduction of armaments in the 
requirements not of security but of economic reconstruction. The 
Covenant implied that an armament race tended to precipitate 

1 See comment on pp. 184-5 



64 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


conflicts. The Charter argues that such a race retards economic 
reconstruction by diverting from it large human and productive 
resources. Moreover, where the Covenant spoke of the “ reduc¬ 
tion ”, the Charter speaks of the “ regulation ” of armaments. 
The applicable standard. The Covenant prescribed the reduction of 
national armaments “ to the lowest point consistent with national 
safety and the enforcement by common action of international 
obligations”. By 1934, the disarmament effort of the League 
collapsed completely, owing to the inability of Members to agree 
where “ the lowest point ” lay in practice. It has been said that 
the Charter has taken a retrograde step by omitting to define a 
specific qualitative and quantitative standard for the regulation 
of armaments. It would be fairer to say that it has failed to take 
a step forward from the Covenant. It is clear from the language 
of this Article, and from its reference to Article 47, that the criteria 
have not changed, that national safety and collective security 
still remain the applicable standards, and that they are left virtually 
undefined, in the same way as in the Covenant. 

Functions of the Organization. The Charter confers no authority 
upon the United Nations to impose upon its Members a system 
for disarmament or even for the regulation of armaments. All 
the General Assembly can do is to consider and recommend 
general principles (Article 11(1)). The Security Council, however, 
is not only entitled, but required, to go one step further ; it must 
formulate plans for the regulation of armaments. The Article 
enables the Council to submit such plans direct to the Member 
States; but the General Assembly, by a Resolution of December 
14, 1946, requested the Council not to do so without previous 
reference to the Assembly. 

Planning machinery. In the discharge of its functions under this 
Article, the Security Council relies on three subsidiary organs: 

(1) The Military Staff Committee (Article 47). 

(2) The Atomic Energy Commission, established by Assembly 
Resolution of January 14, 1946, but placed under the direction 
of the Security Council. It consists of representatives of the eleven 
members of the Council, and includes a Canadian representative 
whenever Canada is not represented on the Council. 

(3) The Commission for Conventional Armaments, set up by 
the Council on February 13,1947, and consisting of representatives 
of the eleven members of the Council. 

It is one of the most discouraging aspects of the early history 
of the Organization that, during the first three years of its existence, 



THE SECURITY COUNCIL 


65 


none of these three organs has made any real progress. It is 
beyond the scope of this work to analyse their disagreements on 
technical points. Suffice it to say that in May 1948, the Atomic 
Energy Commission reported to the Council that it was useless 
to continue its work until a political accord has been reached 
between the Western Powers and the Soviet Union. A resolution 
that the Commission should suspend its sessions was vetoed by 
the Soviet Union in the Security Council, and the Third Assembly 
(Resolution of November 4, 1948) called upon the Commission 
to resume its work. At the same time the Assembly expressed 
“ deep concern at the impasse which had been reached 
The Commission for Conventional Armaments did not, until the 
end of 1948, get beyond the discussion of a few general principles 
and the definition of those weapons of mass destruction which 
are the responsibility of the Atomic Energy Commission. The 
Third Assembly (Resolution of November 19, 1948) recorded its 
opinion that no agreement was attainable on any proposal for 
the reduction of armaments and armed forces, as long as exact 
information on existing armaments and forces was lacking, and 
recommended that the Commission should “ devote its first 
attention to formulating proposals for the receipt, checking and 
publication, by an international organ of control within the 
framework of the Security Council, of full information to be 
supplied by Member States with regard to their effectives and 
their conventional armaments ”. No recommendations were 
made on bacteriological or chemical weapons, although in his 
third Annual Report the Secretary-General had pointed out that 
some of these weapons were potentially as destructive of human 
life as atomic weapons, and expressed grave anxiety at the fact 
that “ not a single proposal has been made by any of the Member 
nations for any system of preventing or controlling their manu¬ 
facture, nor has there been any discussion or study of the problem 
in the United Nations 

Concerning the failure of the Military Staff Committee, the 
reader is referred to the comment on Article 47. 

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 seven members. 



66 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

3. Decisions of the Security Council on all other matters 
shall be made by an affirmative vote of seven members in¬ 
cluding 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. 

History and interpretation. The voting procedure in the Security 
Council was the only major subject on which the Sponsoring 
Governments reached no agreement at Dumbarton Oaks. At the 
Yalta Conference of February 1945, a formula was agreed upon 
between the Heads of the United Kingdom, United States and 
Soviet Governments. After consultations with China and France, 
the text of the agreed Article was included in the invitations to the 
San Francisco Conference. At the Conference it soon became 
clear that the Sponsoring Governments were not unanimous in 
the interpretation of the voting formula. Eventually, the appro¬ 
priate technical committee submitted to the delegations of the 
Sponsoring Governments a set of twenty-three questions. After 
securing the agreement of France, on June 7, 1945 the delegations 
of the Sponsoring Governments issued an agreed interpretative 
Statement. 1 The Conference took no formal action on the State¬ 
ment, which therefore is not a legally binding interpretation. It 
is binding in practice. The Soviet Union insists rigidly on the 
application of the Statement: and the other permanent Members, 
having joined in the Statement at the time, can raise no legal 
objections to the Soviet veto as long as it is used within the limits 
of the agreed interpretation. 

Efforts to change the position have not been lacking. As far 
back as October 1946, the Assembly was seised of proposals to 
call a General Conference of Members in order to review the 
Charter and eliminate the veto. As, however, under Articles 
108-109, no amendment or alteration of the Charter can take 
effect without ratification by all permanent members of the 
Security Council, and non-ratification by the Soviet Union was a 
foregone conclusion, these proposals were not proceeded with. 
Instead, by a resolution of December 13, 1946, the Assembly 
requested the permanent Members “ to make every effort... to 
ensure that the use of the special voting privilege should not 
impede the Security Council in reaching decisions promptly”. 
The Council itself, in August 1947, entrusted the question to its 

1 The document will henceforth be referred to as the “ Five-Power Statement on 
Voting Procedure 



THE SECURITY COUNCIL 


67 


Committee of Experts, but no further action followed. In Novem¬ 
ber 1947, the Assembly referred the whole problem to the newly- 
formed Interim Committee which, in March 1948, set up a Sub- 
Committee for the examination and analysis of past and future 
proposals. The Sub-Committee recommended that, in a list of 
98 possible decisions of the Security Council, 36 should be 
regarded as procedural, and 21 more should be taken by a vote 
of any seven members. It further recommended that the per¬ 
manent Members should consult in advance of important 
decisions, and that they should not exercise the veto except 
in questions of vital importance to the Organization as a whole. 
A draft resolution based on these recommendations, and em¬ 
bodying the further proposal that the permanent Members 
should forego the use of the veto where seven affirmative votes 
have already been cast, was introduced by China, France, the 
United Kingdom and the United States at the Third Assembly 
and was adopted on April 14,1949, in the face of strong opposition 
from the Soviet bloc. 

In view of the growing political tension between the Western 
Powers and the Soviet Union, the acceptance of these recommen¬ 
dations by the U.S.S.R. in its capacity of a permanent member of 
the Security Council is highly improbable and, for the time 
being, the work of the Council continues to be governed by the 
Five-Power Statement on Voting Procedure. In view of this, the 
Third Assembly has recommended to all Members of the Organiza¬ 
tion that in any future agreements conferring specific functions on 
the Council, such conditions of voting within that body should 
be provided as to exclude, to the greatest extent possible, the 
application of the rule of unanimity between the Great Powers. 
The “ equality " of votes. The first paragraph gives the impression 
that the votes of all Members have an equal weight. That is true 
only of procedural matters. In all other matters, the vote of the 
permanent Members is, in fact, a plural vote in the sense that a 
negative vote cast by one of them nullifies the effect of all affirma¬ 
tive votes, regardless of their number. 

The “procedural vote". On procedural matters, the Security 
Council decides by a qualified majority of at least seven votes 
out of a possible total of eleven. 

The Charter does not define “ procedural matters ”, but the 
Five-Power Statement on Voting Procedure makes it clear that 
all questions falling under Articles 28-32 are procedural. They 
include the organizational measures necessary to enable the 



68 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


Council to function continuously, the time and place of meetings, 
the setting-up of subsidiary organs, the adoption and variation of 
Rules of Procedure, and invitations to Members of the United 
Nations not represented on the Council and to States outside the 
Organization to participate in the discussions of the Council. 

Moreover no single Member can prevent the consideration and 
discussion by the Council of a dispute or situation which has 
been brought to its attention under Article 35. 1 

But faced with the objection of a permanent Member, the 
consideration and discussion of a dispute or situation is confined 
to extremely narrow limits, 2 and must stop short of “ investi¬ 
gation ”, i.e. a call for reports, the examination of witnesses or the 
appointment of a Commission of Investigation. 

The Five-Power Statement gives no exhaustive list of all de¬ 
cisions which can be taken by procedural vote, but declares that 
in controversial cases not expressly covered by it the preliminary 
question, whether a matter is procedural, is itself subject to 
the veto. At the time, the Sponsoring Governments took the 
view that it was “ unlikely that there will arise in the future any 
matters of great importance on which a decision will have to be 
made as to whether a procedural vote would apply ”. That hope 
has been stultified. Time and again, the Soviet Union has 
used the veto to turn motions which, in the view of the majority of 
the Council, were clearly procedural, into questions of substance. 3 
Decisions on non-procedural matters. On all matters which are 
not strictly procedural, the Security Council must decide by an 
affirmative vote of seven members including the concurring votes 
of the permanent Members. By casting a negative vote, any one 
of the permanent Members can “ veto ” a decision. But mere 
abstention from the vote, or the absence of a permanent member 
from the meeting, does not operate as a veto. 

The rule in the third paragraph of this Article covers such a 
wide field of action that it is no exaggeration to say that any one 
of the Great Powers can prevent the effective discharge by the 

1 Statement , cl.I.(3). The rule applies even where, in the view of a permanent member, 
the issue is outside the competence of the Council. The United Kingdom, the U.S.A. and 
France, in September 1948, brought the “ Berlin Blockade ” to the attention of 
the Council. The U.S.S.R., relying on Article 107, denied the competence of the Council, 
but was unable to prevent the consideration and discussion of the issue and its retention 
on the agenda. 

9 In the words of a memorandum presented by Dr. Evatt (Australia) at San 
Francisco "... without veto the Council can only discuss whether a dispute can be 
discussed and can only investigate whether it should be investigated **. 

8 E.g., motions to determine whether a conflict was a dispute or a situation ; and 
motions to request the International Court for an advisory opinion. 



THB SECURITY COUNCIL 


69 


Council of its responsibilities for the maintenance of peace and 
security. Without unanimity of the permanent Members present 
and voting the Council is unable (to quote only its most essential 
functions) : 

to determine whether any given situation might lead to inter¬ 
national friction or give rise to a dispute (Article 34) ; 
to decide whether a dispute has in fact arisen, and if so, to 
investigate whether its continuance is likely to endanger the 
maintenance of international peace and security (Article 34) ; 
to call upon the parties to settle their dispute by peaceful means 
(Article 33) ; 

to recommend to the parties procedures or methods of adjust¬ 
ment or appropriate terms of settlement (Articles 36-37) ; 
to determine whether a dispute is justiciable and, if so, to refer 
the dispute to the International Court of Justice (Article 36) ; 
to request the International Court of Justice for an advisory 
opinion (Article 96) ; 

to determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of 
the peace or act of aggression (Article 39) ; 
to call upon the parties to comply with such provisional 
measures as may be necessary to prevent an aggravation of a 
warlike situation (Article 40) ; 

to call upon Members to apply, or join in applying, diplomatic, 
economic or military sanctions (Articles 41-42) ; 
to conclude military agreements with Member States (Article 
43) ; 

to formulate plans for the application of armed force (Article 
46) ; 

to formulate plans for the regulation of armaments (Article 
26) ; 

Compulsory abstention. No member of the Security Council must 
vote when : 

(1) the motion before the Council is concerned with a dispute to 
which the member is a party, and 

(2) the proposed decision is incidental to the pacific settlement 
of the dispute, with the intervention of the Council or of a regional 
agency. 

At first sight this rule, which applies equally to permanent and 
non-permanent members, would appear to reduce considerably 
the dangers inherent in the privileged voting power of the Great 
Powers. In reality, its value is problematical. If a permanent 
Member who is alleged to be a party to a dispute denies the 



70 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


existence of the dispute altogether, or at least contends that it is not 
a party to the dispute, the rule of abstention does not come into 
operation until the Council has found that there is a dispute 
and that the Member is a party to it. But such a ruling would 
be a substantive decision, and, as such, subject to the veto of the 
permanent Members, including the Member who is alleged to be 
a party to the dispute. 

Moreover, the rule of abstention only applies to decisions 
concerning the pacific settlement of the dispute, and does not 
apply to measures of enforcement. It follows that, even if a per¬ 
manent Member were not to resist the allegation that it was a 
party to the dispute, it could ignore with impunity the Council’s 
recommendations for a peaceful settlement. If it came to an 
imminent threat to the peace, or to an overt act of aggression, 
the Council would have to proceed with preventive measures or 
repressive sanctions under Chapter VII of the Charter. Yet all 
substantive decisions under Chapter VII are subject to the veto 
of the permanent Members, including the Member against which 
preventive measures or sanctions ought to be taken. 

No legal principle can justify these effects of the voting formula. 
It is repugnant to our sense of natural justice that an interested 
party should be given overriding power to deny both the existence 
of a dispute and his interest in it; it is even more repugnant that 
the aggressor — as a matter of right — should be able to frustrate 
any action calculated to prevent or stop his aggression. But it 
should be stated in fairness to the Great Powers that they have 
not, either before or since San Francisco, sought to justify the 
veto on legal grounds. They frankly admitted in the interpretative 
Statement that the reason for the formula was purely political: 
“ In view of the primary responsibility of the permanent mem¬ 
bers, they could not be expected in the present condition of the 
world to assume the obligation to act in so serious a matter as 
the maintenance of international peace and security in con¬ 
sequence of a decision in which they have not concurred ”. 
It is a logical result of the military and economic preponderance 
of the Great Powers that in the case of collective sanctions they 
would have to shoulder the major part of the risk and burden. 
At the end of a long and exhaustive war, none of them was pre¬ 
pared to sign a blank cheque ; and all insisted that they should 
not be committed to sanctions, or to interlocutory decisions 
potentially leading to sanctions, except by their express consent 
in each individual case. 



THE SECURITY COUNCIL 


71 


Elections to the International Court of Justice. The voting formula 
of this Article does not apply when the Security Council pro¬ 
ceeds to elect judges of the International Court of Justice. 1 2 Under 
Article 10 of the Statute of the Court, the Council decides by an 
absolute majority of votes, without any distinction between 
permanent and non-permanent members. 

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 desig¬ 
nated representative. 

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

Continuous function. It is one of the major points of difference 
between the League and the United Nations that, while the 
Council of the League did not function continuously,® the 
Security Council does. The Charter was drafted on the assumption 
that the ability of the Security Council to act promptly in any 
emergency would greatly increase its effectiveness. 

The Charter itself does not go beyond stating the general 
principle and prescribing the permanent representation of each 
member of the Council at the seat of the Organization. The 
detailed regulations are found in the Rules of Procedure. 3 
Meetings. The Rules of Procedure distinguish between periodic 
meetings and meetings held at the call of the President. 

Periodic meetings are held twice a year. The Council itself 
decides the time. 

Between periodic meetings, the President must convene the 
Council at intervals not exceeding fourteen days. He must call 

1 Sec comment on Article 92. 

2 The Covenant (Article 4) prescribed Council meetings “ from time to time as 
occasion may require, and at least once a year ”. Eventually, the Council’s Rules of 
Procedure provided for four ordinary sessions every year and for extraordinary sessions 
in emergencies. 

3 See Article 30. 



72 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


a meeting forthwith whenever (a) any member of the Council so 
requests ; (b) a dispute or situation or some other danger to peace 
is brought to the attention of the Council under Article 11(3), 
Article 35 or Article 99 ; (c) the General Assembly makes a 
recommendation or refers a question under Article 11(2). 

Special representatives. Paragraph 2 of the Article may create the 
impression that, apart from periodic meetings, members of the 
Council must always act through their permanent representatives 
at the seat of the Organization. That is not the case. Heads of 
Governments and Ministers of Foreign Affairs may attend any 
meeting of the Council, without submitting credentials, and 
members may arrange for a special representative to take the 
place of the permanent representative at any meeting. 

Place of meetings. Although each member must have a permanent 
representative at the seat of the Organization, the Council is free 
to meet at any other place. When the General Assembly is in 
session, it is obviously convenient for the Council to meet at the 
same place. 


Article 29 

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

The subsidiary organs of the Security Council are of three 
kinds : permanent, semi-permanent and ad hoc. 

Permanent bodies. 

(1) The Military Staff Committee, the composition and functions 
of which are defined in Article 47 of the Charter ; 

(2) the Committee of Experts, which advises the Council on the 
interpretation, amendment and revision of the Rules of Pro¬ 
cedure ; each member of the Council has a representative on the 
Committee ; 

(3) the Committee on the Admission of New Members, to which 
applications received under Article 4 of the Charter are referred 
for preliminary examination ; each member of the Council has a 
representative on the Committee. 

Semi-permanent bodies. 

(1) The Atomic Energy Commission. 1 

(2) the Commission for Conventional Armaments. 1 


1 See comment on Article 26. 



THE SECURITY COUNCIL 


73 


Ad hoc bodies. These are set up as and when the need arises in 
the course of proceedings under Chapters VI and VII. 1 

Article 30 

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

Rules of procedure. Provisional Rules of Procedure were drafted 
by the Preparatory Commission. These were adopted by the 
Council at its first meeting, and after detailed examination by a 
Committee of Experts were amended in June 1946. The Rules deal 
in detail with the time and place of meetings, the preparation and 
adoption of the agenda, the representation of members, the 
election and functions of the President, the functions of the 
Secretariat, the conduct of business, the official languages, the 
publicity and the records of meetings, the admission of new 
Members, and relations with other organs of the United Nations. 
Presidency. The Presidency is held in turn by the members of 
the Council in the English alphabetical order of their names. 
Each President holds office for one calendar month. It is left to 
the discretion of the President whether he should occupy the 
chair during the consideration of a question with which his own 
country is “ directly connected 

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. 

The preliminary issue. Whether the interests of a Member are 
“ specially affected ” by a question brought before the Council, 
is a matter for the decision of the Council at its discretion. Under 
the Five-Power Statement on Voting Procedure 2 3 the decision 

1 Notable examples were : 

in 1946/47 : the Sub-Committee for the examination of the situation in Spain ; the 
Commission of Investigation concerning Greek Frontier Incidents ; the Sub- 
Committee for the examination of the Corfu Channel Case ; 
in 1947/48 : the Truce Commission for Palestine ; the Committee of Good Offices 
for Indonesia ; the Commission of the Council for the investigation of, and mediation 
in, the dispute between India and Pakistan. 

3 See under Article 27. 



74 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

can be made by any seven affirmative votes. This is somewhat 
paradoxical, as in most cases it will be a question of substance 
and not of procedure whether a State not represented on the 
Council has a special interest in the matter under discussion. 
Procedure. If the Council gives an affirmative answer to the pre¬ 
liminary question, it must invite the Member concerned “ to 
participate in the discussion ”. The Member is not legally bound 
to respond. 1 If it does, the representative of the Government 
concerned will be free to argue the case before the Council, but 
he will have no vote. 2 

The Charter does not say whether “ participation ” in the 
discussion includes the right to make specific proposals. In 
practice that right is freely granted. 3 4 

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 considera¬ 
tion 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. 

Field of application. This Article is applicable to disputes only. 
In the case of “ situations ” (1) non-members are not under any 
circumstances entitled to participation in the discussion, and (2) 
Members can only participate if the Council, under Article 31, 
decides that their interests are specially affected. 

Voting procedure. According to the Five-Power statement on 
Voting Procedure 1 proceedings under this Article are governed 
by the vote of any seven members of the Council. This ruling 
is even more paradoxical than the one discussed under Article 31. 

1 In April 1948, the Czechoslovak Government declined the invitation of the Council 
to participate in the discussion of the situation which had arisen from the February 
coup d'etat. It contended that the issue was essentially domestic. 

9 Under Article 4(5) of the League Covenant, the Member concerned had the same 
voting rights as the members of the Council. 

s In January 1946, the Ukranian S.S.R. brought the situation in Indonesia to the 
attention of the Council. It was invited to participate in the discussion, and eventually 
its representative submitted a formal resolution for setting up a Commission of Inquiry. 
The President of the Council raised the question whether this was in order. The point 
was not formally decided, but no member of the Council raised objection to “ the right 
of proposition ” being granted to the Ukranian representative. 

4 See under Article 27. 



THE SECURITY COUNCIL 


75 


Whether a matter before the Council is technically a dispute, 
and who are the parties to it, is treated as a procedural question 
when it arises under this Article, but becomes a matter of substance 
if any member of the Council is alleged to be a party to the dispute. 
The position of Members. Any Member State not represented on 
the Council is entitled, as a matter of right, to participate, without 
a vote, in the discussion of any dispute to which it is a party. 
The Council must issue an invitation, but the Member is entitled 
to decline. 

The position of non-members. If a State which is not a Member 
of the Organization is a party to a dispute before the Council, 
it is entitled to participate, without a vote, 1 in the discussion. 
This right, however, is conditional upon the acceptance of such 
conditions as the Council may lay down for the participation of 
the State concerned. 

These conditions are in the discretion of the Council, but the 
intentions of the Charter are clearly laid down in Article 35(2). 
Non-members should not be allowed to be in a better position 
than Members, and should not participate in the discussions of 
the Council unless they accept, in relation to the dispute under 
consideration, “ all the obligations which a Member would have 
to assume in a similar case ”. 2 


1 In comparable cases non-members of the League were entitled to a vote ( Covenant, 
Article 17). 

2 It was on this condition that the Council, in January 1947, invited Albania to partici¬ 
pate in the discussion of her dispute with the United Kingdom, known as the Corfu 
Channel Case . 



CHAPTER VI 


PACIFIC SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES 
Article 33 

1. The parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is 
likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and 
security, shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, 
inquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settle¬ 
ment, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other 
peaceful means of their own choice. 

2. The Security Council shall, when it deems necessary, 
call upon the parties to settle their dispute by such means. 

Field of application. Throughout Chapter VI a distinction is made 
between two sources of danger to peace : (a) disputes ; and (b) 
situations which might lead to international friction or give rise 
to a dispute. Of the two, disputes involve a more immediate 
danger, for here the controversial attitudes of the parties have 
crystallized into definite claims and counter-claims. 

The peaceful settlement of disputes is the joint responsibility 
of the parties and the Security Council. Their duties are con¬ 
current, but independent. The parties are not entitled to wait for 
the Security Council to take the initiative ; conversely, the 
Security Council is not entitled to wait for the parties to take it. 

This Article deals only with disputes ; it is not applicable to 
“ situations ”. Nor is it applicable to all kinds of disputes, but 
only to disputes of particular gravity, such as are likely to en¬ 
danger the maintenance of international peace and security. 
Obligations of the parties. The term “ parties ” refers to both 
Members and non-members. International peace can be endan¬ 
gered as much by disputes between Members as by conflicts 
between non-members. 1 

The first duty of the parties is to seek a solution by peaceful 
means. The present Article tells them how. They will have a 
second obligation if their quest remains unsuccessful; in that 
case they will have to refer the dispute to the Security Council, 
in accordance with Article 37. 

1 See comment on Article’2(6). 


76 



PACIFIC SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES 77 

Character of the dispute. There is no guarantee (indeed, experience 
has shown that it is most unlikely) that all parties will agree that 
their dispute is one which involves a danger to international 
peace. But if any party contends that it is, then, regardless of the 
different opinion of others, that party must apply or invoke 
methods of peaceful settlement. If the other parties do not respond, 
the matter will eventually come before the Security Council, 
with which rests the final decision on the character of the dispute. 
Methods of settlement. The Charter gives no exhaustive list. 
It enumerates the customary methods without, however, excluding 
new procedures or the combination of existing ones. 

“ Negotiation ” is a general term which covers every conceiv¬ 
able method of direct exchanges between the parties, both verbal 
and written. It may be conducted at various levels, ranging from 
talks between subordinate officials to conferences between Heads 
of States. Normally, however, negotiations are conducted through 
diplomatic channels. 

“ Inquiry ” means an effort to elucidate facts which are contro¬ 
versial between the parties and are relevant to their respective 
claims. It is usually conducted by an international commission 
set up by the parties themselves. 

“ Mediation ” is the intervention of an impartial Government 
or person whose “ good offices ” are made available either spon¬ 
taneously or at the request of the parties. 

“ Conciliation ” differs from mediation in that it is usually 
entrusted not to one Government or person, but to an inter¬ 
national commission designated by agreement between the 
parties. 

“ Arbitration ” pre-supposes a reciprocal undertaking (“ sub¬ 
mission”) by the parties to abide by the decision of one or 
several arbitrators. Depending on the terms of the submission, 
the arbitrators either decide according to law or ex aequo et bono. 
“ Judicial settlement ” is applicable only to disputes of a legal, 
as distinct from a political, character. 1 Normally, but not neces¬ 
sarily, it should be entrusted to the International Court of Justice 
at The Hague. 2 

There is no rigid line of demarcation between arbitration and 
judicial settlement. As a rule, arbitral tribunals are not per¬ 
manent, and are not bound by strict rules of international law. 
But Article 95 makes it clear that there is no objection to legal 

1 For the definition of legal disputes see comment on Article 92. 

9 See Article 36(3) and comment on Chapter XIV. 



78 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


disputes being referred to ad hoc tribunals ; and under Article 38 
of its Statute, the International Court of Justice need not apply 
strict law if the parties agree that it should decide ex aequo et 
bono. 

“ Resort to regional agencies or arrangements ” is not a pro¬ 
cedure sui generis. The present Article refers to it by way of a 
reminder that, where a dispute is of a local or regional character, 
the parties may avail themselves with advantage of the facilities 
afforded by regional arrangements and agencies 1 before referring 
the matter to the Security Council. 

The phrase “ other peaceful means of their own choice ” is a 
pointer particularly to such methods of settlement as the parties 
may have agreed upon before their dispute had arisen, e.g. in 
treaties of friendship, non-aggression, mutual assistance, and the 
like. 

Position of the Security Council. The Council need not take official 
notice of all disputes that may arise in the world. The Charter 
admits by implication that disputes of a minor character may 
continue unsettled without any danger to peace. But cognizance 
must be taken of any dispute as soon as it is “ brought to the 
Council’s attention ” in accordance with Articles 35 and 99. 

Whether or not a dispute “ brought to the attention ” of the 
Council is likely to endanger peace, is for the Council to decide. 
This is not a procedural issue, and the decision is subject to the 
veto of any permanent member which is not a party. 

Should the Council, without or after an investigation under 
Article 34, find that the continuance of the dispute is not likely 
to endanger peace, it can take no further action. 2 Unfortunately, 
the same would be true if, contrary to the sense of the majority, 
one of the permanent Members vetoed a resolution purporting 
to find that the continuance of the dispute is a danger to peace. 
But the veto cannot prevent the Council from “ remaining 
seised ” of the question and continuing to keep it on the agenda; 
for this is a procedural matter. 3 

If the Council finds expressly or by implication that a dispute is 
likely to endanger peace, it need not necessarily proceed further, 


1 See comment on Article 52(2). 

8 Except under Article 38, at the request of all the parties. 

8 In January 1946, Iran lodged a complaint against the Soviet Union for alleged 
interferences in her internal affairs. Although the Soviet Union contended that a danger 
so international peace was not involved, and protested against the retention of the matter 
on the agenda, the Council remained seised of the matter until the conflict was settled 
by direct negotiations* 



PACIFIC SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES 


79 


as long as it is satisfied that the parties are in the process of carrying 
out their obligation to seek a peaceful solution. 1 But if the Council 
is not so satisfied, it must choose between two alternatives : 

(1) it can, under Articles 36 and 37, recommend appropriate 
methods or terms of settlement; or 

(2) it can, under the second paragraph of the present Article, 
“ call upon the parties ” to settle their dispute by peaceful means 
of their own choice. 

The phrase “ call upon ” has no exact meaning in this particular 
context. It denotes something weaker than a binding decision, 
but stronger than a mere recommendation. Legally, the difference 
is immaterial. With or without a call from the Council, the failure 
or refusal of any party to seek a solution by peaceful means is a 
breach of an obligation clearly stated in Article 2(3) and Article 
33(1) of the Charter. 

Article 34 

The Security Council may investigate any dispute, or any 
situation which might lead to international friction or give 
rise to a dispute, in order to determine whether the continuance 
of the dispute or situation is likely to endanger the maintenance 
of international peace and security. 

Scope of the investigation. Apart from the exceptional case of 
Article 38, the Security Council is not concerned with disputes 
or situations which involve no danger to international peace and 
security. Before it can proceed with “ a call ” under Article 33(2), 
or with recommendations under Articles 36 and 37, the Council 
must first determine the character of the conflict. The present 
Article enables it to carry out such investigations as may be 
necessary for that limited purpose. 

The Council’s power to investigate is not conditional on any 
formal representations under Article 35 or Article 99. The 
existence of a dispute or of a dangerous situation is usually 
common knowledge, and the Council is entitled to act on its own 
initiative. 

“ Disputes ” and “ situations ”. Although the Charter does not 
define it, the meaning of the term “ dispute ” is not controversial. 

1 In February 1946, Syria and the Lebanon brought to the attention of the Council 
the continued presence in their respective territories of French and British troops, contrary 
to “ the spirit and the letter of the Charter A formal resolution expressing the Council's 
confidence that the troops would be withdrawn as soon as practicable, and that direct 
negotiations to that end would continue, received seven votes, but was vetoed by the 
Soviet Union. The Council took no further action. 



80 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


It is generally taken as denoting a conflict between States in which 
the contesting parties have formulated definite claims, defences 
and, possibly, counter-claims. 

In ordinary usage, the word “ situation ” has a less definite 
meaning. The Charter singles out two classes of situations in 
which the Security Council is expected to take an interest, if only 
to the extent of determining whether their continuance involves a 
danger to peace. The one class comprises situations which might 
lead to international friction. In the other class are situations 
which might give rise to a dispute in the technical sense of the 
term. When a dispute is brought to the attention of the Council, 
it must, and can, address itself immediately to the question 
whether the continuance of the dispute involves a danger to peace. 
But when it is confronted with a “ situation ’V the Council must 
first examine a preliminary question : is it a situation which 
might lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute ? 
If the answer is negative, the Council must remove the “ situation 
from the agenda, as it has no competence to deal with situations 
which are irrelevant to international peace and security. 
Procedure. It is for the Council to decide in what manner a particu¬ 
lar dispute or situation shall be investigated under this Article. 
That discretion is, however, limited by the purpose of the investi¬ 
gation. The Council is not at this stage entitled to inquire into the 
rights and wrongs of the case. The sole object of its inquiry is 
the likelihood of a danger to international peace. In some cases 
it is sufficient for the Council to study the documentation sub¬ 
mitted by the parties and listen to oral evidence and argument 1 2 
in full session. In less clear-cut cases, it may be necessary to call for 
reports on current developments. 3 Where the evidence is volu¬ 
minous, it is expedient to entrust a sub-committee with its 
examination. 4 There is, however, nothing to prevent the Council 


1 The terminology adopted by the parties is not, of course, binding on the Council. 
The “ Iranian Question ’* and the “ Syrian and Lebanese Question ** (see comment on 
Article 33) were both described as “ situations ” in the first communications addressed 
to the Council. In effect, they were disputes and the Council treated them as such. 

9 In January 1946, the Soviet Union raised the question of the continued presence of 
British troops in Greece. The Council “ took note *’ of the declarations made, and the 
evidence submitted, by the representatives of the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom 
and Greece, and “ considered the matter as closed 

8 In May 1946, at an advanced stage of its consideration of the “ Iranian Question**, 
(see comment on Article 33) the Council formally requested the Iranian Government 
to report whether all Soviet troops had been withdrawn from the whole of Iran. 

4 This was the procedure adopted in April 1946 for the investigation, at the request 
of Poland, of the situation arising from “ the existence and activities of the Franco 
regime in Spain '*. A similar resolution for the investigation of the situation in Czecho¬ 
slovakia after the coup of February 1948 was vetoed by the Soviet Union. 



PACIFIC SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES 


81 


from collecting its own evidence, or supervise its collection on the 
spot, through the appointment of a fact-finding commission. 1 
The position of the Great Powers. According to the Five-Power 
Statement on Voting Procedure, 2 3 the ordering of an investigation 
under this Article is not a procedural matter for the purposes of 
Article 27, and can be vetoed by any permanent member. Legally, 
this is quite anomalous, for an investigation designed to establish 
the competence of the Council, or the lack of it, is clearly a pro¬ 
cedural matter. The political justification of the anomaly is 
clearly expounded in the Five-Power Statement : 

“ ... in ordering an investigation the Council has to consider 
whether the investigation ... might not further aggravate the 
situation. After investigation the Council must determine 
whether the continuance of the situation or dispute would be 
likely to endanger international peace and security. If it so 
determines, the Council would be under obligation to take 
further steps ”. 

In other words, unless the Great Powers can agree in advance 
to see the matter through, the most convenient way of saving 
face is to veto the preliminary investigation and prevent the 
Council from establishing its competence. 

Article 35 

1. Any Member of the United Nations may bring any dispute 
or any situation of the nature referred to in Article 34, to the 
attention of the Security Council or of the General Assembly. 

2. A State which is not a Member of the United Nations 
may bring to the attention of the Security Council or of the 
General Assembly any dispute to which it is a party if it accepts 
in advance, for the purposes of the dispute, the obligations of 
pacific settlement provided in the present Charter. 

3. The proceedings of the General Assembly in respect of 
matters brought to its attention under this Article will be 
subject to the provisions of Articles 11 and 12. 

Rights of Members. Any Member of the United Nations, whether 
represented on the Security Council or not, may set in motion 
the machinery of peaceful settlement by notifying the Security 


1 For the investigation of the dispute between India and Pakistan, the Council, in 

April 1948, established a Commission of five members, two of whom were chosen by the 
parties. 

3 See under Article 27. 



82 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


Council, or the General Assembly, of any dispute or situation 
the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance 
of international peace and security. 

In the case of disputes, the notification normally comes from 
one of the parties. On the other hand, “ situations ” have been 
repeatedly reported by States which were not directly involved. 1 
Rights of non-members. Non-members can also bring disputes 
(but not “ situations ”) to the attention of the Security Council 
or the General Assembly, provided the following two conditions 
are fulfilled : (1) the non-member State must be a party to the 
dispute ; and (2) it must accept in advance the obligations of 
pacific settlement provided in the Charter. 

Legally, these requirements are justified, but the political 
justification of the first condition is doubtful. If international 
peace is indivisible—and the Organization is founded on that 
assumption—there seems to be no reason why outsiders should be 
unable to notify dangerous “ situations ” or a dispute in which 
they may not be directly involved. In practice, however, no harm is 
done. Information from a non-member concerning a “ situation ” 
can always be officially conveyed by a Member or, under Article 
99, by the Secretary-General. 2 

The position of the Assembly. Although Members and non¬ 
members alike can choose between approaching the Council or 
the Assembly, 3 they must bear in mind that, so far as “ action ” 
under Chapter VII may be necessary, the Assembly will have to 
refer the matter to the Council, either before or after discussion 
(Article 11(2)). Moreover, if at the time of an approach to the 
Assembly the dispute or situation is already before the Council, 
the Assembly must refrain from making any recommendations 
unless it is requested by the Council to do so (Article 12). 


1 In Januapr 1946, it was the Ukranian S.S.R. which brought the situation in Indonesia 
to the Council’s attention. 

In April 1946, the Polish Government requested the Council to discuss the situation 
in Spain. 

In August 1946, the presence of British troops in Greece was raised by the Ukranian 
S.S.R. 

In March 1948, Chile applied for an investigation of the situation in Czechoslovakia. 

2 This applies even to communications from private individuals. On Marcn 10, 
1948, the situation in Czechoslovakia was raised with the Secretary-General by Mr. Jan 
Papanek, the former permanent representative of Czechoslovakia accredited to the 
United Nations. Two days later, Chile endorsed this information under Article 35(1). 

* In June, 1946, India requested that the treatment of Indians in South Africa be placed 
on the agenda of the Assembly; and eventually the matter was disposed of by Assembly 
resolution, without reference to the Security Council. 



PACIFIC SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES 

Article 36 


83 


1. The Security Council may, at any stage of a dispute of the 
nature referred to in Article 33 or of a situation of like nature, 
recommend appropriate procedures or methods of adjustment. 

2. The Security Council should take into consideration any 
procedures for the settlement of the dispute which have already 
been adopted by the parties. 

3. In making recommendations under this Article the Security 
Council should also take into consideration that legal disputes 
should as a general rule be referred by the parties to the Inter¬ 
national Court of Justice in accordance with the provisions 
of the Statute of the Court. 

Disputes. Under this Article the Council cannot recommend 
“ terms ” for the settlement of disputes. It may only do that under 
Article 37 if the parties formally refer the dispute to the 
Council. 

Acting under this Article the Council must confine its recom¬ 
mendations to appropriate procedures of settlement. Under 
Article 33, the parties to a dispute are in any case, even before the 
intervention of the Council, required to resort to such pro¬ 
cedures. The purpose of paragraph 1 of the Article is to enable 
the Council to intervene without waiting for the parties to act 
under Article 37(1), or indeed for any formal notice of the dispute 
under Article 35. It will be recalled that, under Article 33(2) also, 
the Council may intervene prior to formal reference or notice. 
But whereas under Article 33 all the Council can do is to remind 
the parties, in general terms, of their obligation to seek a peaceful 
solution, under Article 36 it may recommend specific procedures. 
In the choice of these procedures the Council is not tied to the 
list included in Article 33(1). It may devise new methods, suggest 
the combination of existing procedures, or couple its recom¬ 
mendation of a particular procedure with advice that the parties 
should consider other suitable methods. 1 In legal disputes, 2 
however, the Council is expected, though not bound, to recommend 


1 In the dispute between the Netherlands and the Republic of Indonesia, the Council 
on August 1, 1947, called upon the parties “ to settle their disputes by arbitration or by 
other peaceful means”. This was supplemented on August 25, 1947 by an offer to assist 
in the settlement “ through a committee of the Council consisting of three members of 
the Council, each party selecting one, and the third to be designated by the two so 
selected *\ 

9 For a definition of legal disputes see comment on Article 92. 



84 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

the reference of the case to the International Court of Justice. 1 

Whenever it makes recommendations under this Article, the 
Council should take into consideration any procedures which 
have already been adopted by the parties. The word “ adopted ” 
refers not only to procedures to which the parties may have 
actually resorted by the time the Council intervenes, 2 but also to 
procedures of settlement specified in any previous treaty arrange¬ 
ments between them which may be applicable to the dispute. 3 
Situations. Paragraph 1 of the Article applies only to situations 
the continuance of which is likely to endanger peace and security. 
The Council has no jurisdiction in situations which do not in¬ 
volve such a danger, and may be properly dealt with by the General 
Assembly under Article 14. 

The parties involved in a “ dangerous ” situation are under no 
legal obligation to seek a solution by peaceful means without 
waiting for the Council to intervene. Article 33(1) is applicable 
only to disputes. Legally, therefore, Member States are free to 
allow such situations to drift. The purpose of the inclusion of 
situations in the terms of reference of the Council under paragraph 
1 of this Article is to enable the Council to intervene, and prevail 
upon the parties to seek a peaceful solution. In the case of disputes, 
the Article does not allow the Council to recommend terms of 
settlement. When it deals with situations, its recommendations 
are not so restricted. The term “ methods of adjustment ” covers 
both “ procedures ” and “ terms ”. But the Council can only 
recommend, and not compel, the parties to follow its advice on 
either. 


Article 37 

1. Should the parties to a dispute of the nature referred to in 
Article 33 fail to settle it by the means indicated in that Article, 
they shall refer it to the Security Council. 


1 After preliminary investigation of the dispute between the United Kingdom and 
Albania concerning incidents in the Corfu Channel , the Council, on April 3 1947, recom¬ 
mended that the dispute be immediately referred to the International Court of Justice. 
Both parties complied with the recommendation, though Albania first objected to the 
Court hearing the case on the unilateral application of the United Kingdom. The dispute 
was disposed of by judgement of the Court, delivered on April 9, 1949. 

2 In the dispute between Iran and the Soviet Union, the Council, by unanimous 
decision of January 30, 1946, took note of past negotiations between the parties and 
asked to be informed of the results of further negotiations. 

8 The recommendation of August 1, 1947, calling upon the Netherlands and the 
Republic of Indonesia to settle their disputes by arbitration, was based on the " Linggadjati 
Agreement ” of March 25, 1947, Article 17 of which provided for arbitration. 



PACIFIC SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES 85 

2. If the Security Council deems that the continuance of the 
dispute is in fact likely to endanger the maintenance of inter¬ 
national peace and security, it shall decide whether to take 
action under Article 36 or to recommend such terms of settle¬ 
ment as it may consider appropriate. 

Field of application. This Article applies only to disputes the 
continuance of which is likely to endanger peace and security. 
Position of the parties. Under Article 33 it is in the first place for 
the parties to decide whether their dispute amounts to a potential 
danger to peace. If so, the parties, without waiting for the inter¬ 
vention of the Organization, must seek a solution by the methods 
indicated in Article 33(1). Should these efforts fail, it is their 
duty to refer the dispute to the Council. If they disagree on the 
question whether the procedures of settlement have failed, the 
obligation to refer the dispute to the Council rests on the party 
or parties which contend that there has been failure. 1 
Position of the Council. On receiving from all or some of the parties 
to a dispute a report on the failure of the procedures indicated 
in Article 33(1), the Council must first decide the preliminary 
question whether the continuance of the dispute is “ in fact ” 
likely to endanger peace and security. The Council may have 
previously considered the character of the dispute under Article 
34 or Article 36, and decided then that its continuance was a 
threat to peace. No previous decision does, however, bind the 
Council when proceeding under paragraph 2 of this Article ; it 
must re-examine its earlier findings, if any, in the light of later 
developments. 

If the Council decides on a negative answer to the prelimin¬ 
ary question, it must not make recommendations unless all the 
parties to the dispute so request under Article 38. If, however, the 


1 On September 29,1948, the U.S.A., France and the United Kingdom submitted to 
the Security Council a detailed account of their diplomatic negotiations with the Soviet 
Government on the question of the Berlin Blockade , and contended that “ the Soviet 
Government has taken upon itself sole responsibility for creating a situation in which 
further recourse to the means of settlement prescribed in Article 33 of the Charter is not, 
in existing circumstances, possible, and which constitutes a threat to international peace 
and security**. Overruling the Soviet objection that the Berlin question was within 
Article 107 of the Charter and outside the competence of the Organization, the Council 
decided to place the dispute on its agenda. On October 22,1948, a draft resolution pur¬ 
porting to recommend provisional measures under Article 40, and at the same time 
indicating definite terms of settlement for the currency problems involved in the dispute, 
received nine votes in favour, but was vetoed by the Soviet Union. No further action was 
taken in the Council, although it retained the matter on the agenda. Eventually, the 
controversy was disposed of by an agreement reached on May 4, 1949, between the 
delegates of the Big Four to the Third Assembly. 



86 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


answer to the preliminary question is positive, the Council must 
proceed in either of two ways : 

(1) It may revert to Article 36 and instruct the parties to have 
recourse to specific procedures of settlement. Such a decision 
would imply disagreement with the contention of all or some of 
the parties that all suitable procedures of peaceful settlement have 
been tried, and that no further effort can be usefully made. 

(2) It can recommend “ terms of settlement ”, i.e. suggest a basis 
on which the substance of the parties’ claims and counterclaims 
should be disposed of. 1 

In formulating terms of settlement, the discretion of the Council 
is limited only by the proviso of Article 24(2), that in the discharge 
of its duties the Council must always act in accordance with the 
Purposes and Principles of the United Nations. Particularly 
important in this context are the references in Article 1(1) and 
Article 2(3) to the settlement of disputes in conformity with 
“ justice ”. 2 

Within the limits of the Purposes and Principles, however, 
the Council can recommend any terms which it believes to be 
appropriate. 


Article 38 

Without prejudice to the provisions of Articles 33 to 37, the 
Security Council may, if all the parties to any dispute so request, 
make recommendations to the parties with a view to a pacific 
settlement of the dispute. 

Field of application. This Article is not applicable to “ situations ”, 
but in relation to disputes it covers a wider ground than Article 
33 and Articles 35-37. All disputes are included, not only those the 
continuance of which is likely to endanger international peace and 
security. 

1 In the dispute between India and Pakistan on the issue of the accession of the State 
of Jammu and Kashmir , the Security Council on April 21, 1948, made detailed recom¬ 
mendations (1) for the restoration of peace and order, and (2) for a plebiscite to decide 
the issue. On January 28, 1949, the Council made specific recommendations for the 
settlement of the Indonesian dispute , including the establishment of an Interim Federal 
Government for Indonesia. On May 7, 1949, the delegations of the Netherlands and of 
the Republic of Indonesia signified to the United Nations Commission at Batavia their 
agreement on a number of important points at issue, including the cessation of guerilla 
warfare and the return of the Republican Government to Jogjakarta. 

2 The reference in Article 1(1) to international law does not limit the discretion of 
the Council. It applies only to legal disputes, which under Article 36(3) will, as a rule, 
be referred by the Council to the International Court of Justice without the Council 
recommending specific terms of settlement. 



PACIFIC SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES 


87 


Submission of the parties. In disputes which involve no danger to 
peace, the Council has no right to intervene on its own initiative, 
except to the limited extent defined in Article 34. It may inter¬ 
vene, however, if all the parties to the dispute so request. In that 
case, the functions of the Council will be akin to those of an 
arbitral tribunal, with the important difference that, whereas 
arbitration awards are binding, the Council can only make recom¬ 
mendations. The recommendation may cover procedures of 
adjustment or appropriate terms of settlement, or both. 



CHAPTER VII 


ACTION WITH RESPECT TO THREATS TO THE PEACE, 
BREACHES OF THE PEACE, AND ACTS OF 
AGGRESSION 

Article 39 

The Security Council shall determine the existence of any 
threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression, 
and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures 
shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42 to maintain 
or restore international peace and security. 

Discretionary powers of the Security Council. During the inter-war 
period, attempts were repeatedly made to establish the legal 
criteria of aggression. 1 None of these attempts proved to be 
satisfactory: and the Charter was drafted on the double assumption 
that (1) for practical purposes, a definition to cover every possible 
case of aggression was impossible, and (2) the most satisfactory 
way of dealing with the problem was to give the Security Council 
unrestricted discretion to determine whether a threat to the 
peace, a breach of the peace or an act of aggression had in fact 
occurred. 

In this approach to the vital problem of sanctions lies one of the 
fundamental differences between the Covenant and the Charter. 
The League Council had no power to declare that an act of war 
had been committed. That was a matter to be decided by each 
Member for itself. Article 16 of the Covenant laid down a rudi¬ 
mentary definition of aggression, and required all Members to 
apply sanctions as soon as they were satisfied that an illegal 
act of war had been committed against a fellow-Member. Their 
duty to apply sanctions was not conditional on a previous recom¬ 
mendation from either the Council or the Assembly. The risk of 
taking the wrong decision had to be borne by the individual 
Member. 

1 Article 16 of the Covenant defined aggression as resort to war by a Member of the 
League in disregard of the provisions requiring the submission of disputes either to 
arbitration or judicial settlement or to inquiry by the League Council. In the Geneva 
Protocol of 1924 and in the Locarno Treaty of Guarantee of 1925, experiments were made 
with more detailed definitions. 


88 



THREATS TO THB PEACB 


89 


The Charter has changed all that. No Member of the United 
Nations is entitled or liable to apply sanctions without previous 
positive decisions of the Security Council in two directions. First, 
subject to the “ inherent ” right of self-defence admitted by 
Article 51, Members must wait until the Council has determined 
the existence of a threat to the peace, a breach of the peace or an 
act of aggression ; secondly, they must wait until the Council has 
decided whether sanctions shall be taken at all, and if so, in what 
manner. 

In both directions, the decisions of the Council are binding on 
all Members. This is the most important application of the prin¬ 
ciple that, in the maintenance of peace and security, the Council 
acts as the agent of all Members (Article 24(1)). At this one point 
the Charter has drawn fairly near to the conception of a “ world 
government ”. 

It must be understood, however, that the Council cannot 
effectively use its wide discretionary powers unless there is har¬ 
mony between its permanent Members. Whether an act of ag¬ 
gression has been committed and whether sanctions ought to be 
taken are questions of “ substance ”, which require the con¬ 
currence of all permanent Members in accordance with Article 
27(3). The moment a permanent Member itself is involved in the 
dispute, either directly or indirectly, by being in sympathy with 
the case of the aggressor, the machinery must break down. As 
long as a conflict is still at the stage of pacific settlement (Chapter 
VI), a permanent Member directly involved in the dispute cannot 
obstruct the work of the Council; for in decisions under Chapter 
VI a party to a dispute must abstain from voting. That 
proviso to Article 27(3) does not, however, apply to decisions 
taken under Chapter VII. It follows that a permanent Member 
which has committed or is about to commit aggression, or 
is in league with the aggressor, can lawfully use its right of 
veto : it can stop the Council from finding that there has been 
a threat to the peace, a breach of the peace or an act of 
aggression. Here, precisely, lies one of the fundamental weak¬ 
nesses of the Charter. 

Peaceful settlement after aggression. A decision by the Council 
that there exists a threat to the peace, a breach of the peace or an 
act of aggression does not necessarily entail sanctions. The Council 
may still take the view that, in the circumstances, it need not do 
more than “ make recommendations ”, i.e. continue its efforts 
for the peaceful settlement of the dispute. There is conclusive 



90 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

evidence in the debates of the San Francisco Conference that the 
Council was not intended to take such a view except where 
warlike actions had only been threatened, but not yet committed. 
Unfortunately, that limitation of the Council’s discretion has 
found no expression in the text of the Article ; and in any case, 
as long as the Council is not backed by adequate armed force, 
recourse to recommendations under Chapter VI must remain the 
easiest way of safeguarding its prestige. 

Admittedly, there is a strong case for the Council to continue 
its efforts in the interests of an ultimate peaceful settlement 
although a breach of the peace or an act of aggression has actually 
occurred. But the prestige of the United Nations can hardly be 
preserved unless the continuation of these efforts is made con¬ 
ditional on compliance with certain “ provisional measures ” of 
the kind contemplated in Article 40. It is unfortunate that an 
express stipulation to this effect was not made in the text of 
Article 39. 

Sanctions. Unless the Council determines that recommendations 
under Chapter VI will meet the case, it must bring sanctions into 
play. Once a threat to the peace, a breach of the peace or an act 
of aggression has been established, the Council cannot take the 
view that neither recommendations nor sanctions are necessary. 
Its only escape is a temporary one, i.e. a call upon the parties to 
comply with “ provisional measures ” under Article 40. Whether 
or not that call is obeyed, the Council must, sooner or later, dis¬ 
pose of the matter, either under Chapter VI or under Articles 
41-42. 

In the choice of sanctions the Council retains its discretion. 
This is another important difference from the League system. 
Under Article 16 of the Covenant, in the case of aggression all 
Members of the League were under an obligation immediately 
to subject the aggressor to the severance of all trade and financial 
relations, to prohibit all intercourse between their nationals and 
the nationals of the Covenant-breaking State, and to enforce 
against the aggressor a virtual blockade covering every kind of 
financial, commercial and personal intercourse between its 
nationals and the nationals of any other State, whether a Member 
of the League or not. 1 The United Nations is not bound by such 
hard and fast principles. The Council is free to decide whether 

1 Admittedly, the League soon departed from this 44 sledgehammer ” method of 
economic retaliation, and already in October 1921 adopted the principle of the 44 pro* 
gressive" application of sanctions. 



THREATS TO THE PEACE 


91 


to apply at once all the sanctions enumerated in Articles 41-42, 
or to apply them singly or in any given combination. 

Transitional arrangements. As long as the special agreements 
contemplated in Article 43 have not come into force, the Security 
Council is not in a position to apply military sanctions. Under 
Article 106, should such measures become necessary during the 
period of transition, it will be the duty of the permanent members 
of the Security Council to consult with one another and, as 
occasion requires, with other Members of the Organization, with 
a view to such joint action as may be necessary for the main¬ 
tenance of peace. The Security Council may initiate such con¬ 
sultations, but it has no power to require the permanent Members, 
let alone any other State, to take action. It follows that, pending 
the implementation of Article 43, the Organization is entirely 
dependent on the Great Powers for military force. 1 


Article 40 

In order to prevent an aggravation of the situation, the 
Security Council may, before making the recommendations 
or deciding upon the measures provided for in Article 39, call 
upon the parties concerned to comply with such provisional 
measures as it deems necessary or desirable. Such provisional 
measures shall be without prejudice to the rights, claims or 
position of the parties concerned. The Security Council shall 
duly take account of failure to comply with such provisional 
measures. 

The legal character of “ provisional measures ”. It is a normal 
feature of the private law of many countries that, when a person 
has committed, or threatens to commit, an act which may cause 
damage to another person or to the community, the courts may 
order him to refrain, pending a decision of the court on the merits 
of the case, from any acts likely to cause further damage. In the 
Anglo-American system of law such an order is called “ prelimin¬ 
ary injunction ”. 

The “ provisional measures ” mentioned in the present Article 
are injunctions of this kind. Their only purpose is to prevent the 
aggravation of a given situation ; and, in calling upon the parties 
to comply with them, the Security Council does not purport to 


1 See comment on Article 106. 



92 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


decide which of them is in the right. If they comply with the 
injunction, they will be free to argue their case at a later stage of 
the proceedings. 

“ Provisional measures ” and “ sanctions ” distinguished. Sanctions 
(Articles 41-42) are measures taken by Members of the United 
Nations against Members or non-members who have violated 
the peace, or have at least threatened to do so. Provisional meas¬ 
ures, on the other hand, are measures which are to be carried 
out either by the parties directly involved in the conflict, or by 
States which are actively supporting them. 

Types of provisional measures. The Security Council decides at 
its discretion what measures are necessary to meet a given 
situation. In the case of a mere threat of aggression, e.g. where 
one of the parties has ordered the mobilization of its armed forces, 
it may be sufficient to call upon the Government concerned to 
desist from further mobilization, or to withdraw its armed forces 
to a given distance from the frontier area. But where an invasion 
has already taken place, it may be necessary to insist upon a 
withdrawal of the invading forces to their own State territory, 
Again, where, following an invasion, hostilities are being waged, 
the Council will concentrate its efforts on obtaining a truce or a 
cease-fire. 1 

“ The parties concerned ”. The Council’s call for provisional 
measures will be addressed, in the first place, to the Governments 
directly involved in the conflict. Under present conditions, 
Governments engaged in a conflict usually rely upon the support 
of one or more foreign Governments or, at least, upon the supply 
of war material from abroad. As a result, it may be necessary 
for the Council to call upon such foreign Governments to abstain 
from giving military and economic support. By virtue of Article 
2(6) the Council may also call on States which are not Members 
of the Organization. 2 

Effects of failure to comply. The term “ call upon ” implies that 
Members of the Organization are under a legal obligation to 

1 See the resolution of the Council of May 22, 1948, calling upon “ all Governments 
and authorities, without prejudice to the rights claims and position of the parties concerned 
to abstain from any hostile military action in Palestine, and to that end to issue a cease¬ 
fire order to their military and para-military forces " ; and the resolution of November 15, 
1948, calling “ upon the parties directly involved in the conflict in Palestine, as a further 
provisional measure under Article 40 of the Charter, to seek agreement forthwith, with a 
view to the immediate establishment of the armistice **. 

* See the resolution of May 29,1948, calling upon “ all Governments and authorities 
concerned to refrain from importing or exporting war material into or to Palestine, 
Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi-Arabia, Syria, Transjordan and Yemen during the cease¬ 
fire 



THREATS TO THE PEACE 


93 


comply. Failure to do so would amount to a breach of Articles 
2(5) and 25: and persistent refusal to comply may lead to expulsion 
from the Organization (Article 6). 

As far as the specific controversial issue is concerned, failure 
to adopt the prescribed provisional measures does not in itself 
prejudice the rights, claims or position of the parties, whether or 
not they are Members of the Organization. But the Council 
“ shall duly take account ” of the failure. When it comes to decide 
whether sanctions ought to be taken, or when, following the 
application of sanctions, it has occasion to determine appropriate 
terms of settlement, the Council may be influenced against the 
party which, by disobeying a call for provisional measures, had 
shown that it was lacking in good faith and in respect for its 
obligations under the Charter. 

Suspension from rights of membership. Under Article 5 a Member 
against which preventive action has been taken may be suspended 
from the exercise of the rights and privileges of membership. 

Article 41 

The Security Council may decide what measures not involving 
the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its 
decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the United 
Nations to apply such measures. These may include complete 
or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, 
air, postal, telegraphic, radio and other means of communica¬ 
tion, and the severance of diplomatic relations. 

Difference from the League system. Under Article 16 of the 
Covenant, Members of the League were under a direct obligation 
to apply sanctions—but only sanctions not involving the use of 
armed force—immediately they were, individually, satisfied that 
aggression had been committed. They were not entitled to wait 
for a recommendation from the League Council, nor bound by 
a recommendation if it was given. That system of individual and 
automatic obligations is replaced in the Charter by a more 
“ organic ” system of enforcement. No Member of the Or¬ 
ganization is bound — nor is it entitled, save in the case of self- 
defence (Article 51) — to take any enforcement measures unless 
called upon by the Security Council to do so. 

Limits of the Council's discretion. The wording of Articles 41 and 
42 may give the impression that the Security Council is entirely 



94 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

free to decide whether an aggressor ought to be restrained ; 
under both Articles the Council “ may ” (i.e. need not) call for 
action. 

That, however, is a misconception. Articles 41 and 42 must be 
read in conjunction with Article 39, which makes it clear that, 
once the Council has determined the existence of a threat to the 
peace, a breach of the peace or an act of aggression, and recom¬ 
mendations for the maintenance or restoration of peace have 
proved to be unavailing, enforcement measures must be taken. 
The permissive formulation of Articles 41 and 42 means only 
that the Council has full discretion in the choice of specific en¬ 
forcement measures, and is free to decide in which order of 
priority or combination they should be applied. 

Non-military sanctions. The present Article deals with measures 
not involving the use of armed force. These fall, broadly, into two 
categories : 

(1) Economic sanctions. The Charter gives no exhaustive list, 
but a few examples. These range from the interruption of one 
particular method of communication (e.g. rail services) to the 
complete isolation of a State through a general ban on the passage 
of goods and persons. These measures may be taken one by one, 
or gradually and progressively, or simultaneously. The choice 
will depend on the gravity of the situation. 

(2) Diplomatic sanctions. These too may range from compara¬ 
tively mild measures signifying little more than open disapproval 
(e.g. the recall of Heads of diplomatic missions) to the complete 
severance of diplomatic relations. 

These sanctions are not necessarily less effective than military 
measures ; indeed, to seal off an aggressor’s or would-be ag¬ 
gressor’s sources of supply is one of the most powerful weapons. 
Moreover, at the present stage of the Organization’s develop¬ 
ment, marked by its failure to implement Articles 43 and 45, 
economic sanctions are the only effective way in which the United 
Nations can assert its authority. 

The regulation of non-military sanctions in an Article which 
precedes the provisions on military sanctions may lead the reader 
of the Charter to the conclusion that armed force must not be 
used unless economic and diplomatic sanctions have already 
proved ineffective. That is not so. The Security Council, in theory 
at least, is free to apply military measures without first resorting 
to economic or diplomatic sanctions. This follows clearly from 
the text of Article 42. 



THREATS TO THE PEACE 


95 


Liability to join in sanctions. Compliance with provisional meas¬ 
ures under Article 40 may be demanded of Members and non¬ 
members alike. But when it comes to sanctions, the Council’s 
call can only be addressed to Members. They alone are under a 
legal obligation to respond. 

In practice, the situation may be different. Under Article 2(6), 
the Organization has power to compel non-members to act in 
conformity with its actions so far as these are designed to maintain 
peace. Sanctions applied by Members might easily be frustrated 
if non-members came to the assistance of the aggressor with 
supplies of war materials and other essentials which the aggressor 
can no longer obtain from Members. In such cases the Council 
will be justified in calling upon non-members to refrain from 
assistance. Failure to comply would be no breach of any legal 
obligation ; but it might expose the non-member to repressive 
measures not less strict than those applied against the aggressor 
himself. 

Impact of economic sanctions upon Member States. See comment 
on Article 50. 


Article 42 

Should the Security Council consider that measures provided 
for in Article 41 would be inadequate or have proved to be 
inadequate, it may take such action by air, sea or land forces 
as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace 
and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade 
and other operations by air, sea or land forces of Members 
of the United Nations. 

Difference from the League. In case of aggression, Members of the 
League were under a direct and automatic obligation to apply 
certain sanctions not involving armed force ; they were under no 
obligation to apply military sanctions, not even pursuant to a 
specific recommendation from the League Council. 

In contrast, the Charter prescribes for Members a definite 
obligation to join in military sanctions when called upon by the 
Security Council. Once the Council has decided on military 
action, no Member is entitled to remain neutral. That does not 
mean that, whenever the Council takes military action, all Mem¬ 
bers will necessarily become involved ; it is for the Council to 
decide which Members shall take an active part. 



96 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


Who takes action ? There is a significant difference in the phrase¬ 
ology of Article 41 and Article 42. In the case of economic and 
diplomatic sanctions, the Council may “ call upon the Members ” 
to apply them. When it comes to military sanctions, the Council 
itself" may take action ”. This terminology indicates an important 
difference between military and non-military measures. The latter 
must be taken by the Member States themselves ; the Council 
has no means of closing the frontiers of Member States or of re¬ 
calling their ambassadors. But when military action has been 
decided upon, the strategic direction of the armed forces which 
Members are required to place at the Council’s disposal passes 
into the hands of the Military Staff Committee, which is a per¬ 
manent subsidiary organ of the Council (Article 47) ; and it is for 
the Council to make plans for the application of armed force 
(Article 46). It is debatable whether the Council has power to 
raise armed forces of its own, an international force distinct 
from the national forces which Members must hold at its dis¬ 
posal. 1 In the view of the present writers, there is nothing in the 
Charter to prevent the Council from recruiting and maintaining 
an international force, and this view seems to be supported by the 
wording of Article 43(1), which describes the national contingents 
held at the Council’s disposal as the Members’ “ contribution ” 
to the maintenance of international peace and security, but not 
as the only means of maintaining it. 2 3 

The Council's discretionary powers. Military sanctions may be 
taken not only if economic and diplomatic sanctions have proved 
to be inadequate, but also if the Council considers that they would 
be inadequate. If the Council has tried some economic sanctions 
or some diplomatic sanctions, it need not try out the full range 
before proceeding to military measures. 

On the other hand — and this is a weakness of the Charter — 
the Council can always stop short of military measures. If it has 
failed to maintain or restore peace by recommendations for a 
peaceful settlement, it must take either non-military or military 
sanctions ; but provided it has taken non-military measures, it 

1 Goodrich-Hambro op. cit. p.163, take the view that “ under the Charter as it stands, 

the Security Council does not have the power to recruit and organize such a force 

3 In his third Annual Report on the work of the Organization, the Secretary-General 
urged the creation of a small “ United Nations Guard Force ”, to be used for guard duty 
with United Nations missions, in the conduct of plebiscites, in the administration of truce 
terms, and also for the enforcement of provisional measures under Article 40. Although 
there was determined opposition from the Soviet bloc , the Third Assembly, on April 29, 
1949, referred the proposal to a Special Committee, with instructions to report to the 
Fourth Assembly. 



THREATS TO THE PEACE 


97 


has discharged its responsibility under Article 39. Even though 
these measures may have been wholly unsuccessful, it need not go 
further. 

The range of military sanctions. Military action by the Council 
need not be “ shooting war ” ; action may be confined to demon¬ 
strations by land, sea or air forces, or to blockade. 

Article 43 

1. All Members of the United Nations, in order to contribute 
to the maintenance of international peace and security, under¬ 
take to make available to the Security Council, on its call and 
in accordance with a special agreement or agreements, armed 
forces, assistance and facilities, including rights of passage, 
necessary for the purpose of maintaining international peace 
and security. 

2. Such agreement or agreements shall govern the numbers 
and types of forces, their degree of readiness and general 
location, and the nature of the facilities and assistance to be 
provided. 

3. The agreement or agreements shall be negotiated as soon 
as possible on the initiative of the Security Council. They shall 
be concluded between the Security Council and Members or 
between the Security Council and groups of Members and 
shall be subject to ratification by the signatory States in accord¬ 
ance with their respective constitutional processes. 

Military sanctions : the contributions of Members. Until the time 
is ripe for a truly international force recruited and maintained by, 
and owing its loyalty exclusively to, the United Nations, the 
Security Council must rely on national forces placed at its dis¬ 
posal by Members. The Charter lays down the general principle 
that, by the act of joining the Organization, all Members under¬ 
take to make available armed forces, assistance and facilities, 
including rights of passage. The arrangements in detail are 
reserved for a special agreement or agreements. 

Thus the United Nations system of collective security pre¬ 
supposes the conclusion of military agreements supplementary 
to the Charter. Pending these agreements, the Organization can 
only rely upon such joint military action as the five Great Powers 
(and possibly some other Members) may, under Article 106, take 
on its behalf. There is nothing in the Charter to compel the Great 
Powers to undertake such joint action; still less would any other 
Member be bound to join in sanctions initiated by them. 



98 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

The result is tragically clear. There is no guarantee that the 
Security Council will ever be able to apply, or even seriously 
to threaten, military sanctions. The Charter has fixed no time 
limit by which the special agreements must be concluded ; nor 
has it provided alternative machinery for determining the mini¬ 
mum military contributions of Members. The period of the Coun¬ 
cil’s military impotence may therefore drag on indefinitely ; in 
fact, not one of the special agreements envisaged has so far been 
concluded. Politically, the reasons for this failure are clear. The 
assumption underlying the system was the continuing co-operation 
of the Great Powers ; their “ contributions ” under the present 
Article were to be the mainstay of the Organization’s military 
strength. That assumption has proved to be fallacious. The special 
agreements with the Great Powers, which were to serve as the 
basis of and the model for agreements with other Members, 
have not even reached the stage of negotiation. As a logical 
consequence, in all matters relating to peace and security, the 
emphasis has shifted from collective security to self-defence and 
regional arrangements (Articles 51-52). 

The parties to the proposed special agreements. The security 
system of the League rested on direct alliances between its Mem¬ 
bers ; to make the Council a party to them would have been 
pointless, since under the Covenant it could neither take military 
measures itself, nor compel Members to take them. 

The system of the Charter is different. Military sanctions are 
to be applied by the Council itself. It follows logically that the 
Council should become a party to all agreements regulating the 
military contributions of Members. In fact, the Charter envisages 
the combination of a multilateral agreement between the Council 
and all Members, with a comprehensive network of further 
agreements between the Council and individual Members or 
groups of Members. The initiative of negotiating these agreements 
rests with the Council; and the Charter requires it to negotiate 
them “ as soon as possible ”. The Council has not yet taken this 
initiative. It has referred the general problem of the structure and 
contents of these agreements to the Military Staff Committee ; 
and the Committee has not so far produced any agreed recom¬ 
mendations. Faced with this deadlock, the Council may have been 
politically justified in not proceeding with invitations either to 
individual Members or to the Members at large to join in the 
negotiation of special agreements. But by refraining from this 
initiative it has failed to discharge the duty imposed by the last 



THREATS TO THE PEACE 


99 


paragraph of the Article. The text is mandatory ; and even though 
no specific time limit was imposed, the term “ as soon as possible ” 
can hardly be interpreted to allow for a passivity continuing over 
a period of several years. The Council’s duty to take the initiative 
is not conditional on agreed recommendations by the Military 
Staff Committee, which is constitutionally a subsidiary organ 
with purely advisory and auxiliary functions. 

Contents of special agreements. The character of the proposed 
agreements is technical ; they are to be concerned with 

(a) the numbers and types of forces to be held at the disposal of 
the Council; 

(b) the “degree of readiness” of these forces, i.e. the time required 
for their mobilization, equipment and training in an emergency ; 

(c) the “ general location ” x of the forces. 

(d) the nature of military facilities, e.g., the provision of bases for 
land-, sea- and air-forces, rights of passage and the like ; and 

(e) the nature of “ assistance ”. 1 2 

Ratification. By the ratification of the Charter the legislatures of 
the Member States have not delegated authority to the executive 
branch of their governments for the making of military agree¬ 
ments. These agreements are treated by the Charter as inter¬ 
national treaties, and they will normally require ratification in 
accordance with the same constitutional processes as applied to 
the adoption of the Charter. This is yet another weakness of the 
Charter. By withholding ratification from any special agreement 
proposed under this Article, the legislature of any Member 
State can, in effect, render nugatory its obligation to give military 
assistance. 


Article 44 

When the Security Council has decided to use force it shall, 
before calling upon a Member not represented on it to provide 
armed forces in fulfilment of the obligations assumed under 
Article 43, invite that Member, if the Member so desires, to 
participate in the decisions of the Security Council concerning 
the employment of contingents of that Member’s armed forces. 

1 An obscure term, which points on the one hand to the question how forces shall 
be distributed between metropolitan territories, overseas possessions, territories occupied 
as a result of the Second World War, bases voluntarily ceded or leased, and the high seas ; 
and on the other hand, to the question in what manner the responsibility for the defence of 
specific strategic areas shall be allocated to certain countries. 

2 This term may be taken to include all contributions (e.g. the supply of war material, 
exchange of information, provision of experts, etc.) not included under “ forces ” and 
“facilities 



100 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

Purpose. This Article is designed to give Members not represented 
on the Security Council an opportunity to express views on the 
part which is to be assigned to them in the application of military 
sanctions. Whereas under Article 31, Members not represented 
on the Council may only participate, without vote, in the “ dis¬ 
cussion ” of questions specially affecting their interests, under the 
present Article they are entitled to participate in the Council’s 
“ decisions ” with the same voting rights as any non-permanent 
member of the Council. 

The request for a hearing must come from the Member, and 
can only be submitted by a Government to which the Council, 
under Article 42, has intimated a proposal to call for its active 
participation in military action. 

Limited scope of the Article. If the Council does not propose to 
employ contingents of a Member’s armed forces, but merely to 
call for military facilities and assistance, the Member has no right 
to demand a hearing and a vote. 

Article 45 

In order to enable the United Nations to take urgent military 
measures. Members shall hold immediately available national 
air force contingents for combined international enforcement 
action. The strength and degree of readiness of these con¬ 
tingents and plans for their combined actions shall be deter¬ 
mined, within the limits laid down in the special agreement 
or agreements referred to in Article 43, by the Security Council 
with the assistance of the Military Staff Committee. 

An international air striking force. Although this idea was care¬ 
fully considered at Dumbarton Oaks, the Powers were unable 
to agree on the setting up of an international air force composed 
of national contingents. They accepted the compromise solution 
of national air force contingents, to be held immediately avail¬ 
able for the purposes of urgent military action. 

The provisions of this Article differ from those of Article 43 
in that they stipulate immediate availability. The importance of 
this difference should not be overestimated. Firstly, the Article 
does not say that each Member must hold immediately avail¬ 
able all the air forces it may be called upon to place at the Council’s 
disposal under Article 43. Secondly, the text makes a distinction 
between “ immediate availability ” and “ degree of readiness 



THREATS TO THE PEACE 


101 


It is possible that certain contingents, although “ immediately 
available ”, will not be immediately ready for action. 

Limits of the Council's discretion . The Article seems to give the 
Council discretion in the matter of the strength and readiness of 
these contingents. As, however, that discretion must be used within 
the limits of the special agreements referred to in Article 43, its 
value will depend on the contents of these agreements, none of 
which has so far been negotiated. 

Article 46 

Plans for the application of armed force shall be made by 
the Security Council with the assistance of the Military Staff 
Committee. 

Strategic planning . This Article must be read in conjunction with 
Article 47(3). The responsibility for the strategic direction of 
armed forces will rest with the Military Staff Committee ; but 
overriding responsibility is retained by the Council for both the 
supervision of strategic direction and the approval of the plans 
for the employment of forces. This responsibility places the 
Council in much the same relation to the Military Staff Com¬ 
mittee as Governments stand to their Chiefs of Staff, who have 
no authority other than that which is delegated to them by the 
Cabinet carrying the political responsibility. 

Article 47 

1. There shall be established a Military Staff Committee to 
advise and assist the Security Council on all questions relating 
to the Security Council’s military requirements for the main¬ 
tenance of international peace and security, the employment 
and command of forces placed at its disposal, the regulation 
of armaments and possible disarmament. 

2. The Military Staff Committee shall consist of the Chiefs 
of Staff of the permanent members of the Security Council or 
their representatives. Any Member of the United Nations not 
permanently represented on the Committee shall be invited 
by the Committee to be associated with it when the efficient 
discharge of the Committee’s responsibilities requires the 
participation of that Member in its work. 

3. The Military Staff Committee shall be responsible under 
the Security Council for the strategic direction of any armed 
forces placed at the disposal of the Security Council. Questions 



102 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

relating to the command of such forces shall be worked out 
subsequently. 

4. The Military Staff Committee, with the authorization of 
the Security Council and after consultation with appropriate 
regional agencies, may establish regional sub-committees. 

Composition of the Committee. The idea that the Council should 
be able to rely on the advice of a permanent body of military 
experts is not new. The League Covenant (Article 9) also provided 
for a permanent commission to advise on military, naval and air 
questions generally and, more specifically, on the regulation of 
national armaments. But the functions of the corresponding body 
in the United Nations system are more important because the 
Security Council has, whereas the League Council had not, 
authority to take military measures. 

The Covenant did not define the membership of the League’s 
permanent Military, Naval and Air Commission. The matter was 
left to the Council; and, eventually, it decided that only per¬ 
manent members of the Council were entitled to representation. 
The Charter leaves no similar discretion to the Security Council. 
The membership of the Military Staff Committee is fixed : it 
consists of the Chiefs of Staffs of the Council’s permanent mem¬ 
bers, or of representatives appointed by the Chiefs of Staff. This 
principle was challenged by the lesser Powers at San Francisco, 
but the Conference accepted the view of the Sponsoring Govern¬ 
ments that a wider committee would be too unwieldy for the 
purpose, and also that a committee with a constantly changing 
membership would have a questionable degree of efficiency. 
The Article leaves the door open for non-members of the Council 
to become associated with the work of the Committee if “ the 
efficient discharge of the Committee’s responsibilities ” so re¬ 
quires. The condition, it will be noted, is objectively (and not, as 
in Article 31, subjectively) formulated ; and it may be contended 
that any organ of the United Nations and, indeed, any Member 
is entitled to press for an invitation under paragraph 2 if the 
Committee or the Council have failed to take the initiative. 
Functions of the Committee. These are threefold : 

(1) advice to the Council on all questions relating to military 
requirements, including the special agreements contemplated 
in Article 43 ; 

(2) advice on the employment and command of forces, and direct 
responsibility for their strategic direction ; 



THREATS TO THE PEACE 


103 


(3) advice and assistance to the Council in the discharge of its 
responsibilities relating to the regulation of armaments and 
disarmament. 

So far the Committee has only had occasion to discharge part 
of its responsibilities under (1). In February 1946 it was directed 
by the Council to examine the provisions of Article 43. On the 
basis of that directive, the Committee, in April 1947, submitted 
to the Council a Report on “ General Principles Governing the 
Organization of the Armed Forces Made Available to the Security 
Council by Member Nations of the United Nations ”. In June 
1947, the Report was supplemented by an estimate of the 
overall strength and of the strength and composition of national 
components. Neither the Report nor the estimates were unan¬ 
imous ; indeed, the views of the delegations were conflicting in the 
extreme, and continuing efforts to reach agreed conclusions have 
produced no results so far. 

Regional sub-committees. Owing to the initial failure of the 
United Nations to establish a system of collective security backed 
by armed force, the emphasis has shifted gradually to arrange¬ 
ments for self-defence and regional security such as the Inter- 
American system, the Brussels Pact, the Atlantic Pact, and the 
network of 23 alliances between the Soviet Union and its neigh¬ 
bours. Viewed against this background, considerable importance 
attaches in principle to the regional sub-committees which 
may be set up by the Military Staff Committee after con¬ 
sultation with the appropriate regional agencies. Indeed, sub¬ 
committees of this kind would seem to be the only effective way 
in which regional arrangements can be properly integrated into 
the United Nations. At the moment, these are theoretical con¬ 
siderations. The Council and the Committee have no power to 
compel any regional agency to accept the services of a sub¬ 
committee ; and no initiative has yet been taken in that direc¬ 
tion. 

Article 48 

1. The action required to carry out the decisions of the 
Security Council for the maintenance of international peace 
and security shall be taken by all the Members of the United 
Nations or by some of them, as the Security Council may 
determine. 

2. Such decisions shall be carried out by the Members of the 
United Nations directly and through their action in the 
appropriate international agencies of which they are members. 



104 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


Field of application. This Article applies equally to military and 
non-military sanctions. 

Sanctions not necessarily collective. No Member State can claim, 
as a matter of right, exemption from participation in sanctions. 
On the other hand, the Security Council is under no duty so to 
devise sanctions that a reasonably equal burden shall be placed 
on all Members. Where enforcement action is to be confined to 
one geographical area, it would be a waste of manpower or 
economic resources, or both, to call for the participation of 
States situated thousands of miles away. Similarly, some Members 
are better equipped than others to undertake action of a particular 
kind (e.g. a naval blockade). The Council must have full dis¬ 
cretion to decide what kind of action is required from particular 
Members ; and a fortiori to choose the Members who shall join 
in a particular action. 

Direct and indirect action. Diplomatic and military sanctions 
invariably require direct action on the part of Members. The 
situation is different in the case of economic sanctions, as a result 
of the concentration of considerable economic power in the hands 
of functional organizations, such as the International Monetary 
Fund, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Develop¬ 
ment, the Universal Postal Union, the International Civil Aviation 
Organization and others. In many instances it may be found that, 
to restrain an aggressor with economic weapons, action by one 
or more of these international agencies is sufficient; alternatively 
such action may be necessary to reinforce the immediate action 
of individual Members. The Security Council has no power to 
issue direct instructions to specialized agencies. The Charter gives 
it indirect influence partly through the Economic and Social 
Council (Article 65), and partly through the rule in paragraph 2 
of the present Article, which may be so construed as to require 
Members to use in furtherance of the Security Council’s decisions 
such voting rights, executive power and influence as they may 
possess in the appropriate specialized agencies. 


Article 49 

The Members of the United Nations shall join in affording 
mutual assistance in carrying out the measures decided upon 
by the Security Council. 



THREATS TO THE PEACE 


105 


Mutual assistance. The obligation of all Members to afford 
assistance to the Security Council is defined in Articles 25, 43, 
45 and 48. The present Article establishes a complementary 
obligation, which operates not between Members and the Council 
but between Members and Members. In order to carry out 
measures required of them by the Council, individual Members 
may need military, economic or financial assistance from other 
Members. No Member State is entitled to withhold such assis¬ 
tance unreasonably. If the giving of it involves the Member in a 
disproportionately large share of the burden, recourse may be 
had to the procedure indicated in Article 50. 

Article 50 

If preventive or enforcement measures against any State are 
taken by the Security Council, any other State, whether a 
Member of the United Nations or not, which finds itself con¬ 
fronted with special economic problems arising from the 
carrying out of those measures shall have the right to consult 
the Security Council with regard to a solution of those problems. 

Equitable sharing of the burden of sanctions. The Charter contains 
no guarantee that the expense of sanctions will be shared pro¬ 
portionately between all Members. Since, relying on its discretion¬ 
ary powers under Article 48, the Council may direct one single 
group of Members to make itself responsible for a complete set 
of sanctions, some machinery for the equitable distribution of the 
economic burden is necessary. The problem is not confined to 
Member States. If the Council were to enforce a naval blockade 
against an aggressor State, this might cause serious losses to non¬ 
members whose trade may have been brought to a standstill. 

The Charter does not state that Members and non-members 
are entitled to compensation for their losses. Only the germ of 
such a principle is admitted in the provision that Members and 
non-members alike are entitled to “ consult ” the Council with 
regard to a solution of their economic difficulties. Whether the 
Council can instruct Members to make direct contributions, in 
the form of supplies or payments, towards the relief of another 
Member’s economic difficulties, is doubtful; but the “ mutual 
assistance ” principle of Article 49 seems to support a positive 
answer. It is even less clear whether the Council can call upon 
Members to make direct compensation to non-members ; for 
the principle of mutual assistance does not extend to outsiders. 



106 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


In all probability there is no other solution than the payment of 
financial compensation from funds raised by the Organization, 
or some arrangement for action by the appropriate specialised 
agencies. 


Article 51 

Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent 
right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack 
occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the 
Security Council has taken the measures necessary to main¬ 
tain international peace and security. Measures taken by 
Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be 
immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in 
any wav affect the authority and responsibility of the Security 
Council under the present Charter to take at any time such 
action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore 
international peace and security. 

Self-defence and collective security. A perfect system of collective 
security would exclude any resort to force, except by the inter¬ 
national agency entrusted with the guardianship of peace. To give 
individual States discretionary authority to resort to arms is 
dangerous because it is open to abuse. Modern history is crowded 
with instances where aggression was committed under the cloak 
of self-defence. 1 Seen against this background, the overwhelming 
majority by which the San Francisco Conference added a self- 
defence clause to the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals was a measure 
of its lack of confidence in the perfection of the system of collec¬ 
tive security based upon the Charter. 

This lack of confidence was not unjustified. The authority of 
the Security Council must, in the last resort, rest on the armed 
forces at its command ; but the Council was to have no such 
forces until the conclusion, at some future date, of special agree¬ 
ments under Article 43. This gap in the system is not sufficiently 
filled by the transitional arrangements of Article 106 ; under that 
article the Great Powers are only entitled, but not bound, to join 
forces in restraining aggression. 

Had not the Charter recognized the right of self-defence, 
individual Members would have been on the horns of a dilemma: 

1 The German aggression against Luxembourg and Belgium in August 1914 ; the 
Japanese aggression in Manchuria in 1931-2 ; the German aggression against Poland in 
September 1939. 



THREATS TO THE PEACE 


107 


while non-resistance to attack was unthinkable, resistance by 
armed force would have been an unlawful resort to war. The 
Charter’s way out of this dilemma was to make self-defence 
lawful, and at the same time provide guarantees against its abuse. 
Limitations of the right of self-defence. Abuses of the right of 
self-defence were in the past facilitated by the theory that self- 
defence was justified in the face not only of actual, but also of 
threatened, aggression. The Charter does not admit self-defence 
against a threat. There must be an actual armed attack. That 
does not, however, mean that Members of the United Nations 
are not allowed to provide in advance for collective self-defence 
in case an armed attack should occur at some future date. Under 
Article 4 of the North Atlantic Pact of April 4, 1949, the Parties 1 
agreed “ to consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of 
them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security 
of any of the Parties is threatened ”; and under Article 9, they 
have established a Council and subsidiary bodies, including a 
Defence Committee, to consider matters concerning the imple¬ 
mentation of the Pact. One of the grounds on which the Soviet 
Union protested against the conclusion of the Pact was the 
contention that the mere apprehension of aggression does not 
warrant the making of military preparations under Article 51 of 
the Charter. That view, it is submitted, loses sight of the fact 
that Article 51 is part of a Chapter, the heading of which makes 
it clear that Members of the United Nations may properly take 
action not only with respect to breaches of the peace, but also 
with respect to “ threats to the peace ”. Whether or not an 
alliance is in conformity with Article 51 depends solely on the 
question whether the obligation of the Parties to take military 
and other sanctions becomes effective only in the case of an 
actual armed attack. Under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Pact, 
the obligations of the Parties are so limited, and the contention 
that the Pact is contrary to the Charter does not seem to be 
justified. 

The right of self-defence does not, however, arise if the Security 
Council has already taken “ the measures necessary to maintain 
international peace and security ”, prior to, or immediately after 
the attack. But even if the Council did not act with such prompti¬ 
tude, self-defence must cease as soon as the Council has taken 
adequate measures. 

1 Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, 
Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States. 



108 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


The phrase “ measures necessary to maintain international 
peace and security ” imports an element of uncertainty into the 
system. Who is to be judge whether the Council has taken all 
the “ necessary ” measures ? At the moment of the armed attack 
the right to decide, it seems, rests with the State which has been 
attacked. Otherwise, Members might be exposed to irreparable 
injury. 

Individual and collective self-defence. The Charter accepts the 
theory that the right of self-defence is inherent in every State. 
That theory is well-founded in international law, but is limited to 
States which have in fact been attacked. The Charter widens the 
principle in that it speaks both of individual and of collective 
self-defence. Many alliances for mutual defence (including the 
North Atlantic Pact and the Inter-American system) operate on 
the basis that aggression committed against one of the allies is 
aggression against all of them. Whether as a matter of legal 
principle it is justifiable to extend the “ inherent ” right of self- 
defence to attacks on third parties is questionable. But the 
wording of the Charter leaves no doubt that Members are free 
to retaliate by way of self-defence to attacks made on their 
allies. 1 

Authority of the Security Council. Self-defence is an emergency 
measure. It is designed to fill a gap in the system of collective 
security, caused by the temporary incapacity of the Security 
Council to intervene. But self-defence does not affect the authority 
of the Council to intervene as soon as it is ready, and this includes 
the right to insist on the abandonment or restriction of measures 
already taken under Article 51. All such measures must be 
immediately reported to the Council. 


1 On the question of the validity of treaties of alliance, see comment on Articles 52(1) 
and 103. 



CHAPTER VIII 


REGIONAL ARRANGEMENTS 
Article 52 

1. Nothing in the present Charter precludes the existence of 
regional arrangements or agencies for dealing with such matters 
relating to the maintenance of international peace and security 
as are appropriate for regional action, provided that such 
arrangements or agencies and their activities are consistent 
with the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations. 

2. The Members of the United Nations entering into such 
arrangements or constituting such agencies shall make every 
effort to achieve pacific settlement of local disputes through 
such regional arrangements or by such regional agencies before 
referring them to the Security Council. 

3. The Security Council shall encourage the development of 
pacific settlement of local disputes through such regional 
arrangements or by such regional agencies either on the 
initiative of the States concerned or by reference from the 
Security Council. 

4. This Article in no way impairs the application of Articles 
34 and 35. 

What is a “ regional arrangement ” ? Ordinarily, “ region ” means 
a limited geographical area, as distinct from a wider unit of which 
it forms part. At San Francisco, a proposal was made for the 
inclusion in the text of the Charter of a strict definition, based 
primarily on geographical proximity, of “ regional arrange¬ 
ments ”. That proposal was not adopted, and the Charter affords 
no guidance as to the precise meaning of the term. Paragraph (1) 
of the Article, however, seems to warrant the view that all inter¬ 
state arrangements must be considered regional if (a) they have 
been entered into by a group of States as distinct from the whole 
membership of the United Nations, (b) they relate to matters 
concerned with the maintenance of international peace and 
security, and (c) the subject-matter of the arrangement is “ appro¬ 
priate for regional action ”, i.e., does not go beyond the parties’ 
legitimate sphere of interest. On this construction, the 23 treaties 
of friendship and mutual assistance between the Soviet Union 


109 



110 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

and the East European Peoples’ Democracies; the Treaty of 
Brussels (March 17, 1948) between Great Britain, France, 
Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg; the Treaty of Rio de 
Janeiro (September 2, 1948) for the Mutual Defence of the 
Americas; and the North Atlantic Pact (April 4, 1949) between 
Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, 
the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and 
the U.S.A. are all regional arrangements within the meaning of 
Article 52. 

The interpretation suggested in the preceding paragraph is 
highly controversial. The Soviet Union, judging by the arguments 
used in its protests against the North Atlantic Pact, appears to 
contend that the adherence of non-members of the United 
Nations (e.g. Italy and Portugal) is incompatible with the pro¬ 
visions of the Charter; and further, that arrangements within the 
meaning of the Article must aim, in the first place, at the settle¬ 
ment of regional issues. Conversely, on the Western side, it has 
been argued that the hallmark of a regional arrangement is the 
assumption of responsibility for enforcement action, under the 
authority of the Security Council, against any party to the 
arrangement which may be threatening or breaking international 
peace. In the view of the present writers, neither of these tests is 
decisive, nor does the text of the Charter support the proposition 
that treaties directed primarily to the organization of collective 
self-defence under Article 51, such as the Brussels Pact and the 
North Atlantic Pact, do not, for that reason, qualify as regional 
arrangements. 

The term “ regional agency ” presents little difficulty. It refers 
to the organs, — permanent or temporary, principal or sub¬ 
sidiary — set up under regional arrangements for the purpose of 
formulating policies of giving effect to them. The Consultative 
Council of the Brussels Pact; the Organ of Consultation, con¬ 
sisting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the parties to the 
Treaty of Rio de Janeiro; and the Council and Defence Com¬ 
mittee of the North Atlantic Pact are noteworthy examples. 

“ Collective ” and “ regional ” security. In a perfect system of 
collective security there should be no room for separate alliances ; 
they tend to reduce that sense of global solidarity which is essen¬ 
tial to the effectiveness of a collective system, and to arouse 
mutual suspicion and fear. It is a measure of the imperfect sense 
of solidarity and of the lack of mutual confidence prevailing after 
the two World Wars that neither the Covenant nor the Charter 



REGIONAL ARRANGEMENTS 111 

has excluded regional arrangements. The League system allowed 
and, indeed, encouraged such alliances as the Little Entente, 
the Balkan Entente and the Locarno Pact ; and the United 
Nations system has partly maintained, partly brought into being, 
a number of alliances, the most important of which have been 
mentioned. The growing tendency to regard alliances of this type 
as the mainstay of security has been referred to in the comment 
on Articles 42 and 51. 

Safeguards. The draftsmen of the Charter were alive to the dangers 
inherent in allowing separate alliances to co-exist with a global 
system of security, and provided various safeguards tending to 
reduce the danger. These safeguards — some of which are found 
in this Article — may be listed as follows : 

(1) Under Article 102, all regional arrangements must be 
registered with the Secretariat and published by it. Any party 
failing to comply with that obligation, which is calculated to avoid 
evils of secret alliances, is guilty of a definite breach of the Charter 
and, in addition, is precluded from invoking the treaty before 
any organ of the United Nations. 

(2) Regional arrangements and any activities under them must 
be consistent with the Purposes and Principles of the United 
Nations. They must not aim at the settlement of conflicts by 
force, or be directed against the territorial integrity or political 
independence of any State. 

The practical value of this condition must not be exaggerated. 
The draftsman of any treaty of alliance will take care to stress its 
conformity with the Purposes and Principles of the United 
Nations ; and in fact, all alliances concluded since the setting up 
of the Organization purport to have been concluded in furtherance 
of its objectives. 

(3) Greater importance attaches to the rule in Article 103 that, 
in the event of a conflict between obligations under the Charter 
and obligations under any other agreement, the Charter shall 
prevail. That rule enables any party to the alliance to escape as 
soon as another party is about to engage in action which can no 
longer be said to be in accordance with the Purposes and Principles 
of the United Nations. 

(4) As a rule, no enforcement action under any regional 
arrangement must be taken without express authority from the 
Security Council (Article 53). 

(5) The arrangement must be “ appropriate for regional 
action ”, i.e. should not, in principle, deal with matters outside 



112 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


the parties’ legitimate sphere of interest. An alliance purporting 
to deal with matters of security without any geographical limita¬ 
tions would offend against this rule as it would usurp the functions 
of the Security Council. 

Settlement of local disputes. Provided that regional arrangements 
satisfy these conditions, the Charter not only tolerates them, 
but encourages the parties to use them. 

This Principle is expressed in two rules : 

(a) The Security Council has power to refer local disputes to 
the appropriate regional agency. 

(b) As a corollary, Members entering into regional arrangements 
are under an obligation to try and settle local disputes through 
regional agencies before referring them to the Security Council. 

The proper interpretation of these rules seems to be that, where 
the regional arrangement does not expressly provide for the 
settlement of local disputes through regional agencies, the Security 
Council has no right to refer the matter to the regional 
organization. If, however, regional facilities for settlement exist, 
the Council is not only entitled, but expected, to insist that the 
parties try local methods of settlement before asking for the 
intervention of the Council. 

A fortiori the Council is entitled (and, indeed, expected) to 
agree if the parties themselves initiate the reference of local dis¬ 
putes to regional bodies in the first place. 

Overriding powers of the Security Council. The reference to Articles 
34 and 35 makes it clear that, regardless of any existing regional 
arrangements, the Council has power to investigate any dispute 
or situation relevant to international peace and security, even 
where the character of the dispute appears to be local. Similarly, 
no regional arrangements can preclude Members, or (in the 
conditions of Article 35(2)) non-members, from bringing disputes 
and situations to the attention of the Security Council or the 
General Assembly. It would seem to follow that recommendations 
of the Council under Articles 36 and 38 cannot be objected to 
on the ground that the matter ought first to have been referred 
to a regional body. 


Article 53 

1. The Security Council shall, where appropriate, utilize such 
regional arrangements or agencies for enforcement action under 
its authority. But no enforcement action shall be taken under 



REGIONAL ARRANGEMENTS 


113 


regional arrangements or by regional agencies without the 
authorization of the Security Council, with the exception of 
measures against any enemy State, as defined in paragraph 2 
of this Article, provided for pursuant to Article 107 or in 
regional arrangements directed against renewal of aggressive 
policy on the part of any such State, until such time as the 
Organization may, on request of the Governments concerned, 
be charged with the responsibility for preventing further 
aggression by such a State. 

2. The term enemy State as used in paragraph 1 of this 
Article applies to any State which during the Second World 
War has been an enemy of any signatory of the present Charter. 

Enforcement action upon the initiative of the Security Council. 
Where an actual or threatened breach of the peace is of a local 
character, it may be excessive to mobilize the whole machinery 
of the United Nations against it. In these cases, the Council may 
first call for enforcement action by the appropriate regional 
agency. The words “ shall utilize ”, in the first sentence of the 
Article, may give the impression that the Council is obliged to 
take such a course. That is not so. Only “ where appropriate ” 
must the Council use regional arrangements or agencies ; and a 
decision whether regional action is “ appropriate ” is entirely 
within its discretion. 

There is nothing to preclude the Council from calling for 
regional action in cases which have no definite local character. 
Where, for instance, the degree of readiness of forces available 
under regional arrangements is greater than of forces at the 
disposal of the Security Council, it may avoid dangerous delays 
by calling for immediate regional action. 

Excepting special agreements with the Council (and no agree¬ 
ment of this kind has so far been negotiated), regional agencies 
are not bound to respond to a call addressed to them under this 
Article. Nor can they be forced to act by the simple expedient 
of the Council invoking Article 48(2). That Article refers to 
“ international ” agencies. Although regional agencies are “ inter¬ 
national ” in the sense that they involve the participation of 
more than one nation, it is fairly clear from the context and from 
the discussions at San Francisco that Article 48 is aimed at 
functional and not at regional bodies. 

If regional agencies will not act upon a call from the Security 
Council, the latter must demand direct action from their members 
under Chapter VII of the Charter. 



114 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

Regional action by consent of the Security Council. No enforce¬ 
ment measures must be taken under regional arrangements 
without either a demand, or at least an authorization, from the 
Council. 

The exceptions to this rule will be considered in the following 
paragraphs. 

Measures against enemy States. At the time the Charter was 
signed, a state of war still existed between the Allies and the Axis 
Powers. That situation called for specific provisions in regard to 
the enemy States. These provisions are embodied partly in the 
present Article, partly in Article 107. Taken together, they estab¬ 
lish a special regime of security parallel to the collective security 
system and involve a reduction of the Security Council’s authority. 

This special regime was designed to be transitional ; and, in 
fact. Article 107 appears under the heading of “ Transitional 
Security Arrangements ”. The second sentence of the present 
Article belongs to the same category, though its transitional 
nature is not clearly expressed. 

In the view of the present writers, the special security regime 
for enemy States must come to an end at the latest when the 
enemy State concerned is admitted to membership of the United 
Nations. There is nothing in the provisions of Chapter II (Mem¬ 
bership) to suggest any difference in the status of original Members 
and of Members admitted later. Once a State is admitted, its 
rights and liabilities are identical with those of all other Members, 
regardless of its former enemy status. The continuation of any 
special security regime would discriminate against one group by 
excluding it from the safeguards inherent in the exclusive authority 
reserved for the Security Council in all matters of enforcement. 
Definition of enemy States. The term “ enemy State ” applies 
to any State which, during the Second World War, was an enemy 
of any signatory of the Charter. Not all original Members were 
at war with all the Axis Powers. War with any one signatory of 
the Charter is sufficient to bring a State under the operation of 
the present Article and of Article 107. 

Enforcement measures against enemy States. Measures may be 
taken without previous authorization of the Security Council 
under two headings : 

(1) Under Article 107, in accordance with the terms of any Act 
of Surrender, Armistice Agreement and Peace Treaty. 

(2) Under any regional arrangement directed against renewal 
of aggressive policy by an enemy State. It is essential that the 



RBGIONAL ARRANGEMENTS 


115 


regional arrangement to be enforced should state openly that it is 
directed, either exclusively or inter alia, to that end. Secret clauses, 
being contrary to Article 102, are not protected. 

Until an enemy State is admitted to membership of the United 
Nations, regional arrangements directed against any fresh threat 
from it operate without effective control by the Security Council. 
That does not mean that, in the absence of such regional arrange¬ 
ments, or if the parties to them fail to take action against fresh 
aggression, the Security Council is entitled to remain inactive. Its 
responsibility under Article 24(1) and Article 39 is comprehensive 
and has no geographical limitations. The final passage of the 
present Article means that, as long as the parties to a regional 
arrangement do not request the Organization to take sole responsi¬ 
bility for preventing aggression by a former enemy, the Council’s 
authority is not exclusive, but concurrent with the special 
responsibility of the Allied Governments concerned. 

Article 54 

The Security Council shall at all times be kept fully informed 
of activities undertaken or in contemplation under regional 
arrangements or by regional agencies for the maintenance of 
international peace and security. 

The obligation established by this Article rests, individually, 
on each Member Government which takes part in a regional 
arrangement or agency. The discharge of the obligation by one 
Member discharges the obligation of all. 

The meaning of the term “ activities ” is somewhat obscure. 
It is submitted that it refers to operations for the suppression of 
an overt act of aggression, or for the prevention of an imminent 
breach of the peace. Defence plans would be quite useless if they 
were to be disclosed in advance. 



CHAPTER IX 


INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL 
CO-OPERATION 

Article 55 

With a view to the creation of conditions of stability and well¬ 
being which are necessary for peaceful and friendly relations 
among nations based on respect for the principle of equal 
rights and self-determination of peoples, the United Nations 
shall promote :— 

(a) higher standards of living, full employment, and con¬ 
ditions of economic and social progress and development ; 

(b) solutions of international economic, social, health, and 
related problems ; and international cultural and edu¬ 
cational co-operation ; and 

( c ) universal respect for, and observance of, human rights 
and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to 
race, sex, language, or religion. 

Interdependence of the Organization's purposes. This Article 
reinforces what has been said or implied in paragraphs 2 and 3 
of Article 1. Its purpose is not to add objectives, but to lay stress 
upon the interrelation of objectives previously stated. “ Friendly 
relations among nations based on respect for the principle of 
equal rights and self-determination of peoples ” is a quotation 
from Article 1(2). The point is that friendly relations among 
nations are dependent on conditions of stability and well-being, 
and that no international organization for peace can succeed unless 
it promotes such conditions. This recognition of the futility of any 
effort to preserve peace regardless of its economic and social pre¬ 
requisites is not new. In the peace treaties of 1919, the Covenant 
of the League was followed by the Constitution of the International 
Labour Organization which asserted the dependence of peace on 
social justice. Throughout its existence the League was concerned 
with studies and activities in the economic and social fields. The 
Charter breaks no new ground, but it lifts to the level of the 
Organization’s primary purposes certain objectives which, in the 
conception of the League, were ancillary. 


116 



INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL CO-OPERATION 117 

Domestic jurisdiction. The authority of the United Nations, in 
relation to the objectives stated in this Article, is limited to studies 
and to action for their promotion. “ To promote ” is a word less 
powerful than “ to maintain ”, the term which defines the Or¬ 
ganization’s authority in matters of peace and security. So 
that the Organization should be able to maintain peace, Member 
States have agreed to serious inroads on national sovereignty, 
such as the delegation of executive powers to the Security Council 
and the renunciation of neutrality. No comparable concessions 
are made in the economic and social fields. The Organization is 
given neither responsibility nor power to compel the achievement 
of the purposes set out in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c). The responsi¬ 
bility and the power remain with the Member States, to be dis¬ 
charged and exercised through national legislative or executive 
action, and the making and carrying out of separate international 
conventions. But it is for the Organization, acting through the 
General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, to keep 
public opinion constantly mobilized for economic and social 
progress ; to initiate research and studies on a scale which is 
beyond the resources of any one nation ; to make recommenda¬ 
tions for individual and joint action by Members ; and particu¬ 
larly, to encourage co-operative action through conventions and 
international agencies. 

The statement of objectives. The terms used in paragraphs (a), 
(b) and (c) require explanation on two points. First, the use of 
the word “ international ” in paragraph (b) and its absence from 
paragraphs (a) and (c) indicate that the Organization is entitled 
to scrutinize standards of living, the state of employment and the 
observance of human rights in each Member State individually ; 
and no Member can contend that recommendations on these 
matters are beyond the scope of the Organization. Secondly, 
while Article 1(3) spoke of “ respect ” for human rights, the 
present Article speaks of respect and “ observance ”. The Or¬ 
ganization must see that human rights and fundamental free¬ 
doms exist not only on paper, but also in practice, and promote 
conventions for the international protection of these rights and 
freedoms. 

Article 56 

All Members pledge themselves to take joint and separate 
action in co-operation with the Organization for the achieve¬ 
ment of the purposes set forth in Article 55. 



118 CHARTER OF THB UNITED NATIONS 

The principle of co-operation. The weakness of the formula in this 
Article is illustrated by a comparison with Article 25. There, 
Members pledge themselves to carry out any decisions of the 
Security Council for the maintenance of peace and security. 
But the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, 
which exercise the functions of the Organization in the economic 
and social field, have no power to make “ decisions ” and compel 
action. They can only make recommendations. Short of making 
these recommendations binding, it might have been an effective 
way of ensuring support for the economic and social purposes of 
the Organization to demand from each Member national action 
“ for the achievement of the purposes set forth in Article 55 
A formula of this kind was strongly urged at San Francisco, but 
was defeated by the anxiety to keep intact national freedom of action. 

Taken singly, the three elements of the present Article (joint 
action, separate action, and co-operation with the Organization) 
are unobjectionable ; what robs them of their effectiveness is the 
way they are linked. If Members had undertaken “ to take joint 
and separate action and to co-operate with the Organization 
failure to take national action for the achievement of higher 
standards of living and full employment, or the non-observance 
of human rights, would have been direct breaches of the Charter. 
A promise to take joint and separate action “ in co-operation 
with the Organization ” reduces the responsibility of Members 
to giving, separately or jointly, such support as they think fit. 
Even if on a stricter view the Article does not permit Members 
to remain inactive in the face of positive recommendations, they 
have no direct responsibility for the achievement of the purposes 
stated in Article 55. They need not act unless the Organization 
takes the initiative ; and Members opposed to some aspects of 
economic or social progress can use their influence and voting 
rights to resist bolder initiatives. 

Ratification of conventions. The record of the first three years 
suggests that the General Assembly and the Economic and Social 
Council will invite support for international conventions rather 
than call for national action. It has been suggested, 1 and the 
present writers agree, that, once a Member Government has 
signed a convention sponsored by the United Nations, it is 
pledged to take the steps prescribed by its national constitution 
for the ratification of treaties, and is not free to stop at the stage 
of signature — which happened often during the League period. 

\Goodrich-Hambro op. ctt., p.193. 



INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL CO-OPERATION 119 


Article 57 

1. The various specialized agencies, established by inter- 
govermental agreement and having wide international responsi¬ 
bilities, as defined in their basic instruments, in economic, 
social, cultural, educational, health, and related fields, shall be 
brought into relationship with the United Nations in accord¬ 
ance with the provisions of Article 63. 

2. Such agencies thus brought into relationship with the 
United Nations are hereinafter referred to as specialized 
agencies. 

Co-ordination, not absorption. The United Nations claims no 
monopoly in international co-operation. If in the political field 
there were valid reasons at the time of making the Charter for 
tolerating regional security arrangements, 1 there were even more 
cogent reasons for not absorbing in the Organization all, or in¬ 
deed any, of the inter-governmental agencies which had come into 
being before, during and since the League period. Politically, 
there was the difficulty that not all original Members of the 
Organization were members of the inter-governmental agencies ; 
technically, their absorption would have created almost insuper¬ 
able administrative problems and required a staff of unmanage¬ 
able size. Functionally there was little to gain and much to lose by 
rigid centralization in fields of endeavour where success depends 
largely on the continued co-operation of specialists in the frame¬ 
work of their activities in the past. Most important of all was the 
lesson to be drawn from the history of the League, that functional 
organizations in the economic and social fields can still operate 
successfully when the central political organization is failing. 
While it would be unwarranted to pretend that the tensions 
within the League were not reflected in, for instance, the Inter¬ 
national Labour Organization, it is notable and significant that 
the ILO survived the collapse of the League. The United Nations 
was not born in circumstances so auspicious as to justify the risk 
of exposing the functional agencies to those perils of dissension 
and obstruction which in the event have beset the central Or¬ 
ganization. On the other hand, in the League the co-ordination 
of functional activities had been imperfect, and there was a strong 
case for investing the new organization with wide enough powers 
to guard against overlapping or conflicting programmes. 


1 See comment on Chapter VIII. 



120 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

The Charter calls the framework of this co-ordination a 
“ relationship ” between the United Nations and the specialized 
agencies. “ Relationship ” has, in this context, a specific meaning : 
it is defined, individually for each case, in the agreements con¬ 
templated by Article 63. 

“ Specialized agency." The definition of a specialized agency 
comprises three elements : 

(1) The agency must have been established by inter-governmental 
agreement. Agencies established by one Government or by 
private organizations of a professional, social, humanitarian or 
cultural character are not included. 1 

(2) The agency must, by its constitution, have wide international 
responsibilities. This formula is rather vague, and it is a question 
of interpretation whether it envisages functions more ambitious 
than technical co-operation in specialized fields. The practice of 
the Organization so far suggests a negative answer. The Universal 
Postal Union, the International Telecommunications Union and 
the International Civil Aviation Organization have purely techni¬ 
cal functions, and yet have been brought into relationship with 
the United Nations. On the other hand, responsibility over a 
wide geographical area would appear to be essential. 

(3) Agencies, however specialized, are not within the definition 
until they have in effect been brought into relationship with the 
United Nations. 

Functions of specialized agencies. Up to the end of 1948 eleven 
specialized agencies were brought into “ relationship ”. 2 It is 
beyond the scope of this commentary to deal extensively with 
their history, constitution and achievements and only a brief 
indication of their main functions can be included. 

1. International Labour Organization ( ILO ). 

(a) Constitution : The original constitution of the ILO came into 
effect on April 11, 1919 ; the present, revised constitution on 
September 26, 1946. 

(b ) Functions: The fundamental purpose of the ILO is to bring 
about, by continuous and concerted international effort—in which 
the representatives of workers and employers enjoy equal status 
with those of Governments—an improvement in conditions of 

1 For the association of non-governmental organizations with the activities of the 
Economic and Social Council, see Article 71. 

2 The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) was not 
a specialized agency within the definition. Established in 1943, it was to terminate its 
operations by the end of 1946 in Europe, and by March 1947 in the Far East. Several of 
UNRRA’s functions are continued by specialized agencies, notably WHO and IRO. 



INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL CO-OPERATION 121 


labour all over the world and particularly : regulation of hours 
of work, including the establishment of a maximum working day 
and week ; regulation of the labour supply ; prevention of un¬ 
employment ; provision of an adequate living wage ; protection 
of the worker against sickness, disease and injury arising out of 
his employment; protection of children, young persons and 
women ; provision for old age and injury ; protection of the 
interests of workers when employed in countries other than their 
own ; recognition of the principle of equal remuneration for 
work of equal value ; recognition of the principle of freedom of 
association ; and the organization of vocational and technical 
education. 

Under the “ Philadelphia Declaration ” (April-May 1944), 
in which the aims and purposes of the ILO were re-defined, the 
Organization took power to examine and consider not only matters 
strictly concerned with conditions of labour, but also all inter¬ 
national, economic and financial policies and measures which are 
relevant to the attainment of conditions in which human beings 
can pursue both their material well-being and their spiritual 
development, “in conditions of freedom and dignity, of economic 
security and equal opportunity 

2. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). 

(a) Constitution: The constitution of FAO came into force on 
October 16, 1945. 

(b) Functions: Promotion of national and international action 
with respect to scientific, social and economic research in the 
fields of nutrition, food and agriculture ; improvement of edu¬ 
cation and administration ; conservation of natural resources and 
the adoption of improved methods of agricultural production. 

FAO furnishes technical assistance to Governments, and 
organizes such missions as may be needed to assist them in 
carrying out the recommendations of the United Nations Con¬ 
ference on Food and Agriculture held at Hot Springs, Virginia, 
in May 1943. The Organization also collects, analyses, interprets 
and disseminates information relating to nutrition, food and 
agriculture. i 

3. United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization 
(UNESCO). 

(a) Constitution : The constitution came into force on November 

4. 1946. 

(b) Functions: To collaborate in the advancement of the mutual 
knowledge and understanding of peoples through every means 



122 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

of mass communication ; to give fresh impulse to popular edu¬ 
cation and the spread of culture, by assisting Members in the 
development of educational activities, by instituting international 
collaboration to advance the ideals of equality of educational 
opportunity, and by suggesting educational methods best suited 
“ to prepare the children of the world for the responsibilities of 
freedom 

The initial programme of work includes large-scale projects 
for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of educational, scientific 
and cultural life in war-devastated countries ; “ fundamental 
education,” in the sense of teaching the illiterates of the world 
—who number more than one half of the population of the globe— 
to read and write ; provision of a basic minimum of education 
everywhere ; and the promotion of international understanding 
through educational methods, including the exchange of teachers 
and students and the improvement of text-books and teaching 
materials. 

4. International Civil Aviation Organization {ICAO). 

(a) Constitution. The constitution came into force on April 4, 
1947. 

(b) Functions: To insure the safe and orderly growth of inter¬ 
national civil aviation ; promote safety of flight and encourage 
the development of airways, airports and air-navigation facilities ; 
prevent economic waste caused by unreasonable competition ; 
insure that the rights of the contracting States are respected, and 
that each of them has a fair opportunity to operate international 
airlines; and avoid discrimination between the contracting 
States. 

5. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development {IBRD), 
{a) Constitution: The Articles of Agreement came into force on 
December 27, 1945. 

{b) Functions : To promote the restoration of economies destroyed 
or disrupted by war, and the development of productive facilities 
and resources in less developed countries; to facilitate private in¬ 
vestment by means of guarantees for, or participations in, loans; 
and when private capital is not available on reasonable terms, 
to provide finance out of the Bank’s own capital or from funds 
raised by it, particular attention being paid to the priority of 
urgent projects. 

6. International Monetary Fund {IMF). 

{a) Constitution: The Fund’s Articles of Agreement came into 
force on December 27, 1945. 



INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL CO-OPERATION 123 

( b) Functions: To promote exchange stability, maintain orderly 
exchange arrangements and avoid competitive depreciation ; 
assist in the establishment of a multilateral system of payments 
in respect of current transactions and in the elimination of foreign 
exchange restrictions ; and make available to Members the 
Fund’s resources, particularly in scarce currencies, for the purpose 
of correcting maladjustments in balances of payments. 

7. World Health Organization (WHO). 

(a) Constitution: The Constitution came into force on April 7, 
1948. 

(b) Functions : To act as the directing and co-ordinating authority 
in international health work ; assist Governments in strengthening 
health services ; maintain administrative and technical services, 
particularly in the fields of epidemiology and health statistics ; 
aid Governments in emergencies ; promote research, training and 
information ; and propose international conventions. 

8. International Rejugee Organization (IRO). 

(a) Constitution : The constitution came into force on August 20, 
1948. 

( b ) Functions: The repatriation, identification, care and assist¬ 
ance, legal and political protection of strictly defined categories 
of refugees and displaced persons ; and their re-settlement and re¬ 
establishment in countries able and willing to receive them. 

9. International Trade Organization (ITO). 

(а) Constitution : The ITO Charter, approved by the Havana 
Conference in March 1948, has not yet received the requisite 
number of ratifications. 

(б) Functions: To promote a balanced and expanding world 
economy ; encourage the reduction of tariffs and the elimination 
of discriminating trade practices ; facilitate access to foreign 
markets on equal terms ; provide a forum for the settlement of 
trade disputes ; and develop and maintain fair trading practices. 

10. Universal Postal Union (UPU). 

(a) Constitution : The constitution of the Union is laid down in 
the Universal Postal Convention (Berne, 1874), as amended. 

(b) Functions: To administer international conventions for the 
reciprocal exchange of mails in a single postal territory com¬ 
prising all Member States. 

11. International Telecommunications Union (ITU). 

(a) Constitution : The Union derives from the International 
Telegraph Union (1865) and was established in 1932. Its revised 
constitution, adopted in 1944, came into force on January 1,1949. 



124 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


(i b ) Functions: To organize and regulate exchange of telecom¬ 
munications by telegraph, telephone and radio (including the 
allocation of wavelengths). 

Specialized agencies “ in the making ”. Steps have been taken to 
bring into relationship with the Organization, in addition to the 
eleven agencies indicated in the previous paragraphs, the Inter¬ 
governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO) and 
the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). 

Other inter-governmental organizations. Efforts are being made, in 
order to avoid overlapping and diminish governmental expendi¬ 
ture, to reduce the number of inter-governmental organizations 
which have responsibilities similar to those of the United Nations 
and of the specialized agencies, in the economic, social, cultural, 
educational, health and related fields. 1 

Article 58 

The Organization shall make recommendations for the co¬ 
ordination of the policies and activities of the specialized 
agencies. 

Relation with Article 63. The Charter provides two ways in which 
the co-ordination of specialized agencies can be promoted. 

The agreements between the Economic and Social Council 
and the specialized agencies (Article 63) provide permanent 
machinery for consultation, and enable the Council to exercise 
in some respects (e.g. the composition of the agenda) an influence 
which is almost executive in character. If, however, Article 63(2) 
were strictly interpreted, guidance from the Council under the 
agreements would be confined to the “activities”, and not extend 
to the policies of specialized agencies. 

The present Article is wider ; it refers to both policies and 
activities, and enables the Organization to make recommendations 
on matters which are not covered by special agreements. 2 

The co-ordinating work of the Organization is equally con¬ 
cerned with the improvement of machinery and the elimination 

1 Member States and the specialized agencies were invited by the Economic and Social 
Council to submit, by February 1 1949, their views regarding ( a) the possible termination, 
absorption or integration of such organizations into the United Nations or the specialized 
agencies, and (b) the relationship which might be established between the organizations 
and the United Nations or specialized agencies ; and the Secretary-General was requested 
to prepare a consolidated report based on the replies received. 

3 In practice, the difference is unimportant. All matters of co-ordination are con¬ 
centrated in the hands of the Administrative Committee on Co-ordination set up by the 
Secretary-General and the Council's own Co-ordination Committee. 



INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL CO-OPERATION 125 

of overlapping programmes. As regards machinery, constant 
attention is given to such problems as the rationalization of the 
calendar of conferences convened or sponsored by the United 
Nations ; a uniform policy for the distribution of documents, 
and for questionnaires, statistical programmes and public in¬ 
formation. The programmes of specialized agencies are surveyed 
periodically in comparative reviews prepared by the Secretariat. 
Specific recommendations have been made on the co-ordination 
of programmes concerned with international commodity arrange¬ 
ments, migration, the world food crisis, housing, town and 
country planning and cartographic services. 

Budgetary co-ordination. See comment on Article 17(3). 

Article 59 

The Organization shall, where appropriate, initiate negotia¬ 
tions among the States concerned for the creation of any new 
specialized agencies required for the accomplishment of the 
purposes set forth in Article 55. 

Scope. The language is ambiguous. “ Specialized agencies ” 
having been defined in Article 57(2) as “ agencies brought into 
relationship with the United Nations ”, the text would admit of 
the construction that the negotiations shall be concerned with 
bringing existing organizations into relationship with the United 
Nations. That is not the real intent of the Article. What is meant 
is the promotion of new inter-governmental agencies designed to 
assume “ wide international responsibilities ” (Article 57) in 
fields not covered by existing organizations. The Article does not 
apply where such bodies can be set up as subsidiary organs of the 
United Nations. 

New specialized agencies. Of the eleven specialized agencies listed 
in connection with Article 57 four were set up pursuant to recom¬ 
mendations by the United Nations : 

(1) UNESCO. The foundation was laid by the Standing Conference 
of Allied Ministers of Education which first met in London in 
1942 ; but the international conference (November 1945) which 
brought UNESCO into being was convened on the basis of a 
specific recommendation from the San Francisco Conference. 

(2) The World Health Organization. The International Health 
Conference (New York, June-July 1946), at which this organization 
was set up, had been called by the Economic and Social Council 
on its own initiative. 



126 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

(3) International Refugee Organization. This organization was 
launched by an Assembly Resolution of February 12, 1946, which 
recommended the Economic and Social Council to establish a 
special committee for the examination of the problem of refugees 
and displaced persons. On June 21,1946, the Council recommended 
to the Assembly the establishment of an International Refugee 
Organization; and the Assembly, on December 15,1946, approved 
the constitution, the first budget and arrangements for a Pre¬ 
paratory Commission. 

(4) International Trade Organization. The original proposal came 
from the United States Government; but it fell to the Economic 
and Social Council to convene the International Conference on 
Trade and Employment which, in March 1948, approved the 
Charter of the organization. 

Article 60 

Responsibility for the discharge of the functions of the 
Organization set forth in this Chapter shall be vested in the 
General Assembly and, under the authority of the General 
Assembly, in the Economic and Social Council, which shall 
have for this purpose the powers sets forth in Chapter X. 

Primary responsibility. Concurrent responsibility is vested in the 
General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council. Both 
are principal organs, but the Article places the Council “ under 
the authority of the Assembly”. This constitutional position 
reverses the formula adopted for matters of peace and security ; 
under Article 24 as between the General Assembly and the 
Security Council the “ primary responsibility ” is carried by the 
Council. 

Insofar as primary responsibility for the economic and social 
functions of the Organization can be identified with initiative.it has 
devolved from the Assembly to the Economic and Social Council. 
During its first session, the Assembly passed important resolutions' 
which did not originate from the Council. Notable instances 
were the initiative for a Universal Declaration of Human Rights ; 
direct appeals to Members for mitigation of the world shortage 
of cereals, and in support of the final stages of UNRRA’s work ; 
and requests to the Council for the urgent study of post-UNRRA 
relief needs and the problem of refugees. But since the second 
session, the resolutions of the Assembly under Chapter IX 



INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL CO-OPERATION 127 


have been largely concerned with recommendations on projects 
initiated by the Council ; with the reference to the Council of 
resolutions submitted by individual Members ; and with questions 
of administrative detail, e.g. the approval of agreements with, 
and the admission of, non-members to the specialized agencies. 
That most spectacular achievement of the Assembly, the Uni¬ 
versal Declaration of Human Rights, which it “ passed and pro¬ 
claimed” on December 10, 1948, was largely the work of the 
Council, of the Human Rights Commission and of their subsidiary 
bodies. 

These observations are not intended to reflect on the power and 
capacity of the Assembly to take important initiatives. 1 Recom¬ 
mendations on matters of economic and social policy need in¬ 
tensive study and careful preparation on a scale beyond the 
resources of a large assembly which is not in continuous session. 
It was natural that the major share of the work and responsibility 
should pass into the hands of the Council and its subsidiary 
organs. 

Comparison with the League. Under the Covenant, the Council 
of the League had concurrent responsibility with the Assembly 
in economic and social questions. It has been suggested that, by 
referring these matters to a separate Council on which the Great 
Powers have no privileged representation, the Charter has gone 
a long way to avoid the danger, which was present in the League, 
that the economic and social work of the Organisation may be 
frustrated by political tensions. That suggestion is too optimistic. 
If the Great Powers are not legally assured of permanent repre¬ 
sentation on the Economic and Social Council, experience tends 
to show that they will in fact be permanently represented, 2 and 
that their contributions to the Council’s work are highly coloured 
by political considerations. Real progress from the League lies 
in two directions : first, a specialized Council should be more 
efficient in the economic and social field than the Council of the 
League, whose attention had to be concentrated on problems of 
security ; secondly, the Economic and Social Council decides by 
simple majority, whereas the Council of the League was tied 
by the rule of unanimity. 


1 E.g. the Assembly Resolution of November 19, 1948, on Assistance to Palestine 
Refugees was passed without previous recommendations from the Council. 

8 See comment on Article 61. 



CHAPTER X 


THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL 
Composition 

Article 61 

1. The Economic and Social Council shall consist of eighteen 
Members of the United Nations elected by the General 
Assembly. 

2. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 3, six members of 
the Economic and Social Council shall be elected each year for 
a term of three years. A retiring member shall be eligible for 
immediate re-election. 

3. At the first election, eighteen members of the Economic and 
Social Council shall be chosen. The term of office of six members 
so chosen shall expire at the end of one year, and of six other 
members at the end of two years, in accordance with arrange¬ 
ments made by the General Assembly. 

4. Each member of the Economic and Social Council shall 
have one representative. 

The position of the Great Powers. In contrast to the arrangements 
relating to the Security Council and the Trusteeship Council, 
no permanent seats are reserved for the Great Powers on the 
Economic and Social Council. The General Assembly has in 
principle greater freedom in the election of members of this 
Council than in the case of the non-permanent members of the 
Security Council. Article 23 invites consideration of such criteria 
as equitable geographical distribution and the Members’ contri¬ 
bution to peace and security. There are no such criteria in the 
present Article. In practice, however, the effectiveness of the 
Council’s work is dependent on the co-operation of the States 
of chief economic importance: and their permanent membership 
may be taken for granted. 1 

1 This is illustrated by the elections held in the first three years. All five permanent 
members of the Security Council were elected to the Economic and Social Council in 
January 1946. The term of office of the U.S.A. expired at the end of that year, but the 
U.S.A. was immediately re-elected for a term of three years. The terms of office of the 
United Kingdom and the U.S.S.R. expired at the end of 1947 ; both were re-elected for 
a term of three years. As a result, throughout the period 1946-8, all the Great Powers 
were permanently represented on the Council, and it is likely that this practice will continue. 


128 



THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL 129 

Term of office. Members of the Council are elected for three years 
and are eligible for immediate re-election. A system of rotation 
was provided by the transitional rule that, of the eighteen mem¬ 
bers first elected, six were to retire at the end of one year, and 
another six at the end of two years. Paragraph 3 of the Article 
left it for the General Assembly to determine in what manner the 
members retiring after one and two years shall be chosen. The 
First Assembly rejected the method of drawing lots, and after 
first electing the full membership of eighteen, proceeded by 
further votes to determine which of them should serve for one 
and two years respectively. 

Representatives. As in the Security Council and the Trusteeship 
Council, Members are restricted to one representative in the 
Economic and Social Council. 

Functions and Powers 

Article 62 

1. The Economic and Social Council may make or initiate 
studies and reports with respect to international economic, 
social, cultural, educational, health, and related matters and 
may make recommendations with respect to any such matters 
to the General Assembly, to the Members of the United 
Nations, and to the specialized agencies concerned. 

2. It may make recommendations for the purpose of pro¬ 
moting respect for, and observance of, human rights and 
fundamental freedoms for all. 

3. It may prepare draft conventions for submission to the 
General Assembly, with respect to matters falling within its 
competence. 

4. It may call, in accordance with the rules prescribed by the 
United Nations, international conferences on matters falling 
within its competence. 

Studies and reports. The first paragraph is permissive. The Charter 
does not specify particular subjects on which studies and reports 
must be made. But an obligation to make studies incidental to 
carrying out the recommendations of the Assembly is implied by 
Article 66(1); and Article 68 provides the Council with subsidiary 
organs which, by their nature, are primarily organs concerned 
with studies. 

In fact, as soon as the Council was formed, it launched an 
impressive programme of studies the main subjects of which may 
be summarized under the following headings : 



130 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

Economic questions: employment and economic stability ; econo¬ 
mic developments ; balances of payments ; the economic situation 
and prospects of Europe ; economic survey of Asia and the Far 
East; economic survey of Latin America ; the world food crisis ; 
international commodity arrangements ; regional and world¬ 
wide problems of transport; statistical methods, standards 
and training ; and safety of life at sea and in the air. 

Social, humanitarian and cultural questions (other than Human 
Rights): status of women (with special reference to political 
rights, posts in public administration, nationality, domicile, 
marriage and divorce, employment and educational oppor¬ 
tunities) ; equal pay for equal work ; social welfare services 
(including family, youth and child welfare) ; prevention of 
crime and treatment of offenders ; prostitution ; traffic in women 
and children, and obscene publications ; migration ; housing and 
town and country planning ; standards of living ; narcotic 
drugs ; the size and structure of populations, and policies to 
influence them ; the interplay of demographic, economic and 
social factors ; the demographic aspects of migration ; refugees 
and displaced persons. 

Recommendations. Although, as a matter of constitutional prin¬ 
ciple, the Council works “ under the authority of the General 
Assembly ” (Article 60), it is entitled to make recommendations 
direct to Member States and specialized agencies. The Council 
makes frequent use of this power, and no conflict between its 
recommendations and those of the General Assembly has yet 
arisen. Should it arise, it would follow from Article 60 that the 
Assembly is entitled to override the recommendations of the 
Council. 

Human Rights. The Council’s work in this field is directed to 
the following objectives : 

(a) An “ International Bill of Human Rights ” comprising : 

(i) a Universal Declaration of Human Rights (i.e. the definition 
of human rights and fundamental freedoms) ; 

(ii) a Covenant of Human Rights (i.e. a convention or con¬ 
ventions giving legal effect to some or all of the rights 
enumerated in the Declaration) ; and 

(iii) measures of implementation providing for the enforcement 
of the Covenant. 

The first part of this programme was completed by the adoption, 
on December 10, 1948, by the Assembly, of the Universal Dec¬ 
laration. By June, 1949, the second part had also reached the 



THB ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL 


131 


stage of a provisional draft approved by the Human Rights 
Commission. 

(b) Freedom of information , to be safeguarded by conventions 
dealing with measures to facilitate the gathering, international 
transmission and free publication and reception of information. 
In May 1949, the first of these, a Draft Convention on the Inter¬ 
national Transmission of News and the Right of Correction, 
was approved by the General Assembly. 

(c) Prevention of discrimination and the protection of minorities, 
which involves detailed studies of the types of discrimination 
still practised, and of the question to which extent the so-called 
“ Minorities Treaties ” of the inter-war period are still in force. 

(d) The outlawing of “ genocide ” (the extermination of a whole 
race) by means of an international convention. The draft Con¬ 
vention prepared by the Council was adopted by the General 
Assembly on December 9, 1948, and proposed for the adherence 
of Members. 

Draft Conventions. Under paragraph 1 of this Article the Council 
may make recommendations direct to Member States, but that 
rule does not apply to recommendations for accession to con¬ 
ventions prepared by the Council. The Council must submit 
its draft conventions to the Assembly, and it is for the Assembly 
to decide whether to recommend Members to accept them. 1 * 
Conferences. The Council may call international conferences 3 
as a matter of routine, and not only in emergencies, as some 
delegations suggested at San Francisco. The procedure is to be 
laid down in a set of “ Conference Rules ” approved by the 
General Assembly. The Assembly, at its Second Session, invited 
the Secretary General to prepare draft Rules, but these have not 
yet been adopted. 


1 Important conventions prepared by the Council include : the Constitution of the 
International Refugee Organization (adopted by Assembly Resolution of December 15, 

1946 ) ; the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide 
(adopted by Assembly Resolution of December 9, 1948); and the Protocol to bring under 
control dangerous drugs outside the scope of the 1931 Convention (adopted by Assembly 
Resolution of October 8, 1948). 

3 Conferences called by the Council include : the International Health Conference 
(New York, June-July 1946) ; the World Statistical Congress (Washington, September 

1947) ; the United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment (Havana, November 
1947-March 1948) ; the United Nations Maritime Conference (Geneva, March 1948) ; 
the United Nations Conference on Freedom of Information (Geneva, March-April 

1948) ; the United Nations Scientific Conference on the Conservation and Utilization 
of Resources (New York, June 1949). 



132 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

Article 63 

1. The Economic and Social Council may enter into agree¬ 
ments with any of the agencies referred to in Article 57, defining 
the terms on which the agency concerned shall be brought into 
relationship with the United Nations. Such agreements shall 
be subject to approval by the General Assembly. 

2. It may co-ordinate the activities of the specialized agencies 
through consultation with and recommendations to such 
agencies and through recommendations to the General As¬ 
sembly and to the Members of the United Nations. 

Agreements. The Council’s powers are permissive, not mandatory. 
The initiative need not in every case be taken by the Council ; 
it may be taken by the Assembly or by the specialized agencies 
themselves. The agreements, in any case, are subject to the 
Assembly’s approval. 

Although the Article does not indicate the terms of the pro¬ 
posed agreements, references to the specialized agencies in Articles 
17(3), 58, 62, 64, 91 and 96 suggest specific points which are 
relevant to such agreements. 

In fact, all the agreements hitherto negotiated 1 contain standard 
clauses dealing with the following subjects : 

(1) Reciprocal representation : arrangements for representatives 
of the Organization to attend conferences and meetings of the 
specialized agencies ; and vice versa. 

(2) Admission of new members : rules enabling the Economic and 
Social Council or the General Assembly to recommend the non¬ 
admission of States which are not Members of the United Nations. 

(3) Agenda: arrangements for the obligatory insertion in the 
agenda of the Council of items proposed by specialized agencies; 
and vice versa. 

(4) Recommendations : undertakings by the specialized agencies 
to submit to their policy-making or executive bodies all formal 
recommendations received from the United Nations. 

(5) Exchange of information and documents: in particular, 
arrangements for the supply of regular and special reports by 
the specialized agencies. 

(6) Assistance to the Security Council and Trusteeship Council: 
undertakings by the specialized agencies to assist the Economic 

1 Up to the end of 1948, agreements were concluded or negotiated with the eleven 
specialized agencies listed under Article 57, and with the Preparatory Committee of the 
Inter-governmental Maritime Consultative Organization. 



THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL 133 

and Social Council in the discharge of its obligations under 
Articles 65 and 91 of the Charter. 

(7) International Court of Justice: general authority to the 
specialized agencies, under Article 96 of the Charter, to request 
the Court for advisory opinions on legal questions arising within 
the scope of their activities. 

(8) Personnel arrangements: provisions for the development of 
common personnel standards, designed to avoid unjust differences 
in terms and conditions of employment. 

(9) Statistical services : reciprocal provisions for the co-ordination 
and comparability of statistics. 

(10) Budgetary and financial arrangements. 

Co-ordination. The normal way in which the Council performs 
its co-ordinating functions is through the implementation of the 
agreements referred to in the first paragraph of the Article ; and 
particularly, through the effective use of the machinery of direct 
consultation. The Council also has power to make formal recom¬ 
mendations to the agencies and to the General Assembly ; and 
it may address recommendations direct to Member States. 

The pivot of the working machinery is the Council’s Committee 
on Co-ordination, which operates in close liaison with the 
Administrative Committee on Co-ordination set up by the 
Secretary-General. The Administrative Committee has several 
subsidiary bodies, including consultative committees on adminis¬ 
trative questions, statistical matters and public information, the 
United Nations Film Board, the Inter-Library Committee, two 
Technical Working Groups on Fellowships and Housing, and a 
Regional Consultative Committee at Geneva. 1 

Article 64 

1. The Economic and Social Council may take appropriate 
steps to obtain regular reports from the specialized agencies. 
It may make arrangements with the Members of the United 
Nations and with the specialized agencies to obtain reports 
on the steps taken to give effect to its own recommendations 
and to recommendations on matters falling within its com¬ 
petence made by the General Assembly. 

2. It may communicate its observations on these reports to 
the General Assembly. 


1 For an indication of the direction in which co-ordination is progressing, see com¬ 
ment on Article 58. 



134 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

These provisions are largely self-explanatory. Constant attention 
is given by the Council to obtaining reports which conform to 
uniform standards and are easily comparable. The agreements 
made under Article 63 contain detailed provisions for the supply 
of regular reports, and of periodic information on action taken 
pursuant to recommendations from the United Nations. Re¬ 
garding action taken direct by Member Governments, the General 
Assembly recommended on October 31,1947, that the Secretary- 
General report annually to the Economic and Social Council, 
and that the Council in its turn report to the General Assembly, 
on steps taken in various countries to give effect to recom¬ 
mendations of the Council and of the Assembly. 

Article 65 

The Economic and Social Council may furnish information 
to the Security Council and shall assist the Security Council 
upon its request. 

The assistance the Security Council may demand will be largely 
concerned with information and technical advice, particularly on 
the economic side of disputes and sanctions. Whether the Security 
Council, in the case of purely economic disputes, can delegate its 
powers under Chapter VI to the Economic and Social Council 
must, in the view of the present writers, be answered in the 
negative ; the Charter speaks of “ assistance ” and not of the 
delegation of functions. 

This leads to the further question whether parties to an econo¬ 
mic dispute can refer it for settlement direct to the Economic and 
Social Council in cases where, a danger to peace and security 
not being involved, the competence of the Security Council 1 
cannot be established. An attempt was made at the sixth session 
of the Council by Yugoslavia, which complained that Yugoslav 
gold entrusted to the United States Government during the war 
had not been returned. The Council refused to enter into the 
substance of that particular dispute. It did not, however, deny 
in general terms its competence to settle disputes ; that question 
of principle is still open. In the view of the present writers there 
is nothing in the Charter to exclude the submission of economic 
disputes to the Council, provided the interested parties agree, 
and the Council, by unanimous or majority decision, accepts 
the submission. As, however, the Council’s present Rules of 

1 See Article 34. 



THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL 135 

Procedure contain no provisions applicable to arbitration, the 
procedure will have to be settled either by amendment of the 
general Rules or by decisions relating to individual cases. 

Article 66 

1. The Economic and Social Council shall perform such 
functions as fall within its competence in connection with the 
carrying out of the recommendations of the General Assembly. 

2. It may, with the approval of the General Assembly, per¬ 
form services at the request of Members of the United Nations 
and at the request of specialized agencies. 

3. It shall perform such other functions as are specified 
elsewhere in the present Charter or as may be assigned to it 
by the General Assembly. 

Recommendations of the General Assembly. In view of Article 60 
which subordinates the Council to the authority of the Assembly, 
and of paragraph 3 of the present Article, the first paragraph 
seems to be redundant. 

Special services. Individual States and also specialized agencies 
may from time to time find themselves in need of special assistance 
from the Council or its subsidiary bodies in matters of research 
and technical advice. The technical services of the League res¬ 
ponded repeatedly to requests of this kind. The Economic and 
Social Council is also entitled to perform special services, but 
only with the previous approval of the Assembly. 

Additional functions. By Article 60 the powers of the Council are 
related to those functions of the Organization which were defined 
in Article 55. The last paragraph of this Article enables the 
Assembly to assign to the Council functions which may not be 
specifically related to the objectives set out in Article 55, but 
might contribute usefully to the discharge of the Assembly’s 
general functions. The examination of the economic aspects of 
disputes dealt with by the Assembly, and assistance to the 
Assembly in the exercise of its budgetary powers under Article 17, 
are examples. 

Voting 

Article 67 

1. Each member of the Economic and Social Council shall 
have one vote. 

2. Decisions of the Economic and Social Council shall be 
made by a majority of the members present and voting. 



136 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

Voting power. The Article follows the general rule that no Member 
of the United Nations shall have a plural vote in any of the organs. 
Voting procedure. The Council decides by a simple majority of 
those present and voting. The reason for the qualified majorities 
prescribed for the General Assembly in Article 18(2), and for the 
Security Council in Article 27, lies in their power to impose 
specific obligations upon Members. The Economic and Social 
Council has no such power. 

Procedure 

Article 68 

The Economic and Social Council shall set up commissions 
in economic and social fields and for the promotion of human 
rights, and such other commissions as may be required for the 
performance of its functions. 

Subsidiary organs : This Article is akin to Articles 22 and 29, in 
which power was conferred upon the General Assembly and the 
Security Council to establish subsidiary organs. The Economic 
and Social Council, however, is not only entitled but obligated to 
set up a number of commissions. 

By August 1948, the Council established a network of subsidiary 
organs which are officially listed under four main headings : 
(A). Functional Commissions and Sub-commissions. 

1. Economic and Employment Commission 

(a) Sub-Commission on Employment and Economic Stability. 

(b) Sub-Commission on Economic Development. 

2. Transport and Communications Commission. 

3. Fiscal Commission. 

4. Statistical Commission. 

(a) Sub-Commission on Statistical Sampling. 

5. Population Commission. 

6. Social Commission. 

7. Commission on Human Rights 

(a) Sub-Commission on the Freedom of Information and of 
the Press 

(b) Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and 
the Protection of Minorities 

(c) Drafting Committee on the Bill of Human Rights. 

8. Commission on the Status of Women. 

9. Commission on Narcotic Drugs. 



THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL 


137 


(B) . Regional Economic Commissions. 

1. Economic Commission for Europe. 

2. Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East. 

3. Economic Commission for Latin America. 

(C) . United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund. 
This Fund functions under the Social Commission of the Coun¬ 
cil, and is administered by an Executive Director under the 
supervision of an Executive Board on which twenty-six Member 
States were represented. 

(D) . Committees of the Council. 

These are partly permanent, partly ad hoc. The permanent 
committees are : (i) Agenda Committee, (ii) Committee on 
Negotiations with Inter-Governmental Agencies, (iii) Com¬ 
mittee on Arrangements for Consultation with Non-Govern¬ 
mental Organizations, (iv) Committee on the United Nations 
Appeal for Children. 

Ad hoc committees have included the Interim Committee on 
Programmes of Meetings, the Committee on Genocide and the 
Committee on Procedure. 

Experts. The Dumbarton Oaks Proposals suggested that all 
commissions of the Economic and Social Council should consist 
of experts. At San Francisco that requirement was deleted, as it 
was felt that the Council ought to have unfettered freedom in 
choosing the personnel of its subsidiary organs. In practice, the 
expert element is strongly represented on all of them. 

Article 69 

The Economic and Social Council shall invite any Member 
of the United Nations to participate, without vote, in its 
deliberations on any matter of particular concern to that 
Member. 

“ Particular concern ". The principle of this Article is identical 
with that of Article 31. Whether any matter before the Council 
is of particular concern to a Member not represented on it will be 
determined by the Council. If it so determines, the invitation 
must issue, but the Member concerned is under no obligation to 
attend. 


Article 70 

The Economic and Social Council may make arrangements 
for representatives of the specialized agencies to participate, 



138 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

without vote, in its deliberations and in those of the com¬ 
missions established by it, and for its representatives to partici¬ 
pate in the deliberations of the specialized agencies. 

Arrangements of this kind have been made in all agreements 
concluded or negotiated with specialized agencies under Article 63. 


Article 71 

The Economic and Social Council may make suitable arrange¬ 
ments for consultation with non-governmental organizations 
which are concerned with matters within its competence. Such 
arrangements may be made with international organizations 
and, where appropriate, with national organizations after 
consultation with the Member of the United Nations con¬ 
cerned. 

Consultative status. In the system of the League, non-govern¬ 
mental bodies had a place in many activities in the social field, 
e.g. the assistance of refugees, the suppression of traffic in women 
and children, the scientific work of the Health Organization. A 
link between the public and the League was provided by League of 
Nations Unions formed in many countries. The Unions were 
combined in a Federation, which at its Annual Conference passed 
resolutions about various concerns of the League. The resolutions 
were submitted to the Assembly and the Council ; but no spokes¬ 
man of the Federation could appear to sponsor them. 

The Charter provides for more regular expression of non¬ 
governmental, non-official opinion. At the invitation of the U.S. 
Government, representatives of some 50 large voluntary or¬ 
ganizations attended the San Francisco Conference as observers 
and unofficial advisers to governmental delegations. The pro¬ 
visions of the Charter about human rights are in large measure 
due to the efforts of these observers. 

The Article gives a permanent role to voluntary bodies in the 
work of the Economic and Social Council. 

Categories. By August 1948, 69 non-governmental organizations 
(65 of them international) were granted consultative status. 
They are divided into Categories (a), (b) and (c). Under the 
principles of classification adopted by the Council, category (a) 
comprises organizations which have “ a basic interest ” in most 
of the activities of the Council, and are closely linked with the 



THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL 


139 


economic and social life of the areas which they represent. Nine 
bodies have been granted this status: 
the American Federation of Labour, 
the International Chamber of Commerce 
the International Co-operative Alliance, 
the International Federation of Agricultural Producers, 
the International Federation of Christian Trade Unions, 
the International Organization of Industrial Employers, 
the Inter-Parliamentary Union, 
the World Federation of Trade Unions, and 
the World Federation of United Nations Associations. 
Organizations in Category (a) may take part at all meetings of 
the Economic and Social Council and its commissions, submit 
proposals for the agenda, circulate memoranda and send repre¬ 
sentatives to speak at the public meetings of these organs. They 
have no access to private meetings and no vote. 

Category (b) consists of bodies, mostly international, 1 which 
have particular competence in, and are concerned specially with, 
certain aspects of the activity of the Council. By August 1948, 
56 bodies received this status; and a permanent committee 
of the Economic and Social Council constantly examines appli¬ 
cations for its grant. Included are religious bodies of all com¬ 
munities, economic and professional associations, and societies 
for every kind of social endeavour. 

Category (c) comprises organizations which are concerned with 
building public opinion and disseminating information. It is 
much smaller than the others, and includes the Rotary Inter¬ 
national, the International Federation of Secondary Teachers, 
the World Organization of the Teaching Profession, the Inter¬ 
national Association of Lions Clubs, and the World Alliance for 
International Friendship through the Churches. 

Organizations in Categories (b) and (c) may send observers to 
public meetings of the Council and its commissions, and submit 
memoranda on any subject which the Council has before it. 
These memoranda are circularized in full if a member of the Council 
so requests ; otherwise they are summarized. With the permission 
of the Chairman, observers sent by the organizations may make 
oral statements before the Council and its committees. 


1 National organizations cannot be granted consultative status, except with the 
consent of the Member Government concerned. 



140 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

Article 72 

1. The Economic and Social Council shall adopt its own rules 
of procedure, including the method of selecting its President. 

2. The Economic and Social Council shall meet as required 
in accordance with its rules, which shall include provision for 
the convening of meetings on the request of a majority of its 
members. 

At its first session, the Council adopted provisionally the Rules 
of Procedure proposed for it by the Preparatory Commission. 
Later, amendments and additions were made. 

Sessions. At least three regular sessions are to be held each year. 
Extraordinary sessions are held if requested (a) by a majority of 
the Council’s members, (b) by the General Assembly, or (c) by 
the Security Council acting in pursuance of Article 41 of the Char¬ 
ter (economic sanctions). Extraordinary sessions may also be 
held if the President of the Council agrees to a request made in 
that behalf by the Security Council (acting outside Article 41), 
the Trusteeship Council, any Member of the United Nations or 
a specialized agency ; or if the President and the Vice-Presidents 
agree that an extraordinary session should be called. 

Agenda. This is drawn up by the Secretary-General in consultation 
with the President, and must include (a) all items proposed by the 
Council at a previous meeting ; (b) all items proposed by any 
Member of the United Nations ; (c) all items proposed by the 
General Assembly, the Security Council, the Trusteeship Council, 
a specialized agency or a non-governmental organization in 
Category (a). 1 

Representatives. Each representative on the Council may be 
accompanied by such alternates and technical advisers as he 
requires. 

Presidency. The Council elects for each calendar year a President 
and two Vice-Presidents. 

Publicity. The meetings of the Council are public unless the Council 
decides otherwise. 

Quorum. A majority of the members of the Council constitutes a 
quorum. 


1 See Article 71. 



CHAPTER XI 


DECLARATION REGARDING NON-SELF-GOVERNING 

TERRITORIES 

Article 73 

Members of the United Nations which have or assume responsi¬ 
bilities for the administration of territories whose peoples have 
not yet attained a full measure of self-government recognize 
the principle that the interests of the inhabitants of these 
territories are paramount, and accept as a sacred trust the 
obligation to promote to the utmost, within the system of 
international peace and security established by the present 
Charter, the well-being of the inhabitants of these territories, 
and, to this end — 

(a) to ensure, with due respect for the culture of the peoples 
concerned, their political, economic, social, and educational 
advancement, their just treatment, and their protection 
against abuses ; 

(b) to develop self-government, to take due account of the 
political aspirations of the peoples, and to assist them in 
the progressive development of their free political insti¬ 
tutions, according to the particular circumstances of each 
territory and its peoples and their varying stages of 
advancement ; 

(c) to further international peace and security ; 

(d) to promote constructive measures of development, to 
encourage research, and to co-operate with one another 
and, when and where appropriate, with specialized inter¬ 
national bodies with a view to the practical achievement 
of the social, economic, and scientific purposes set forth 
in this Article ; and 

(e) to transmit regularly to the Secretary-General for in¬ 
formation purposes, subject to such limitation as security 
and constitutional considerations may require, statistical 
and other information of a technical nature relating to 
economic, social, and educational conditions in the 
territories for which they are respectively responsible, other 
than those territories to which Chapters All and XIII 
apply. 


»• 


141 



142 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

The League precedent. Article 22 of the Covenant laid down the 
principle of a trusteeship administration (“mandate”) for the 
former German colonies in Africa and the Pacific and for the 
Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire which had been liberated 
from Turkey, but were regarded as not yet fit for self-determina¬ 
tion. The Covenant declared that the rule of “ peoples not yet 
able to stand by themselves in the strenuous conditions of the 
modern world ” should be a sacred trust of civilization, and 
exercised by an experienced Power on behalf and under the 
supervision of the League of Nations ; that the well-being of the 
native inhabitants was the primary objective of their adminis¬ 
tration ; and that there must be equal opportunity for the trade 
and enterprise of the subjects of all Members of the League, and 
no preference or discrimination in favour of subjects of the 
Mandatory Power. 

This system of a trust administration responsible to an inter¬ 
national body was not, however, applied to the colonial posses¬ 
sions of the victorious nations. Article 23(b) of the Covenant did 
indeed lay down a general obligation for “ just treatment of the 
native inhabitants ” of all territories under control of the Members 
of the League ; but no machinery was set up to implement the 
undertaking. 

As regards the territories under mandate, international super¬ 
vision was effected by a Permanent Commission of the League, 
composed of nine (later ten) expert persons, and also by a Depart¬ 
ment of the League Secretariat. The Commission received an¬ 
nually a written report of the Mandatory Power about each 
territory ; and it conducted annually a viva voce examination of 
the representatives of those Powers. Any person or body in a 
mandated territory who had a grievance was free to petition the 
Commission ; and the examination of these petitions, about 
which the Commission could question the representative of the 
Mandatory Power, (but not the petitioner, who had no right of 
appearance), was a regular part of the Commission’s scrutiny. 

The minutes of the proceedings of the Commission gave a 
detailed account of what was being done in each mandated 
territory. The Commission’s function was restricted to offering 
recommendations and advice to the Council of the League upon 
any matter arising from reports and petitions. In the Council 
itself the danger was ever-present that political considerations 
might override the recommendations or whittle away the advice. 

In place of a single article (Article 22) in the Covenant, the 



NON-SELF-GOVERNINO TERRITORIES 143 

Charter contains 22 articles in three chapters dealing with non- 
self-governing territories. The first chapter contains a declaration 
concerning all such territories; the second outlines a system of 
trusteeship to take the place of mandates; the third defines the 
composition, functions and powers of the Trusteeship Council. 
Scope of the Declaration. 

The Declaration adopts many of the principles stated in Article 
22 of the Covenant, and it makes express what was implicit there, 
i.e. that the interests of the inhabitants shall be paramount. 1 
But the formulation is bafflingly vague in many points. What has 
been said about the Charter as a whole, that the “ i’s ” are not 
dotted and the “ t’s ” are not crossed, is particularly applicable to 
this and the following Articles. 

The following points are to be noted with regard to sub-clauses 
(a)—(e) : 

(a) The reference to “ due respect for the culture of the peoples 
concerned ”, is designed to secure regard for native traditions. 
This respect is the basis of the British system of “ indirect rule ” 
in the African colonies. 

“ Just treatment ” is a phrase borrowed from Article 23 of the 
League Covenant, where it was used in relation to all dependent 
peoples and not restricted to the inhabitants of mandated areas. 

“ Protection against abuses ” is one of the main subjects of 
the earliest international instruments concerned with the rule of 
dependent peoples ; the Berlin Act of 1885 and the Brussels Act 
of 1890. By those Acts the signatory States agreed to suppress 
slave-trade and slavery. These specific purposes were repeated 
in Article 22 of the Covenant ; other abuses mentioned there 
were traffic in arms and liquor. The Mandatory Powers were 
required to legislate against these abuses ; and the Administering 
Authorities in the United Nations system must be presumed to 
be under a similar obligation. 2 

(b) 'Self-government and not independence is made the goal. 
The Soviet, Chinese and several other delegations at San Fran¬ 
cisco urged that the Charter should prescribe the “ development 
to independence ” of colonial peoples, but the Conference took 
the view that the word “ independence ” meant different things 
to different peoples, that its use might lead to confusion and 

1 The phrase about the paramountcy of native interests was contained in a White 
Paper issued by the British Colonial Office in 1930 with regard to the inhabitants of the 
Colony of Kenya. 

2 The present obligation would seem to extend also to legislation against the forced 
labour of natives, an abuse specifically condemned by the San Francisco Conference. 



144 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

uncertainty, and that “ self-government” was a more comprehensive 
term which did not exclude aspirations to full independence. 

(c) The linking of the system of trusteeship with the system of 
collective security is a radical departure from the League prece¬ 
dent ; see comment on Article 76(c). 

(d) An example of the kind of regional co-operation here con¬ 
templated is the Anglo-American Caribbean Commission, which 
was established during the war for advancing social and economic 
improvements in the West Indies. The functions of the Commis¬ 
sion include those set out in this paragraph of the Charter ; the 
promotion of constructive measures of development, the en¬ 
couragement of research, and co-operation of the Powers which 
have colonies in the West Indies. The Advisory Council of the 
Commission included representatives of the French and Dutch, 
as well as of the British and American, Governments. Another 
regional enterprise of this type was established during the war 
by Australia and New Zealand, concerning the South Pacific 
region. The Convention of Canberra provides for close co¬ 
operation of the two Governments in dealing with what were 
then territories under their mandate. 

(e) The Declaration is a kind of colonial charter, laying down 
standards of government; but no specific duty of accounting 
to the General Assembly is prescribed. The stipulation of sub¬ 
clause (e) does not go beyond the supply of information to the 
Secretariat; and even this duty is hedged about with reservations 
concerning security and constitutional considerations. 1 

The Second Assembly (1947) appointed a special committee to 
examine the reports submitted in accordance with Article 73(e). 
The Committee drew up a questionnaire to be addressed to all 
States governing dependent peoples. It was left to the option of 
these States whether they were prepared to furnish information 
not only about economic, social and educational, but also about 
political, developments; the Secretary-General was authorised to 
use non-official sources of information on economic, social and 
educational conditions, provided that the interested Govern¬ 
ments agreed. The Committee is composed of eight members 
from the countries which under the present Article are required 
to send information, and eight other members elected by the 
Assembly. At the Third Assembly a resolution was passed which 
invited Members to send most recent information within six 

1 In practice, however, the Assembly has developed a system of obtaining reports 
and discussing them freely. 



NON-SELF-GOVERNING TERRITORIES 


145 


months after the end of the administrative year, and full reports 
at three years’ intervals. 


Article 74 

Members of the United Nations also agree that their policy 
in respect of the territories to which this Chapter applies, no 
less than in respect of their metropolitan areas, must be based 
on the general principle of good-neighbourliness, due account 
being taken of the interests and well-being of the rest of the 
world, in social, economic and commercial matters. 

The words of the Article are general and indefinite. The prin¬ 
ciple of good-neighbourliness does not impose any positive 
obligation to maintain the open door for trade and commerce 
which was prescribed in Article 22 of the Covenant. It may be 
considered negatively to prevent discrimination ; but no system 
is established of accountability to any international authority 
for giving effect to the principle, and for seeing that the re¬ 
sources of dependent countries are used for the good of the 
world. 



CHAPTER XII 


INTERNATIONAL TRUSTEESHIP SYSTEM 
Article 75 

The United Nations shall establish under its authority an 
international trusteeship for the administration and super¬ 
vision of such territories as may be placed thereunder by 
subsequent individual agreements. These territories are herein¬ 
after referred to as trust territories. 

The trusteeship system of the Charter replaces the mandate 
system of the League. 1 While under the Covenant the system of 
mandatory administration was limited to colonies and territories 
which had ceased to be under the sovereignty of the enemy States 
of the First World War, the present Article is general in its scope. 
It envisages a trusteeship administration for any territories which 
may be placed under the system by individual agreements. 

Article 76 

The basic objectives of the trusteeship system, in accordance 
with the Purposes of the United Nations laid down in Article 1 
of the present Charter, shall be :— 

(a) to further international peace and security ; 

(b) to promote the political, economic, social and educational 
advancement of the inhabitants of the trust territories, 
and their progressive development towards self-govern¬ 
ment or independence as may be appropriate to the 
particular circumstances of each territory and its peoples 
and the freely-expressed wishes of the peoples concerned 
and as may be provided by the terms of each trusteeship 
agreement; 

(c) to encourage respect for human rights and for fundamental 
freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language 
or religion, and to encourage recognition of the inter¬ 
dependence of the peoples of the world ; and 

(d) to ensure equal treatment in social, economic and com¬ 
mercial matters for all Members of the United Nations 
and their nationals, and also equal treatment for the latter 

1 See comment on Article 73. 


146 



INTERNATIONAL TRUSTEESHIP SYSTEM 


147 


in the administration of justice, without prejudice to the 
attainment of the foregoing objectives and subject to the 
provisions of Article 80. 

Basic objectives. The objectives of the trusteeship system are much 
more fully set out than were the principles of the system of man¬ 
dates in Article 22 of the Covenant. They are, by an express provision 
in the introductory paragraph of the Article, linked with the over¬ 
all Purposes of the United Nations (as stated in Article 1 of the 
Charter), which become, in this way, and with some variation of 
wording, applicable to territories and peoples not yet independent 
and therefore not eligible for membership of the Organization. 

(a) The inclusion of the furtherance of international peace and 
security among the objectives of trusteeship marks a striking 
change from one of the main purposes of the system of mandates. 
Under Article 22 of the Covenant, the prevention of the establish¬ 
ment of fortifications or military or naval bases, and of military 
training of the natives for other than police purposes and the 
defence of the territory, was part of the duty of the Mandatory 
Power. No similar restriction is envisaged for the Administering 
Authorities under the Charter. In fact, the present Article pres¬ 
cribes that they must ensure that the trust territory shall play its 
part in the security system. It follows that Administering Authori¬ 
ties may make use of native volunteer forces, of military bases and 
other facilities in the trust territory, not only for purposes of local 
defence but also in carrying out their obligations under Chapter 
VII of the Charter. The reasons are obvious : the experience of 
the Second World War proved that it was impossible to detach 
the mandated territories from the emergencies of war and create 
a kind of international vacuum. 1 

(b) It is notable that educational advancement of the in¬ 
habitants is particularly mentioned ; it was not, under Article 22 
of the Covenant, among the duties imposed on Mandatory 
Powers. 

Whereas, in Article 73, there was no mention of “ indepen¬ 
dence ”, 2 in the present Article the term appears as an alternative 
to “ self-government ”. Of the two, independence seems to be 
the more appropriate goal for peoples which have an ad¬ 
vanced culture. The development of self-government under the 

1 New Guinea, for example, which was under an Australian mandate, was in the vortex 
of the struggle in the Pacific. Moreover, the Japanese had long before the war fortified 
islands which they held under mandate, and made them bases for invasion. 

2 For the reasons of its omission, see comment on Article 73. 



148 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

supervision and protection of the Administering Authority is an 
objective applicable to all backward peoples, like the natives of 
Africa and the Pacific Islands. The Article prescribes that regard 
must be had to the freely-expressed wishes of the peoples con¬ 
cerned. The trusteeship agreements (Article 77) may specify 
whether in the particular case development is to be towards self- 
government or towards independence. 

(c) The reference to human rights and fundamental freedoms 
adds nothing to Articles 1(3) and 55(c). 1 But the mention of the 
“ recognition of the interdependence of the peoples of the 
world ” is new, and finds no expression in any other part of the 
Charter. What may have been contemplated is the encouragement 
of regional arrangements between States concerning territories 
and peoples under their administration, on the model of the 
Caribbean Commission and the Convention of Canberra. 2 

(d) Article 22(5) of the Covenant prescribed equal opportunities 
for the trade and commerce of all Members of the League. That 
general direction was amplified in the specific mandate arrange¬ 
ments for individual territories. There was no mention in the 
Covenant of equal treatment in the administration of justice ; 
that seems to have been assumed as an element of good govern¬ 
ment. 

The formula of this Article is wider. “ Equal treatment in 
social, economic and commercial matters ” is more compre¬ 
hensive than equal opportunities for trade and commerce. On 
the other hand, the proviso at the end of the clause, “ without 
prejudice to the attainment of the foregoing objectives ”, gives a 
latitude in regard to trade agreements, which was lacking in the 
system of Mandates. 

The objectives to which the principle of equal treatment is 
subordinated include the promotion of the economic and social 
advancement of the inhabitants. Bilateral and preferential trade 
agreements between a trust territory and a particular State may 
well be for the benefit of the inhabitants ; but any such agreement 
was excluded under the terms of the Mandates for certain African 
territories, and for Palestine. 3 

1 It is noteworthy that, for the purposes of the trusteeship system, the objective is 
confined to the encouragement of 44 respect 44 for these rights and freedoms, and that 
there is no mention, as in Article 55, of their 44 observance 44 . 

3 See comment on Article 73(d). 

3 It is noteworthy that the United States Government entered a protest against pro¬ 
visions in the Trusteeship Agreement for Tanganyika which would allow for preferential 
trade conventions and State monopolies, on the ground that such arrangements would be 
contrary to the freedom of international trade protected by Article 76(d). 



INTERNATIONAL TRUSTEESHIP SYSTEM 149 

The final proviso referring to Article 80 makes the objectives 
stated in this Article subject to the provisions of existing Mandates. 
The provisions of the Mandate were to remain in force until 
replaced by new trusteeship agreements. 

Article 77 

1. The trusteeship system shall apply to such territories in the 
following categories as may be placed thereunder by means of 
trusteeship agreements :— 

(a) territories now held under mandate ; 

(b) territories which may be detached from enemy States as a 
result of the Second World War ; and 

(c) territories voluntarily placed under the system by States 
responsible for their administration. 

2. It will be a matter for subsequent agreement as to which 
territories in the foregoing categories will be brought under the 
trusteeship system and upon what terms. 

No automatic application. The trusteeship system is not im¬ 
posed by the Charter on any territories. Its application is left 
to subsequent agreements between the States “ directly con¬ 
cerned ” (Article 79). 

The three categories. The classes of territories to which the 
trusteeship system may be applied are broadly defined. 

Category (a) comprised all territories held under mandate of 
the League at the time the Charter came into force. These terri¬ 
tories included : 

(i) in Asia Minor: Palestine and Transjordan, both under 
British mandate. 

In the case of Transjordan, the mandate was terminated 
by unilateral declaration of the British Government in 
January 1946: and the country became an independent 
State. 

In the case of Palestine, pursuant to the Assembly Reso¬ 
lution of November 29, 1947, the mandate was brought to 
an end on May 15,1948, and on the same day a new indepen¬ 
dent State, the State of Israel, was proclaimed. 1 

(ii) in Africa: Togoland and the Cameroons, partly under 
British, partly under French, mandate ; Tanganyika, under 
British mandate ; Ruanda-Urundi, under Belgian mandate ; 
and South-West Africa, under the mandate of the Union of 
South Africa. With the exception of South-West Africa, all 

1 In May 1949 v Israel was admitted to membership of the United Nations. 



150 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


these territories have now been placed under trusteeship. As 
regards South-West Africa, the Government of the Union of 
South Africa, at the first session of the General Assembly, 
proposed to incorporate the territory in the Union. The 
Assembly rejected the proposal and invited the Union 
Government to propose a trusteeship agreement. The Union 
Government did not respond to the invitation, but abandoned 
preparations for the incorporation of the territory, and under¬ 
took to administer it in accordance with the spirit of the 
mandate and submit annual reports to the United Nations. 
At its second session, the Assembly, without taking up a 
definite position to the question whether all territories 
previously held under mandate should be brought under 
trusteeship until granted self-government or independence, 
repeated its invitation to the Union Government to negotiate 
a trusteeship agreement; and at its third session maintained 
this recommendation. 

(iii) in the South Pacific : the Marianas, Caroline and Marshall 
Islands, under Japanese mandate ; New Guinea (North¬ 
eastern part), New Ireland, New Britain and the Solomon 
Islands, under Australian mandate ; Nauru, under the joint 
mandate of Australia, New Zealand and the United King¬ 
dom ; and Western Samoa under the mandate of New 
Zealand. All these territories have now been brought under 
trusteeship. 

Category ( b ) includes the former Italian colonies of Libya, 
Eritrea and Italian Somaliland. Under the Peace Treaty with 
Italy, which came into force on September 15, 1947, the final 
disposal of these colonies was to be determined, within a year, 
jointly by the Governments of France, the Soviet Union, the 
United Kingdom and the U.S.A. No agreement was reached, and 
by virtue of Annex XI to the Peace Treaty, it fell to the General 
Assembly to make a recommendation binding on the Four 
Powers. 1 

Category (c) comprises any colonial territories which the 
Powers responsible for their administration may agree to place 
under trusteeship. No action has yet been taken ; and a draft 
Resolution placed before the second session of the Assembly, 
expressing the hope that Members would propose trusteeship 
agreements for all or some of the territories administered by them, 
failed to secure the necessary majority. 

1 At the time of going to press, the matter was still under consideration. 



INTERNATIONAL TRUSTEESHIP SYSTEM 151 

Article 78 

The trusteeship system shall not apply to territories which 
have become Members of the United Nations, relationship 
among which shall be based on respect for the principle of 
sovereign equality. 

The Article states the obvious. Only sovereign States can become 
Members of the United Nations : and sovereignty and tutelage 
are mutually exclusive. 

The reason for including the Article in the Charter lay in the 
ambiguous position of Syria and the Lebanon at the time of the 
San Francisco Conference. They attended and signed the Charter 
in their own right; but France still regarded them as technically 
subject to her mandate from the League. Since then France has 
recognized the sovereign independence of these two States. 

Article 79 

The terms of trusteeship for each territory to be placed under 
the trusteeship system, including any alteration or amendment, 
shall be agreed upon by the States directly concerned, including 
the mandatory Power in the case of territories held under 
mandate by a Member of the United Nations, and shall be 
approved as provided for in Articles 83 and 85. 

Parties to trusteeship agreements. Although the terms of each 
trusteeship agreement must be agreed upon by the States 
directly concerned, not all these States become parties to the 
formal agreement embodying the terms. The agreements purport 
to be made between the General Assembly or (in the case of 
strategic areas) the Security Council on the one hand, and the 
Administering Authority on the other ; and they enter into force, 
following formal approval by the Assembly or the Security 
Council, as the case may be, as soon as they are ratified by the 
Administering Authority. 

“ Direct concern ”. The Charter, apart from stipulating that, in 
the case of territories formerly held under mandate, the agree¬ 
ment of the Mandatory Power is essential, does not say which are 
the States “ directly concerned ” with the terms of trusteeship. 
In regard to her mandates in Africa, Great Britain applied the 
term to France, Belgium and the Union of South Africa, and also 
consulted the U.S.A. because it had been consulted at the time 



152 CHARTER ^OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

the mandates were first given. In regard to the former Japanese 
mandates, the U.S.A. submitted the draft trusteeship agreement 
“ for information ” to all members of the Security Council, and 
also to New Zealand and the Philippines ; but the Security 
Council ruled that all those members of the Far Eastern Com¬ 
mission which were not represented on the Council (namely, 
Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, India and the Philip¬ 
pines), were not only entitled to information, but also, if they so 
desired, to participation in the Council’s discussions on the 
subject. 

In the case of territories detached from enemy States (Article 
77(1 b)), the question has not yet arisen. In view of Article 23 
of the Peace Treaty with Italy, which left the question of the dis¬ 
posal of the Italian colonies in the first place to the Governments 
of the United Kingdom, the U.S.A., the Soviet Union and France, 
those four Powers are certainly among those “ directly con¬ 
cerned ” ; and in the case of Eritrea and Somalia, which she claims 
as part of her former empire, Ethiopia also has a strong claim to 
be so regarded. 


Article 80 

1. Except as may be agreed upon in individual trusteeship 
agreements, made under Articles 77, 79 and 81, placing each 
territory under the trusteeship system, and until such agree¬ 
ments have been concluded, nothing in this Chapter shall be 
construed in or of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatso¬ 
ever of any States or any peoples or the terms of existing inter¬ 
national instruments to which Members of the United Nations 
may respectively be parties. 

2. Paragraph 1 of this Article shall not be interpreted as 
giving grounds for delay or postponement of the negotiation 
and conclusion of agreements for placing mandated and other 
territories under the trusteeship system as provided for in 
Article 77. 

Conservation of status quo. The purpose of this Article was to 
elucidate the position of States which, at the time the Charter 
came into force, were administering mandated territories. It 
signified that, until such territories were placed under trusteeship 
by voluntary agreement, the Charter did not purport to inter¬ 
fere with existing rights and duties. 

Owing to the conclusion, since the Charter came into force, 



INTERNATIONAL TRUSTEESHIP SYSTEM 153 

of trusteeship agreements relating to all former mandated terri¬ 
tories except South-West Africa, the application of the Article 
is now confined to that one territory. 1 

Article 81 

The trusteeship agreement shall in each case include the terms 
under which the trust territory will be administered, and desig¬ 
nate the authority which will exercise the administration of the 
trust territory. Such authority, hereinafter called the administer¬ 
ing authority, may be one or more States or the Organization 
itself. 

Essential contents of trusteeship agreements. Ten trusteeship 
agreements have so far been approved : 

(a) by the General Assembly, on December 13, 1946: agreements 
relating to (1) New Guinea, (2) Ruanda-Urundi, (3) Cameroons 
(French), (4) Togoland (French), (5) West Samoa, (6) Tanganyika, 
(7) Cameroons (British), (8) Togoland (British) ; 

(b) by the General Assembly, on November 1, 1947: the trusteeship 
agreement for Nauru ; 

(c) by the Security Council on April 2, 1947: the trusteeship 
agreement for the Pacific Islands, formerly under Japanese 
mandate. 

Standard clauses. All agreements contain clauses relating to the 
following subjects : 

(1) definition of the boundaries of the territory ; 

(2) designation of the Administering Authority ; 

(3) general or special undertakings concerning the promotion of 
the objectives set out in Article 76 ; 

(4) provisions defining the rights of the Administering Authority 
in legislation, administration and jurisdiction ; in constituting 
the territory into a customs, fiscal or administrative union with 
adjacent territories under the control of the Administering 
Authority ; and in establishing naval, military and air bases ; 

(5) promotion of self-governing political institutions, suited to 
the territory ; 

(6) application to the territory of international conventions, and 
of recommendations from the United Nations and specialized 
agencies which are appropriate to the particular circumstances 
of the territory ; 

1 Concerning the Assembly's attitude to the question of South-West Africa, tee 
comment on Article 77. 



154 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


(7) protection of the rights and interests of the inhabitants in 
land and natural resources ; 

(8) equal treatment in social, economic and commercial matters 
for all Members of the United Nations ; 

(9) assurance to the inhabitants, subject only to the requirements 
of public order and security, of human rights and fundamental 
freedoms ; 

(10) provisions for the reference to the International Court of 
Justice of disputes arising between the Administering Authority 
and any other Member of the United Nations. 1 
Designation of Administering Authority. Under the League each 
mandated territory was entrusted to a single Mandatory. 2 There 
was no provision in the Covenant for the League itself becoming 
a Mandatory. 

Under the Charter, the United Nations itself may be designated 
as Administering Authority ; and there is an express provision, 
which was not in the Covenant for a territory being placed 
under the administration of several States (“ collective trustee¬ 
ship ”)• 

The trusteeship agreements so far concluded all provide for a 
single Administering Authority. Apart from the Pacific Islands, 
which have been transferred from the mandate of Japan to the 
trusteeship of the U.S.A., the former Mandatory has been in 
each case re-appointed as Administering Authority. 

Article 82 

There may be designated in any trusteeship agreement, a 
strategic area or areas which may include part or all of the 
trust territory to which the agreement applies, without prejudice 
to any special agreement or agreements made under Article 43. 

Purpose. The Article (in common with Article 83) is a special 
application of Article 76(a) which establishes a link between 
general security and the trusteeship system. It takes account of 
the strategic importance of certain areas which may be placed 
under trusteeship, and recognizes the need for a special regime. 


1 There is no such provision in the Trusteeship Agreement relating to the Pacific Islands 
now placed under U.S. Administration. 

2 The only apparent exception was the Pacific island of Nauru, mandated to the 
British Empire acting through Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. On the 
transfer of Nauru to the trusteeship system, Australia became the sole Administering 
Authority. 



INTERNATIONAL TRUSTEESHIP SYSTEM 


155 


The special regime is marked by the transfer to the Security 
Council of the supervisory functions which are normally exer¬ 
cised by the General Assembly. 

Relation to Article 43. The special agreements contemplated by 
Article 43 may contain provisions for military facilities, bases and 
the location of forces in dependent territories. If at a later date 
any of these territories is placed under trusteeship, and designated 
in whole or in part as a strategic area, these arrangements do not 
affect the validity of the earlier special agreement. 

Application in practice. The only trust territories so far designated 
as strategic are the Pacific Islands, which have been transferred 
from the mandate of Japan to the administration of the U.S.A. 


Article 83 

1. All functions of the United Nations relating to strategic 
areas, including the approval of the terms of the trusteeship 
agreements ana of their alteration or amendment, shall be 
exercised by the Security Council. 

2. The basic objectives set forth in Article 76 shall be applic¬ 
able to the people of each strategic area. 

3. The Security Council shall, subject to the provisions of 
the trusteeship agreements and without prejudice to security 
considerations, avail itself of the assistance of the Trusteeship 
Council to perform those functions of the United Nations 
under the trusteeship system relating to political, economic, 
social and educational matters in the strategic areas. 

Effect. If it is proposed, with the approval of the States directly 
concerned, to designate the whole or part of a trust territory as a 
strategic area, the trusteeship agreement, and any alteration or 
amendment, requires the approval of the Security Council. That 
gives the permanent members of the Council overriding control 
since, by using the veto power, any one of them can obstruct 
arrangements to which it may object. If the Administering 
Authority is itself a permanent member of the Council, it can, 
by its veto, frustrate any change in the original arrangements. 
It is a further effect of this Article that all specific functions of 
the General Assembly enumerated in Article 87 are, in the case 
of strategic areas, exercised by the Security Council. 

Relation to Article 76. The Charter declares that the designation 
of a trust territory as strategic must not interfere with the 



156 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

promotion of the basic objectives set out in Article 76. It is note¬ 
worthy, however, that the trusteeship agreement relating to the 
Pacific Islands entrusted to the United States contains provisions 
which make human rights and fundamental freedoms and the 
equal treatment of other Members of the United Nations and their 
nationals “ subject to the requirements of security ”. 

The position of the Trusteeship Council. In principle, the Adminis¬ 
tering Authority of a strategic area must avail itself of the assist¬ 
ance of the Trusteeship Council in matters of political, economic 
social and educational advancement. As, however, this obligation 
is subject to “ security considerations ”, the access of the Trustee¬ 
ship Council to a strategic trust territory is virtually at the dis¬ 
cretion of the Administering Authority and the Security Council. 

Article 84 

It shall be the duty of the administering authority to ensure 
that the trust territory shall play its part in the maintenance of 
international peace and security. To this end the administer¬ 
ing authority may make use of volunteer forces, facilities 
and assistance from the trust territory in carrying out the 
obligations towards the Security Council undertaken in this 
regard by the administering authority, as well as for local 
defence and the maintenance of law and order within the 
trust territory. 

Reversal of the League precedent. Under Article 22 of the Covenant, 
the Mandatory Powers, in the case of the African and South 
Pacific Mandates, were not allowed to establish fortifications or 
military and naval bases ; and the military training of natives 
was only permissible for police purposes and the local defence 
of the mandated territory. These restrictions aimed at safeguard¬ 
ing native populations from the risk of becoming involved in the 
wars of the Mandatory Power. 

The Charter reverses the principle. The Administering Authority 
is not only allowed, but under a positive duty, to ensure that the 
trust territory should play its part in the system of collective 
security. There is no restriction on the construction of fortifi¬ 
cations or military, naval and air bases. The protection of the 
natives is whittled down to a prohibition of their conscription 
into armed forces. Voluntary forces may be used not only for 
police duties and local defence, but also in the discharge of any 



INTERNATIONAL TRUSTEESHIP SYSTEM 157 

military obligations the Administering Authority may assume in 
special agreements with the Security Council under Article 43. 

Article 85 

1. The functions of the United Nations with regard to 
trusteeship agreements for all areas not designated as strategic, 
including the approval of the terms of the trusteeship agree¬ 
ments and of their alteration or amendment, shall be exercised 
by the General Assembly. 

2. The Trusteeship Council, operating under the authority 
of the General Assembly, shall assist the General Assembly 
in carrying out these functions. 

The position of the General Assembly. Under the Covenant, the 
supervision of the system of Mandates was the responsibility 
of the Council of the League, assisted by the Permanent Mandates 
Commission. The League Assembly could only discuss the Report 
of the Council. 

The Charter reverses this position and — with the exception 
of strategic areas — entrusts to the Assembly the primary responsi¬ 
bility for the discharge of the Organization’s functions relating 
to the trusteeship system. 

The position of the Trusteeship Council. Although this Article is 
similar in structure to Article 60, it is noteworthy that, while in 
the case of the economic and social functions of the United Nations 
concurrent responsibility is vested in the Assembly and the 
Economic and Social Council, the present Article states not only 
that the Trusteeship Council will operate “ under the authority ” 
of the Assembly, but also that its functions will be in the nature 
of “ assistance ”. In connection with Article 60 we noted that, 
notwithstanding the subordination of the Economic and Social 
Council to the Assembly, the initiative has in fact passed to the 
former. It is too early to say whether similar developments can 
be expected in the field of trusteeship. 

Termination and transfer of trusteeship. The provision of this 
Article making the terms of trusteeship agreements and their 
alteration and amendment subject to the approval of the General 
Assembly requires no comment. But neither this Article nor any 
other provision of the Charter answers the question whether the 
General Assembly has power (1) to terminate a trusteeship on 
the grounds that the territory is ripe for independence ; or (2) 



158 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


without terminating the trusteeship, to bring to an end the trust 
of the Administering Authority originally appointed, e.g. on the 
grounds that the State concerned has ceased to be a Member, or 
has been suspended from membership under Article 5, or has 
violated the terms of the trusteeship agreement. 1 


1 These questions were raised at San Francisco, but not disposed of. It was felt that 
the termination of trusteeship could be left to individual agreements if and when the case 
arose. On the question of withdrawal, the delegations of the United States and Great 
Britain made a formal statement expressing the view that, if the Administering Authority 
withdrew from the United Nations for reasons which " reflected no discredit ” upon the 
State concerned, there was no reason why it should not continue as Administering 
Authority. If, however, it withdrew for other reasons or was expelled, “ the resulting 
situation could only be judged by the General Assembly and the Security Council on its 
merits, in the light of all the circumstances prevailing at the time ”. 



CHAPTER XIII 


THE TRUSTEESHIP COUNCIL 
Composition 

Article 86 

1. The Trusteeship Council shall consist of the following 
Members of the United Nations :— 

(a) those Members administering trust territories ; 

(b) such of those Members mentioned by name in Article 23 
as are not administering trust territories ; and 

(c) as many other Members elected for three-year terms by 
the General Assembly as may be necessary to ensure that 
the total number of members of the Trusteeship Council 
is equally divided between those Members of the United 
Nations which administer trust territories and those which 
do not. 

2. Each member of the Trusteeship Council shall designate 
one specially qualified person to represent it therein. 

Composition. The principles on which the Trusteeship Council 
is organized differ radically from those which determined the 
composition of the Permanent Mandates Commission of the 
League : 

(a) The Members of the Council are representatives of Govern¬ 
ments. The members of the Commission were experts, appointed by 
the Council of the League on account of their special knowledge. 

The expert character of the Council should be safeguarded by 
the second paragraph of the Article ; but within the range of 
“ specially qualified persons ”, the choice of each Government 
is free. 

(b) The total number of Members of the Council is to be divided 
equally between States which administer trust territories and 
those which do not. 1 In the Commission, the majority of members 

1 On January 1, 1949, the Council was composed as follows : 

Members holding office under Article 86(1 a) : 

Australia, Belgium, France, New Zealand, U.K., U.S.A. 

Members holding office under Article 86(16) : 

China and the Soviet Union. 

Members holding office under Article 86(1 c) : 

Costa Rica, Iraq, Mexico and the Philippines. 

The Soviet Union did not takes its seat until the third part of the second session (April 
1948). 


159 



160 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


were nationals of States which did not hold a mandate ; each of 
the Mandatory Powers was represented by a member, but these 
representatives also had to be approved by the Council. 

(c) Each of the permanent members of the Security Council is 
entitled to a seat on the Trusteeship Council. As a result, the 
five Great Powers and any other Members administering trust 
territories are assured of permanent representation, while all 
other members of the Council are elected by the Assembly for 
three-year terms. 

It follows from these arrangements that the number of members 
is variable, since any addition to the number of States adminis¬ 
tering trust territories necessitates an addition to the number of 
elected members. 1 

Functions and Powers 

Article 87 

The General Assembly and, under its authority, the Trustee¬ 
ship Council, in carrying out their functions, may :— 

(a) consider reports submitted by the administering authority ; 

(b) accept petitions and examine them in consultation with 
the administering authority. ; 

(c) provide for periodic visits to the respective trust territories 
at times agreed upon with the administering authority ; 
and 

(d) take these and other actions in conformity with the terms 
of the trusteeship agreements. 

The powers granted by this Article in general terms are regu¬ 
lated in full detail by the Trusteeship Council’s Rules of Pro¬ 
cedure. The most important provisions are as follows : 

Reports. Each Administering Authority must submit an Annual 
Report on the basis of a questionnaire (Article 88) formulated 
by the Council. When the Council examines the Report, a special 
representative of the Administering Authority may participate, 
without vote, in the discussion, without prejudice to the voting 
rights of the Administering Authority’s regular representative 
on the Council. 

Petitions. Petitioners may be inhabitants of Trust Territories or 
other parties. Petitions, apart from exceptional cases, must be 

1 When the trusteeship agreement for the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands came 
into force on July 18,1947, and the U.S.A. (a permanent member of the Security Council) 
became one of the States administering trust territories, it was necessary to elect two 
additional members to the Trusteeship Council. 



THE TRUSTEESHIP COUNCIL 


161 


presented in writing ; the Council may subsequently direct an 
oral examination. Petitions directed against judgements of 
competent courts of the Administering Authority, or concerning 
disputes with which the courts have competence to deal, are, as a 
rule, inadmissible. All petitions are communicated to the Ad¬ 
ministering Authority which is entitled to make written or oral 
observations. 1 

Visits. The Charter does not make it a duty of the Trusteeship 
Council to arrange for periodic visits but the Rules of Pro¬ 
cedure have transformed the permissive into a mandatory pro¬ 
vision 2 * ; and it has been agreed that each trust territory should 
be visited at least once in three years. “ Surprise visits ” are not 
possible, as the Charter provides that the time of each visit must 
be agreed upon with the Administering Authority. 

Several visits to trust territories have already been arranged, 
notably to Western Samoa 1 and to East Africa. 4 

Article 88 

The Trusteeship Council shall formulate a questionnaire on 
the political, economic, social, and educational advancement of 
the inhabitants of each trust territory, and the administering 
authority for each trust territory within the competence of the 
General Assembly shall make an annual report to the General 
Assembly upon the basis of such questionnaire. 

The Council is free to formulate a different questionnaire for 
each territory, but in practice it has made every effort to work 
out a “ model questionnaire ”, designed to introduce a degree of 
uniformity and comparability into the Annual Reports, of which 
it is to form a basis. 

A provisional Questionnaire was approved at the first session 
of the Council. The questionnaire is subdivided into sections dealing 
with the general status of the territory and its inhabitants ; 

1 The Council had before it at its second session 43 petitions, all of which had 
been addressed to the Secretary-General directly. At its third session, the Council 
had before it 13 petitions, two of which had been presented to the Administering Auth¬ 
ority concerned for transmission to the Organization. 

9 The Permanent Mandates Commission repeatedly proposed to visit mandated 
territories, but its proposals were invariably rejected by the Council of the League which 
preferred, in suitable cases, to send special missions of its own. 

8 As a result of the visit to Western Samoa (July-August 1947), the Administering 
Authority (New Zealand) introduced radical reforms to secure more rapid progress with 
self-governing institutions. 

4 Tanganyika and Ruanda-Urundi (July-August 1948). In its Report, the Mission 
stressed particularly the need for quicker political evolution and the reorganization of 
educational services. 



162 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


questions of peace and security ; maintenance of law and order ; 
political, economic, social and educational advancement; publi¬ 
cations and research ; suggestions, recommendations and con¬ 
clusions. 

Voting 

Article 89 

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

2. Decisions of the Trusteeship Council shall be made by a 
majority of the members present and voting. 

This Article is self-explanatory. 

Procedure 

Article 90 

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

2. The Trusteeship Council shall meet as required in accord¬ 
ance with its rules, which shall include provision for the 
convening of meetings on the request of a majority of its 
members. 

The Rules of Procedure adopted on April 23, 1947, provide 
for two regular sessions each year. Special sessions must be held 
at the request of the majority of the members of the Council, 
or at the request of the Security Council. 

The Council elects a President and a Vice-President for each 
year. Meetings are, in principle, public ; but the Council and its 
subsidiary bodies may decide that particular meetings shall be 
held in private. 

For the procedure relating to reports, petitions and visits, see 
comment on Article 87. 


Article 91 

The Trusteeship Council shall, when appropriate, avail itself 
of the assistance of the Economic and Social Council and of 
the specialized agencies in regard to matters with which they 
are respectively concerned. 

In practice, the representatives of the Economic and Social 
Council and of certain specialized agencies (particularly ILO, FAO 
and UNESCO), regularly attend the meetings of the Council. 



CHAPTER XIV 


THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE 
Article 92 

The International Court of Justice shall be the principal 
judicial organ of the United Nations. It shall function in 
accordance with the annexed Statute, which is based upon the 
Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice and 
forms an integral part of the present Charter. 

The Court as an organ of the United Nations. The International 
Court is not a new institution. Under the name of the “ Per¬ 
manent Court of International Justice ”, it had been functioning 
at the Hague throughout the inter-war period and in close relation 
with the League. The Permanent Court was not, however, an 
organ of the League. Its Statute did not form an integral part of 
the Covenant, and Members of the League were not ipso facto 
parties to the Statute. That position is now changed. The Court, 
under the new name of “ International Court of Justice ”, has 
become a principal organ of the United Nations ; its Statute 
forms an integral part of the Charter, and membership of the 
United Nations involves automatic adherence to the Statute of 
the Court. 

Apart from this structural change, which lays a timely stress 
on the organic connection between rule of law and political order, 
the new Court is to all intents and purposes a continuation of the 
old. Its Statute follows closely that of the Permanent Court. The 
principles of its jurisdiction and procedure are unchanged, and 
even the seat at The Hague has been kept. 

The Court is the “ principal ” judicial organ of the United 
Nations, but not necessarily the only one. The Organization is 
free to set up subsidiary judicial organs 1 ; and the jurisdiction, 
by virtue of existing or future treaties, of other international 
tribunals remains unaffected (Article 95). 

No compulsory jurisdiction. In a more perfect international order 
it would be obligatory for all States to refer to judicial tribunals 

1 E.g. the proposed International Court of Human Rights. 


163 



164 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

all “ justiciable ” disputes, i.e. all those conflicts which revolve 
round legal, and not political, questions. Neither the system of 
the League nor that of the United Nations has reached that degree 
of perfection. Both were born in an atmosphere of tension and 
distrust, in which the constituent States were reluctant to give 
up their freedom of choice between the several methods (e.g. 
diplomatic negotiation, arbitration and judicial settlement) which 
are applicable to legal disputes. As a result, the reference of legal 
disputes to the International Court is optional. Members of the 
United Nations do not, by the mere fact of ratifying the Charter, 
undertake to submit to the Court all their legal disputes. They 
can do so by agreement ad hoc, 1 or by entering into treaties 
which provide that all legal disputes arising under them shall 
be referred to the International Court, 2 or by making a declara¬ 
tion under Article 36(2) of the Statute, known as the “ optional 
clause ”. Such declaration may be made unconditionally, or on 
condition of reciprocity on the part of several or certain States, 
or for a certain time and subject to specific reservations. It has 
the effect of recognizing as compulsory (ipso facto and without 
special agreement, but only in relation to other States accepting 
the same obligation) the jurisdiction of the Court in all legal 
disputes concerning (a) the interpretation of a treaty ; (b) any 
question of international law ; (c) the existence of any fact which, 
if established, would constitute a breach of an international 
obligation ; and (d) the nature or extent of the reparation to be 
made for the breach of an international obligation. 3 
The law applied by the Court. If the parties agree, the Court has 
power to decide a case ex aequo et bono. But failing such agree¬ 
ment the Court must decide according to international law, i.e. 
on the basis of (a) international conventions establishing rules 
expressly recognized by the contesting States ; (b) international 
custom ; (c) the general principles of law recognized by civilized 
nations ; and (d) judicial decisions and the teachings of the most 
highly qualified publicists of the various nations, as subsidiary 

1 A special agreement of this kind was made in March 1948 between the United King¬ 
dom and Albania for the submission to the Court of the Corfu Channel Case . 

3 E.g. the Trusteeship Agreements approved by the General Assembly on December 13, 
1946; and the Treaty of Brussels (March 17, 1948) between Belgium, France, Luxem¬ 
bourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The constitutions of several 
international organizations (ILO, UNESCO, FAO and ICAO) also contain articles 
providing for the compulsory reference to the Court of disputes relating to the inter¬ 
pretation (or to the interpretation and application) of the constitution. 

* Up to June 30, 1948, declarations under Article 36 of the Statute were made by 
fifteen Member States ; and seventeen more Members remained bound by similar 
declarations made under the Statute of the Permanent Court. 



THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE 165 

means for the determination of rules of law. ( Statute , Article 38). 

The Court is not bound by its own precedents. Its decisions 
are final and without appeal, but have no binding force except 
between the parties and in respect of that particular case ( Statute , 
Articles 59-60). 

Composition of the Court. The Court consists of 15 judges, no 
two of whom may be nationals of the same State. They are 
elected by the General Assembly and the Security Council, each 
of these bodies proceeding independently of the other. An abso¬ 
lute majority of votes is sufficient ; the permanent members of 
the Security Council have no veto. The judges are elected for nine 
years and may be re-elected. 1 

The Court is permanently in session except during the judicial 
vacations. {Statute, Article 23). 

Independence of the judges. This is safeguarded as follows : 

(1) No judge may exercise any political or administrative function 
or engage in any other occupation of a professional nature. 
{Statute, Article 16). 

(2) No judge can be dismissed by any outside authority ; he can 
be dismissed only by the unanimous vote of all the other judges 
on the grounds that he has ceased to fulfil the required conditions 
of his office. {Statute, Article 18). 

(3) When engaged on the business of the Court, all judges enjoy 
diplomatic privileges and immunities. {Statute, Article 19). 

On the other hand, judges of the nationality of each of the 
parties retain their right to sit in the case before the Court. More¬ 
over, if the Court includes no judge of the nationality of the 
parties, each of these parties may proceed to choose a person to 
sit as judge. {Statute, Article 31). 

Parties. Only States may be parties in cases before the Court. 
The access to the Court of organs of the United Nations and of 
specialized agencies is confined to requests for advisory opinions. 2 3 

Article 93 

1. All Members of the United Nations are, ipso facto, parties 
to the Statute of the International Court of Justice. 

2. A State which is not a Member of the United Nations 
may become a party to the Statute of the International Court 

1 However, of the judges elected at the first election, the terms of five judges expired 
at the end of three years, and the terms of five more expire at the end of six years. ( Statute , 

Article 13). 

3 See Article 96 and comment. 



166 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


of Justice on conditions to be determined in each case by the 
General Assembly, upon the recommendation of the Security 
Council. 

Automatic adherence to the Statute. Under the Covenant it was 
possible for a State to become a Member of the League without 
becoming a party to the Statute of the Permanent Court. No such 
situation can arise in the United Nations. The Statute of the Court 
is now an integral part of the Charter and requires no separate 
ratification by Members. 

The position of non-members. We have to distinguish between 
two groups of cases : 

(1) States may wish to become parties to the Statute of the Court, 
but not to join the United Nations. In such cases, it is for the 
General Assembly to determine the conditions of admission. 1 
A simple majority vote is sufficient, but the Assembly cannot 
approve an application without a positive recommendation from 
the Security Council. The vote of the Council is governed by 
Article 27(3). 

Conditions of admission laid down in one case constitute no 
binding precedent for other cases. 2 

(2) It may happen that States which are not Members of the United 
Nations will wish to make use of the facilities of the Court without 
becoming parties to the Statute as a whole. Under Article 35 
of the Statute, the Court is, in principle, open to such States, but 
only on conditions laid down by the Security Council. These 
conditions must take account of the provisions of any treaties 
that may apply to the particular case, but in no case must they 
have the effect of placing the parties in a position of inequality 
before the Court. 


Article 94 

1. Each Member of the United Nations undertakes to comply 
with the decision of the International Court of Justice in any 
case to which it is a party. 


1 Including, if required, rules for the participation of the State concerned in the 
election of the judges. 

2 In the case of Switzerland (which was admitted to the Statute of the Court by 
Assembly Resolution of December 11,1946) the conditions were as follows : (a) acceptance 
of the provisions of the Statute of the Court, (6) acceptance of all obligations of a Member 
of the United Nations under Article 94 of the Charter, and (c) an undertaking to contri¬ 
bute to the expenses of the Court such equitable amount as the General Assembly will 
assess from time to time after consultation with the Swiss Government. 



THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE 167 

2. If any party to a case fails to perform the obligations in¬ 
cumbent upon it under a judgement rendered by the Court, the 
other party may have recourse to the Security Council, which 
may, if it deems necessary, make recommendations or decide 
upon measures to be taken to give effect to the judgement. 

Obligation to comply with decisions. Since the jurisdiction of inter¬ 
national tribunals is derived invariably from the voluntary sub¬ 
mission of the parties (in the form of treaties, declarations or 
agreements ad hoc), it would be incompatible with the good morals 
of the international community if a party were allowed to go back 
on its submission when the decision turns out to be disappointing. 
This is the moral justification for the universally admitted principle 
of international law that the decisions of international tribunals 
are binding upon the parties. 

If nothing more had been intended than to affirm a general prin¬ 
ciple of law, the first paragraph of this Article would be super¬ 
fluous. The better interpretation seems to be that, if any Member 
of the United Nations fails to comply with a decision of the Inter¬ 
national Court of Justice, it infringes not only a general principle 
of law but also a specific obligation under the Charter. The 
faithful performance of all these obligations is one of the funda¬ 
mental Principles, (Article 2(2)) and as such is protected by the 
rule in Article 6 whereby Members persistently violating the 
Principles of the Charter may be expelled from the Organization. 
Functions of the Security Council. In no single case decided since 
1920 has any party disobeyed a judgement of the Hague Court. 
It remains none the less true that, if disobedience occurred at 
any future date, the Court as such would have no physical means 
of enforcement. Under the present Article, the Security Council 
is empowered to take such measures as may be necessary to obtain 
satisfaction of the Court’s judgements. Two points must be 
noted. First, the Council can enforce a judgement not only against 
Members of the United Nations, but also against non-members, 
provided considerations of peace and security are involved. To 
that extent the present Article is a specific application of the rule 
in Article 2(6). Secondly, application for enforcement must be 
made by the aggrieved party and not by the Court itself. The 
Charter does not constitute the Council an automatically function¬ 
ing enforcement agency of the Court, like sheriffs in the national 
systems of judicial administration. 

It is within the discretion of the Council to decide whether or 
not enforcement action, or at least a recommendation, is necessary. 



168 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

It has been suggested that the Council can only take action in 
the conditions of Article 39, i.e. when the situation arising from 
non-compliance with a judgement amounts in itself to a threat 
to peace. With that interpretation the present writers are unable 
to agree. If that had been the intent of the Charter, the second 
paragraph of the present Article could have been dispensed with, 
or would have had to include an express reference to Article 39. 
The proper interpretation seems to be that the powers of the 
Council under this Article are additional to the powers conferred 
in Chapter VII ; they are a specific application of the Council’s 
general powers under Article 24. The Council is free to decide 
that disobedience to a judgement of the Court is a threat to the 
international order which underlies the system of collective 
security, and that there is a case for enforcing judgements even 
in the absence of an actual threat to peace. 

Article 95 

Nothing in the present Charter shall prevent Members of 
the United Nations from entrusting the solution of their 
differences to other tribunals by virtue of agreements already 
in existence or which may be concluded in the future. 

This is a re-affirmation of the principle that the International 
Court of Justice has no monopoly in the settlement of legal 
disputes, and that Members of the Organization remain free to 
refer such disputes to other tribunals by treaty or ad hoc agree¬ 
ment. 


Article 96 

1. The General Assembly or the Security Council may request 
the International Court of Justice to give an advisory opinion 
on any legal question. 

2. Other organs of the United Nations and specialized 
agencies, which may at any time be so authorized by the 
General Assembly, may also request advisory opinions of the 
Court on legal questions arising within the scope of their 
activities. 

Advisory opinions. Judgement is not the only way in which the 
International Court can record its view of controversial issues. 
A judgment can only be given at the instance of States which 
have formulated definite claims, and, possibly, counter-claims. 



THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE 


169 


against each other. When a legal issue has not yet crystallized 
into inter-State claims, the Court can only deliver an opinion. 
This opinion is of an advisory nature, in contrast to judgements 
which finally dispose of the issue. 

Who can ask for advisory opinions ? To States as such the Court 
cannot give advisory opinions. Only organs of the United Nations 
and specialized agencies acting under its authority can make a 
request for them. 

In the case of the General Assembly and the Security Council, 
this privilege is absolute ; they can ask for an advisory opinion 
at any time and on any legal question whatsoever. 1 Other organs 
and the specialized agencies must first obtain express authority 
from the General Assembly, and can only ask for advisory 
opinions on legal questions arising within the scope of their 
activities. It is now firmly established that the General Assembly 
may give this authority generally, and dispense with applications 
relating to individual cases. Such general authority has already 
been given to the Economic and Social Council (Assembly 
Resolution of December 11,1946) and to the Trusteeship Council, 
(Assemby Resolution of November 14, 1947). General authority 
has also been granted, by agreements concluded under Article 63, 
to the specialized agencies brought into relationship with the 
United Nations, but this authority does not cover questions con¬ 
cerning the mutual relationships of the agency and the United 
Nations or other specialized agencies. 

Procedure. A request for an advisory opinion must be accom¬ 
panied by all documents likely to throw light upon the question. 
All States which as parties to the Statute, or under special agree¬ 
ments, are entitled to “ appear before the Court ”, and such 
international organizations as the Court considers likely to be 
able to furnish information on the question, may submit written 
or oral statements. The advisory opinion is delivered in open 
court. (Statute, Chapter IV). 

Use of advisory opinions. The purpose of advisory opinions is to 
offer authoritative guidance to organs of the United Nations and 
to specialized agencies on legal questions arising in the course of 


1 Sce Assembly Resolution of December 3, 1948, requesting an advisory opinion on 
certain general points of law arising from the assassination of the United Nations mediator 
in Palestine, Count Folke Bemadotte, and notably on the question whether, in the event 
of an agent of the United Nations suffering injury in the performance of his duties, the 
Organization as such had the capacity to bring a claim against the Government whose 
responsibility was involved for the damage caused (a) to the United Nations, ( b ) to the 
victim or to the persons entitled through him. 



170 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

their activities. Recommendations and decisions passed on the 
basis of advisory opinions have the full authority of the Court 
behind them; and during the League regime recommendations 
and decisions of this kind were never challenged on legal grounds. 
Owing to the unfortunate refusal of the San Francisco Conference 
to make the Court the final arbiter of controversial interpretations 
of the Charter it is by no means certain that the United Nations 
will have the same experience. 



CHAPTER XV 


THE SECRETARIAT 
Article 97 

The Secretariat shall comprise a Secretary-General and such 
staff as the Organization may require. The Secretary-General 
shall be appointed by the General Assembly upon the recom¬ 
mendation of the Security Council. He shall be the chief ad¬ 
ministrative officer of the Organization. 

Organization of the Secretariat. The Secretariat which, under 
Article 7, is a principal organ of the United Nations, comprises 
two elements : (1) a Secretary-General, whose functions are 
defined by the Charter and whose appointment requires the con¬ 
currence of the General Assembly and the Security Council ; 
and (2) the staff of the Secretariat, whose functions the Charter 
does not set out in detail, and who are appointed by the Secretary- 
General under regulations established by the General Assembly 
(Article 101(1)). The Secretary-General is the chief administrative 
officer of the Organization ; and, according to the Charter, it is 
for him to determine (subject only to the requirements set out in 
Article 101(2)) how the Secretariat shall be organized. In effect 
the structure of the Secretariat was laid down by the Assembly 
itself (Resolution of February 13, 1946). 

Appointment of Secretary-General. The appointment is made by 
the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security 
Council. The recommendation is substantive and requires the 
concurrence of all permanent members of the Council. The 
General Assembly decides by the simple majority of those present 
and voting; for, paradoxically, the appointment of the Secretary- 
General is not included among the “ important questions ” 
listed in Article 18(2). The General Assembly is not bound by 
the Council’s recommendation. If the Recommendation is re¬ 
jected, the Assembly must wait for a fresh recommendation ; 
it cannot act on its own. 

No fixed term of office is prescribed by the Charter. It is to be 
determined by the Council and the Assembly, whenever a fresh 
appointment is made. 


171 



172 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


The first Secretary-General, Mr. Trygve Lie, was appointed by 
unanimous resolution of the Assembly on February 1, 1946 for 
five years, re-appointment being open at the end of that period 
for a further term of five years. In the same resolution the Assembly 
recorded its desire that, on the retirement of a Secretary-General, 
no Member should offer him at least, not immediately any such 
governmental position as might be a source of embarrassment to 
other Members, in view of the wealth of confidential information 
that Governments communicate to the chief administrative officer 
of the United Nations. 

The emoluments of the Secretary-General are at the discretion 
of the General Assembly, as part of its general budgetary powers 
(Article 17). 1 

Structure of the Secretariat. Under the organizational plan ap¬ 
proved by the General Assembly on February 13, 1946, the 
Secretariat is divided into eight principal units (not counting the 
Executive Office of the Secretary-General) which are as follows : 

(1) Department of Security Council Affairs, 

(2) Department of Economic Affairs, 

(3) Department of Social Affairs, 

(4) Department of Trusteeship and Information from Non- 
Self-Governing Territories, 

(5) Department of Public Information, 

(6) Legal Department, 

(7) Conference and General Services, 

(8) Administrative and Financial Services. 

An Assistant Secretary-General is at the head of each Depart¬ 
ment ; and each Department is subdivided into Divisions (or 
groups) and Sections. 2 3 


Article 98 

The Secretary-General shall act in that capacity in all meetings 
of the General Assembly, of the Security Council, of the 
Economic and Social Council, and of the Trusteeship Council, 
and shall perform such other functions as are entrusted to him 
by these organs. The Secretary-General shall make an annual 
report to the General Assembly on the work of the Organization. 


1 On the appointment of the first Secretary-General, the Assembly voted (in addition 

to the use of a furnished residence) a net salary of U.S. $20,000 per annum , and a repre¬ 
sentation allowance of equal amount. 

3 Excluding the International Court of Justice, the Budget Estimates for the financial 
year 1949 provided for a total of 3,738 established posts. 



THE SECRETARIAT 


173 


Delegation of functions. Although the Charter does not say so, 
in practice all functions entrusted to the Secretary-General under 
this Article may be delegated by him to members of his staff. 
Meetings of principal organs. The Secretary-General (or his 
deputy) must be present at all meetings of the General Assembly 
and the three Councils ; this duty does not extend to sittings of 
the International Court of Justice. 

Annual Report. The Annual Report of the Secretary-General 
covers the whole field of the Organization’s activities, but its 
presentation does not discharge the obligation, prescribed in 
Article 15 for the Security Council and other organs, to submit 
separate reports of their own. In practice these reports are also 
prepared by the appropriate Divisions of the Secretariat. 

Article 99 

The Secretary-General may bring to the attention of the 
Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten 
the maintenance of international peace and security. 

Political functions of Secretary-General. In the League, the func¬ 
tions of the Secretary-General were, in theory at least, purely 
administrative. The Charter invests him with the additional power 
to bring to the attention of the Security Council matters which 
may threaten international peace and security — a privilege 
otherwise only granted to Governments (Article 35). Under the 
present Article the Secretary-General has access only to the 
Security Council, and not, as Governments have under Article 
35, to the General Assembly also ; and he is not entitled to call 
the attention of the Council to infringements of the Charter which 
fall short of a threat to the peace. 

The formulation of the Article is permissive. It is for the 
Secretary-General to determine at his discretion which is a proper 
case for the use of his exceptional powers under this Article. 

Article 100 

1. In the performance of their duties the Secretary-General 
and the staff shall not seek or receive instructions from any 
Government or from any other authority external to the 
Organization. They shall refrain from any action which might 
reflect on their position as international officials responsible 
only to the Organization. 



174 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

2. Each Member of the United Nations undertakes to respect 
the exclusively international character of the responsibilities 
of the Secretary-General and the staff and not to seek to 
influence them in the discharge of their responsibilities. 

An International Civil Service. The difficulty which this Article 
seeks to solve arises because, while acting as international civil 
servants, the Secretary-General and his staff remain citizens of 
national States. The solution is found partly in the privileges and 
immunities prescribed in Article 105(2), and partly in the liabilities 
imposed by the present Article (1) upon the Secretary-General 
and his staff, and (2) on Member Governments. 

The position of the Secretariat. The Secretary-General and the 
staff must not seek or accept instructions from any Government 
or external authority. During their term of office their loyalty 
must be exclusively to the Organization. In fact, the Staff Regu¬ 
lations made under Article 101 require that, upon accepting their 
appointment, all members of the staff shall subscribe to an oath 
or declaration 1 in which they pledge themselves to discharge 
their functions and regulate their conduct “ with the interests of 
the United Nations only in view ”. 

The prohibition of seeking or receiving instructions is not 
intended to isolate members of the Secretariat from all contact 
with their respective Governments ; the experience of the League 
has shown that personal liaison can be of great benefit to the 
Organization. 

The prohibition of “ action which might reflect on their position 
as international officials ” is rather vague in the Charter, but it 
has been elaborated in the Staff Regulations. These provide that 
any member of the staff who becomes a candidate for a public 
office of a political character must resign from the Secretariat. 
In border-line cases it is for the Secretary-General to decide 
whether the proposed office or occupation is incompatible. 
Members of the staff may not accept any honour, decoration, 
favour, gift or fee (except for war services) from any Government 
or from any external authority ; and must also avoid any kind of 
public pronouncement which may “adversely reflect on their 
international position ”. 

The position of Governments. The restraints imposed upon Member 
Governments in the second paragraph of this Article are comple¬ 
mentary to the injunction addressed to the staff. No attempt has 

1 In the case of the Secretary-General and the Assistant Secretary-General the oath 
or declaration is made orally at a public meeting of the General Assembly. 



THE SECRETARIAT 


175 


been made, either in the Staff Regulations or in the General 
Convention on Privileges and Immunities giving effect to Article 
105, to define what is meant by “ seeking to influence ” members 
of the Secretariat. It would be clearly improper for any Govern¬ 
ment, directly or indirectly, to penalize a member of the Secretariat 
for any action or pronouncement which, but for his or her em¬ 
ployment in the service of the United Nations, would be treason¬ 
able, disloyal, or in any other way contrary to the laws or in¬ 
terests of the State concerned. Members of the staff must be 
entirely free to discharge their duties to the United Nations, 
even where those duties might involve the planning or en¬ 
forcement of sanctions against their own countries. 

Article 101 

1. The staff shall be appointed by the Secretary-General under 
regulations established by the General Assembly. 

2. Appropriate staffs shall be permenently assigned to the 
Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, and, 
as required to other organs of the United Nations. These staffs 
shall form part of the Secretariat. 

3. The paramount consideration in the employment of the 
staff and in the determination of the conditions of service shall 
be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, 
competence and integrity. Due regard shall be paid to the 
importance of recruiting staff on as wide a geographical basis 
as possible. 

Staff Regulations. The fundamental rights and obligations of the 
staff were embodied by the Preparatory Commission in Provis¬ 
ional Staff Regulations, supplemented by Provisional Staff Rules 
dealing with questions of administrative detail. Both documents 
were approved by the General Assembly on February 13, 1946. 
The most important principles are as follows : 

(1) The privileges and immunities enjoyed by members of the 
staff are no excuse for the non-performance of private obligations, 
or for any failure to observe laws and police regulations. The 
Secretary-General may, at his discretion, waive them in any 
individual case. 

(2) Men and women are equally eligible for all posts, and, so far 
as practicable, appointments are made on a competitive basis. 

(3) The normal age of retirement is 60 years; this may, in excep¬ 
tional circumstances, be extended to 65 years. 



176 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

(4) Proper administrative machinery must be maintained for 
inquiry and appeal in disciplinary cases and the termination of 
appointments; the staff is entitled to participation in that 
machinery. 

In principle, the salaries of United Nations staff are exempt 
from national taxation ; pending the ratification of the General 
Convention on Privileges and Immunities (Article 105) and in 
view of the reservations already made by certain States, the 
Secretary-General has authority (Assembly Resolution of Feb¬ 
ruary 13, 1946) to reimburse staff members who are required to 
pay taxes on their salaries and wages. 

Assignment of staffs to Councils and other organs. See comment 
on Article 97 (Structure of the Secretariat). 

Recruitment. The Charter records the desire that staff shall be 
recruited on as wide a geographical basis as possible. Without 
prejudice to the ultimate discretion of the Secretary-General, 
recruitment is confined to the nationals of Members, and care is 
taken that in this way each Member State shall have a fair share 
of posts in the Secretariat. For the purpose of advising the 
Secretary-General on methods of recruitment and staff adminis¬ 
tration an International Civil Service Advisory Board was 
appointed in 1948. 



CHAPTER XVI 


MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS 
Article 102 

1. Every treaty and every international agreement entered 
into by any Member of the United Nations after the present 
Charter comes into force shall as soon as possible be registered 
with the Secretariat and published by it. 

2. No party to any such treaty or international agreement 
which has not been registered in accordance with the provisions 
of paragraph 1 of this Article may invoke that treaty or agree¬ 
ment before any organ of the United Nations. 

Purpose. In President Wilson’s conception one of the principal 
purposes of the League was to abolish secret diplomacy. This 
idea was expressed in Article 18 of the Covenant, which provided 
for the registration with the Secretariat and the publication by 
it 1 of every treaty or international engagement entered into by 
Members of the League. No treaty or engagement was to be bind¬ 
ing until it was registered. 

The Charter follows the general pattern of the provisions in 
the Covenant. There are, however, important differences of 
detail both in principle and procedure. The procedure is laid down 
in a set of “ Regulations for the Registration and Publication 
of Treaties and International Agreements ” approved by the 
General Assembly on December 14, 1946. 

The generality of the obligation. The Article employs the compre¬ 
hensive term “ every treaty and every international agreement ”, 
which covers every type of undertaking whatever its form, pro¬ 
vided the parties intend to enter into a legal, as distinct from a 
purely moral or political, obligation. 

Even unilateral engagements by one State in favour of another 
State seem to be included 2 ; and no exception is granted for agree¬ 
ments of minor importance or temporary effect. 

Military agreements and arrangements need not be registered 
if they are not intended to create legal obligations ; but the 
“ special agreements ” between Members and the Security Council 

1 The Treaty Series published by the Secretariat ran into 204 volumes and included 
a total of 4,822 documents. 

9 In such cases, however, the obligation to register does not arise until the State in 
whose favour the engagement is made has formally accepted it. 


177 



178 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

contemplated by Article 43 are obviously meant to be legally 
binding, and will have to be registered ex officio. 1 
The position of non-members. Agreements between Members and 
non-members must be registered and published. Agreements 
between non-members cannot be registered, but upon the request 
of any non-member State 2 will be “ filed and recorded ” by the 
Secretariat and published in the United Nations “ Treaty 
Series 

Agreements prior to October 24 1945. There is no obligation to 
register agreements entered into before the Charter came into 
force ; but on February 10, 1946, the General Assembly invited 
all Members to submit, for “ filing and publication ”, agree¬ 
ments entered into “ in recent years ” which had not been in¬ 
cluded in the “ Treaty Series ” of the League. 

Procedure. (1) Treaties and agreements must be submitted for 
registration “ as soon as possible ” after they have come into force 
(Regulations, Article 1(2)). 

(2) Each party is individually responsible for registration, but 
the discharge of this obligation by one party releases all other 
parties. Where the Organization itself is a party (e.g. under 
Article 43) registration takes place ex officio. 

(3) The Secretariat publishes every month a “ Statement ” of the 
dates and titles of treaties and international agreements registered, 
or filed and recorded, during the preceding month. Thereafter 
the full text of the document, in the original language or languages 
followed by a translation in English and French, is published in 
the “Treaty Series”. 

Effects of non-registration. (1) Failure to register a treaty or inter¬ 
national agreement made after October 24, 1945, is a breach of 
the Charter. Persistent failure may be construed as an offence 
against Article 2(2) and, theoretically, may entail expulsion, 
under Article 6. 

(2) Under the Covenant no treaty or international agreement 
was binding until it was registered. The Charter operates with a 
milder sanction. Non-registration does not affect the validity 
of the agreement or its enforceability before tribunals other than 
the International Court of Justice ; but no Member State which 
is a party to the agreement may invoke it before any organ of 
the United Nations. This disability does not, however, extend 

1 Regulations, Article 4. 

2 Except Spain, wbo has been excluded from this privilege by Assembly Resolution 
of February 10, 1946, 



MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS 


179 


to Member States which were not parties to the agreement and 
had no obligation to register 1 it. 

Finally, it seems that no organ of the United Nations is pre¬ 
vented from taking official cognizance of an agreement by reason 
of its non-registration. Paragraph 2 of this Article is intended to 
inflict a penalty on offending Members, and not to restrict the 
Organization in the discharge of its functions. 

Article 103 

In the event of a conflict between the obligations of the 
Members of the United Nations under the present Charter 
and their obligations under any other international agreement, 
their obligations under the present Charter shall prevail. 

Purpose. This Article is designed to exclude the possibility of a 
Member State being impeded in carrying out its obligations or 
enforcing its rights ! under the Charter by conflicting obligations 
which it may have accepted under other international agreements. 
It must not happen, for instance, that, if and when the Security 
Council calls upon a Member to join in military sanctions against 
an aggressor, the Member should be able to plead that, under a 
separate agreement, he had pledged assistance or neutrality to the 
aggressor State. 

The Article applies equally to agreements between Members, 
and to agreements between Members and non-members. 
Agreements between Members. It is a general rule of international 
law that a later agreement supersedes all previous agreements 
concluded between the same parties and dealing with the same 
subject. As far as agreements made before the Charter are con¬ 
cerned, the Article adds nothing to the general rule. Indeed, it is 
less strict than was the League Covenant, which expressly abro¬ 
gated (Article 20) all previous obligations and understandings 
if they were inconsistent with its terms. The Charter does not 
abrogate any previous agreements ; it only says that if, in the 
execution of either the previous agreement or the Charter, a 
conflict should arise between the two sets of obligations, those 
laid down in the Charter must prevail. 

1 It would appear that non-member States which, as parties to the agreement, sub¬ 
mitted it for “ filing and recording ”, are not precluded from invoking the instrument 
before organs of the United Nation?. 

2 In 1947, Egypt contended before the Security Council that her 1936 Treaty with 
Great Britain, which provided for the stationing of British forces in Egypt, was contrary 
to the Charter’s fundamental principle (Article 2(1)) declaring the sovereign equality 
of all Members. 



180 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

Agreements made after the Charter are also covered by a general 
rule of international law. Parties to a multilateral agreement 
cannot accept obligations inconsistent with its terms except with 
the consent of all parties to the original agreement. Here again 
the Charter is less strict than Article 20 of the Covenant, by which 
the Members of the League gave a solemn undertaking not to 
enter into any engagements inconsistent with the terms of the 
Covenant. The present Article leaves the treaty-making power of 
Members intact. It is no breach of the Charter to enter into any 
international agreements the terms of which are inconsistent with 
the Charter. The test is not the conflict between terms, but the 
conflict which may arise in the particular circumstances of carry¬ 
ing them out. 

Agreements with non-members. Under the Covenant, the Members 
of the League had to take immediate steps to procure their release 
from any obligations which were inconsistent with its terms. 
There is no such duty under the Charter. Members are bound by 
their agreements with non-members, but the Charter gives them 
dispensation — and indeed, prohibits them — from carrying out 
those terms of such agreements which may involve a conflict 
with the Charter. All organs of the United Nations, including the 
International Court of Justice, are bound to give effect to that 
dispensation, but international tribunals operating outside the 
Organization (e.g. an arbitral tribunal set up under the agreement 
concerned) are not. The Charter is a “ higher law ” only for the 
Members and organs of the United Nations ; outsiders are under 
no legal obligation to accept it as such. 

Article 104 

The Organization shall enjoy in the territory of each of its 
Members such legal capacity as may be necessary for the 
exercise of its functions and the fulfilment of its purposes. 

Legal capacity. States are not bound by international law to 
recognize as a matter of course the legal personality of inter¬ 
national organizations — not even of those they have joined. 
Whether in the national territory an international organization 
has capacity to acquire property, make contracts and institute 
legal proceedings, depends on the national law. 

When a new international organization is formed, provision 
can be made in two ways for its legal capacity in the territory of 



MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS 


181 


Member States. One method is to embody specific arrangements 
in the constitution of the organization. In that case, each Member 
is obliged to take such steps (executive action or special legislation) 
as may, under its own constitution, be necessary to grant the 
organization legal personality. The other method — and this is 
adopted by the Charter — is to state the principle and leave it 
for independent national action, or for national action regulated 
by international conventions, to add the details. It will be noted 
that the principle stated in the Article does not claim for the 
United Nations “ full ” legal capacity, as is normally enjoyed by 
corporations formed in accordance with the national laws of a 
State, but a limited capacity — such as may be necessary for the 
exercise of the Organization’s functions and the fulfilment of its 
purposes. 

The General Convention. In connection with this Article, the 
Charter did not invite (as it did in Article 105(3) with reference 
to privileges and immunities) the General Assembly to propose a 
convention. The Preparatory Commission, however, took the 
view that the best way of giving effect to the Article would be to 
include suitable provisions in the convention envisaged by Article 
105. The “ Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the 
United Nations ” (the so-called General Convention) 1 approved 
by the General Assembly on February 13, 1946 disposes of the 
matter in its first Article. It recognizes, without qualification or 
reservation, the juridical personality of the United Nations and 
invests it with capacity (a) to contract ; (b) to acquire and dispose 
of immovable and movable property ; and (c) to institute legal 
proceedings. 2 

The Headquarters Convention. The status of the Organization 
required special regulation in the U.S.A., by reason of the fact 
that the permanent headquarters were to be established there. 
These regulations are embodied in the “ Agreement between the 
United Nations and the United States of America regarding the 
Headquarters of the United Nations ” which was signed by the 
Secretary-General of the Organization and the U.S. Secretary of 
State on June 26, 1947, and formally approved by the General 
Assembly on October 31, 1947. The Agreement has established a 

1 On the state of accessions, see comment on Article 105. 

9 According to an Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice, delivered in 
April 1949, following the assassination of Count Bernadotte in the event of an agent of the 
United Nations suffering injury in the performance of his duties, the Organization as such 
has capacity to bring a claim against the Government whose responsibility is involved for 
the damage caused to the United Nations and to the victim or to the persons entitled 
through him. 



182 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

special r6gime for a “ Headquarters District ” in the Borough of 
Manhattan, New York State. The Headquarters District is under 
the control and authority of the United Nations ; and the 
federal, state or local laws and regulations of the United States 
are only applicable so far as they are not inconsistent with regu¬ 
lations made by the Organization. The District is inviolable, and 
no United States personnel can enter to perform any official 
duties therein, except with the consent of the Secretary-General. 
The Organization may expel or exclude persons from the District. 
The United States must not impose any impediments (e.g. by 
the refusal of visas) to the transit to or from the District of per¬ 
sons travelling on United Nations business ; and the laws and 
regulations regarding the residence of aliens must not be applied 
in such manner as to interfere with persons who are staying in 
the District on such business. At the request of the Secretary- 
General, the American authorities must provide police for the 
preservation of law and order in the District, and for the removal 
of persons expelled or excluded by the United Nations. It is 
specifically prescribed that no form of racial or religious dis¬ 
crimination is permitted within the District. 

Article 105 

1. The Organization shall enjoy in the territory of each of 
its Members such privileges and immunities as are necessary 
for the fulfilment of its purposes. 

2. Representatives of the Members of the United Nations 
and officials of the Organization shall similarly enjoy such 
privileges and immunities as are necessary for the independent 
exercise of their functions in connection with the Organization. 

3. The General Assembly may make recommendations with 
a view to determining the details of the application of para¬ 
graphs 1 and 2 of this Article or may propose conventions to 
the Members of the United Nations for this purpose. 

The position of the Organization. Under the General Convention 1 
the United Nations, its property and assets enjoy immunity from 
every form of legal process, but the immunity can be waived. 
The premises of the Organization are inviolable ; so are its archives 
and documents. The Organization, its assets and income are 
exempt from all direct taxes, but not from charges for public 
utility services ; also from customs duties and from prohibitions 


1 See comment on Article 104. 



MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS 


183 


and restrictions on imports and exports in respect of articles 
needed for official use, and any publications. The official corres¬ 
pondence and communications of the Organization are absolutely 
exempt from censorship, and may be dispatched and received by 
courier or in sealed bags. 

The position of Members' representatives. Members of national 
delegations to the principal and subsidiary organs of the United 
Nations, and to conferences convened by it, enjoy immunity from 
personal arrest or detention ; from seizure of personal baggage ; 
from legal process of every kind in respect of words spoken or 
written and all acts done by them in their official capacity ; in¬ 
violability of all papers and documents ; the right to use codes and 
to receive papers or correspondence by courier or in sealed bags ; 
and generally, the privileges, immunities and facilities normally 
enjoyed by diplomatic envoys. 

The position of United Nations staff. These enjoy immunity 
from legal process in respect of words spoken or written and all 
acts performed in their official capacity ; exemption from taxation 
of their salaries and emoluments, but not necessarily in their 
country of origin if they continue to reside therein ; immunity 
from national service obligations ; and immigration and re¬ 
patriation facilities similar to those enjoyed by diplomatic envoys. 
Similar privileges and immunities are granted to experts not on 
the staff of the Organization who are performing missions for the 
United Nations. 

The Organization may issue to its officials a United Nations 
“ laissez passer ”, which Members recognize as a valid travel 
document. 

The position of specialized agencies. This is regulated by a separate 
Convention, approved by the General Assembly on November 21, 
1947. It is in two parts : 

(1) general provisions defining (on similar lines as the General 
Convention) the standard privileges and immunities applying to 
all specialized agencies ; and 

(2) annexes, each relating to one particular agency, making such 
additions and amendments to the standard clauses as the particu¬ 
lar functions of that agency require. 1 

1 Accessions. By June 30, 1948, only twenty-five Members had ratified the General 
Convention, and the General Assembly, on December 8, 1948, passed a resolution urging 
Governments to deposit their instruments of accession at the earliest possible moment. 

No accessions to the Convention on Specialized Agencies were registered before 
June 30, 1948, the reason being that its various annexes first required the approval, in 
accordance with their respective constitutional processes, of the specialized agencies 
themselves. 



CHAPTER XVII 


TRANSITIONAL SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS 
Article 106 

Pending the coming into force of such special agreements 
referred to in Article 43 as in the opinion of the Security Council 
enable it to begin the exercise of its responsibilities under 
Article 42, the parties to the Four-Nation Declaration, signed 
at Moscow, the 30th October 1943, and France shall, in accord¬ 
ance with the provisions of paragraph 5 of that Declaration, 
consult with one another and as occasion requires with other 
Members of the United Nations with a view to such joint 
action on behalf of the Organization as may be necessary for the 
purpose of maintaining international peace and security. 

Need for transitional arrangements. It was clear at the San Fran¬ 
cisco Conference that it might take considerable time before the 
conclusion and implementation of the special agreements en¬ 
visaged in Article 43 would enable the Security Council to bring 
the military side of collective security into effective operation. 
The gap had to be bridged, and the obvious, though, as it has 
turned out, the least effective, method of bridging it was to give a 
transitional power of attorney to the five Great Powers. 

This power of attorney is, in theory, revocable at the dis¬ 
cretion of the Security Council. The mandate of the Great Powers 
comes to an end as soon as the Council records its opinion that 
it is able to begin the exercise of its responsibilities under Article 
42. As, however, such a decision of the Council pre-supposes 
unanimity among the Great Powers, in practice any one of them 
can obstruct, ad infinitum , the termination of the transitional 
period. 

The responsibility of the Big Five. The Article is based on the 
assumption that, in the face of a threat or violation of the peace, 
the Great Powers will act in harmony. If that assumption proves 
incorrect, and all the evidence suggests that it is, the responsibility 
of the Great Powers is empty. The formulation of the Article is 
mandatory, but only to that extent that the Great Powers are 
required to consult; the Charter does not say what shall be the 


184 



TRANSITIONAL SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS 185 

next step if the consultations end in a deadlock. If there be a 
deadlock, none of the Great Powers is entitled to take action 
alone, or jointly with others, disregarding the opposition of one 
or more of the remaining Great Powers; for the Charter requires 
“ joint action,” and it is clear from the context that the Great 
Powers must be agreed on the necessity of joint action. 

Paragraph 5 of the Moscow Declaration of October 30, 1943 
(which is expressly invoked by the present Article) offers no 
solution. It merely requires the Big Four to “ consult with one 
another, and as occasion requires with other Members of the 
United Nations, with a view to joint action on behalf of the 
community of nations ”. No authority is given for individual 
action in case the consultations fail. 

The position of the lesser Powers. It would appear that no Member 
of the United Nations is entitled to refuse participation in con¬ 
sultations which may be initiated by the Great Powers. Members 
can, however, refuse to associate themselves with any joint action 
decided upon by the Great Powers if participation would involve 
the performance of the specific obligations envisaged in Chapter 
VII. These obligations pre-suppose formal decisions by the 
Security Council ; and cannot be imposed by decisions outside 
the Council. But Members must support any joint action short of 
sanctions that may be decided upon by the Great Powers, and 
refrain from giving assistance to any State against which the 
decision is directed. These positive and negative obligations follow 
from Article 2(5) of the Charter, and are not conditional on any 
formal decision of the Security Council. 

Position of the Security Council. The transitional arrangements 
only operate in regard to military sanctions. They do not affect 
the Council’s responsibilities under Chapter VI or under Articles 
39-41 of Chapter VII. Even during the transitional period it is 
exclusively for the Security Council to determine the existence of 
any threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression, 
and to decide on provisional measures and non-military sanctions. 

Article 107 

Nothing in the present Charter shall invalidate or preclude 
action, in relation to any State which during the Second World 
War has been an enemy of any signatory to the present Charter, 
taken or authorized as a result of that war by the Governments 
having responsibility for such action. 



186 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

Period of application. For the reasons explained in connection 
with Article 53, this Article is not applicable to any enemy State 
after its admission to membership of the United Nations. 

The “ Governments having responsibility for action ”. The Charter 
does not define the phrase, but it seems clear that it does not 
refer to all the signatories to the Charter who may have been at 
war with the enemy State concerned. The proper interpretation 
appears to be that the Governments whose freedom of action is 
confirmed by the Article are those which, by virtue of any Act of 
Surrender, Armistice Agreement or Peace Treaty, and any sup¬ 
plementary instruments, e.g. the Potsdam Agreement, have taken 
powers to enforce their terms. 

Since the action contemplated by the Article is not taken “ on 
behalf of the Organization ”, Members of the United Nations 
which are not directly responsible for enforcing the treaties and 
instruments in question do not infringe the Charter by refusing 
support to the “ Governments having responsibility for such 
action ”. 

On the other hand, these Governments need not act themselves ; 
they can “ authorize ” other Governments to take action, and the 
validity of the authority does not depend upon formal approval 
by the Security Council. 



CHAPTER XVIII 


AMENDMENTS 
Article 108 

Amendments to the present Charter shall come into force 
for all Members of the United Nations when they have been 
adopted by a vote of two-thirds of the members of the General 
Assembly and ratified in accordance with their respective 
constitutional processes by two-thirds of the Members of the 
United Nations, including all the permanent members of the 
Security Council. 

Procedure : first stage. The procedure of amendment begins with 
the adoption of a resolution by the General Assembly. A qualified 
majority of two-thirds is necessary. Whereas Article 18 expressly 
provides for “ a two-thirds majority of the members present and 
voting ”, the present Article speaks of “ two-thirds of the Members 
of the General Assembly ” which seems to imply the total member¬ 
ship of the Organization. The difference in terminology must have 
been intentional, and explains why amendments were not in¬ 
cluded in the list of “ important questions ” in Article 18(2). 
Procedure : second stage. Amendments adopted by the General 
Assembly do not come into force until ratification by two-thirds 
of the total membership, including ratification by all permanent 
members of the Security Council. This enables any of the Great 
Powers to veto an amendment, regardless of the overwhelming 
or, indeed, unanimous support it may have received from other 
Members of the Organization. On the other hand, once an 
amendment is ratified by the requisite majority, it becomes binding 
on all Members, not excepting those who voted against it in the 
General Assembly or have withheld ratification. 

This is another instance of the revaluation by the Charter of 
the traditional conceptions of sovereignty and equality. 1 
Withdrawal. If an amendment approved by the requisite majority 
in the Assembly fails to secure the necessary number of ratifi¬ 
cations ; or if an amendment comes into force despite the op¬ 
position of one or more Members, no dissatisfied State has any 

1 See comment on Article 2(1). 


187 



188 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

other remedy than withdrawal from the Organization. Although 
the Charter contains no express proviso for withdrawal, the 
interpretation of Chapter III approved by the San Francisco 
Conference 1 made it clear that, in such circumstances, “ it would 
not be the purpose of the Organization to compel a Member to 
remain in the Organization 

Article 109 

1. A General Conference of the Members of the United 
Nations for the purpose of reviewing the 'present Charter may 
be held at a date and place to be fixed by a two-thirds vote of 
the members of the General Assembly and by a vote of any 
seven members of the Security Council. Each Member of the 
United Nations shall have one vote in the conference. 

2. Any alteration of the present Charter recommended by a 
two-thirds vote of the conference shall take effect when ratified 
in accordance with their respective constitutional processes by 
two-thirds of the Members of the United Nations, including ail 
the permanent members of the Security Council. 

3. If such a conference has not been held before the tenth 
annual session of the General Assembly following the coming 
into force of the present Charter, the proposal to call such a 
conference shall be placed on the agenda of that session of 
the General Assembly, and the conference shall be held if so 
decided by a majority vote of the members of the General 
Assembly and by a vote of any seven members of the Security 
Council. 

General revision. The Charter was not born sub specie aeternitatis. 
Many of its provisions, particularly those relating to the privileged 
position of the Great Powers, were the result of an uneasy com¬ 
promise which the delegations at San Francisco only accepted 
on the understanding that at some future date it would be re¬ 
viewed. A comprehensive review of this kind, as distinct from 
piecemeal amendments, is reserved for a General Conference of 
Members, comparable to the constituent conference of 1945. 
There is no guarantee that such a Conference will ever be held ; 
it can only be convened if the General Assembly and the Security 
Council agree on the need for it. 

The time element. If no General Conference has been held before 
the tenth annual session of the General Assembly, the agenda of 


1 See comment on Article 6. 



AMENDMENTS 


189 


that session must include the consideration of the case for a 
General Conference. The decision is made by a simple majority 
vote of the “ members of the General Assembly ” (i.e. the total 
membership of the Organization), and the vote of any seven 
members of the Security Council, the permanent members having 
no veto. 

In all other cases, i.e. at any time before or after the tenth 
annual session of the Assembly, the majority required in the 
General Assembly is increased to two-thirds of the total member¬ 
ship ; but the Security Council can still decide with a vote of any 
seven members. 

Alterations decided by the Conference. The rule is similar to that 
which governs amendments. Any alteration of the Charter must 
be approved by a two-thirds majority of the Conference, and be 
ratified by two-thirds of the total membership, including all 
permanent members of the Security Council. Any one of the 
permanent members can obstruct the alteration of the Charter. 
Members dissatisfied with the result have no remedy except 
withdrawal from the Organization. 



CHAPTER XIX 


RATIFICATION AND SIGNATURE 
Article 110 

1. The present Charter shall be ratified by the signatory 
States in accordance with their respective constitutional pro¬ 
cesses. 

2. The ratifications shall be deposited with the Government 
of the United States of America, which shall notify all the 
signatory States of each deposit as well as the Secretary-General 
of the Organization when he has been appointed. 

3. The present Charter shall come into force upon the deposit 
of ratifications by 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, 
and by a majority of the other signatory States. A protocol of 
the ratifications deposited shall thereupon be drawn up by the 
Government of the United States of America which shall 
communicate copies thereof to all the signatory States. 

4. The States signatory to the present Charter which ratify 
it after it has come into force will become original Members 
of the United Nations on the date of the deposit of their res¬ 
pective ratifications. 

Ratification. The signing of an international treaty does not 
necessarily mean its final adoption by the signatory States. 
What further acts are necessary depends on national constitutions. 
In the United Kingdom ratification as such requires no legis¬ 
lation ; it is an executive act of His Majesty in Council, which 
follows automatically on the approval of the treaty by both 
Houses of Parliament with or without debate. In the United 
States all treaties (but not the so-called “ executive agreements ”) 
require the approval of the Senate by a two-thirds majority. 
Other countries have different procedures. 

It is usual diplomatic practice to deposit ratifications(meaning, 
in this case, the formal documents recording the final adoption 
of the treaty) with the Government of a particular country, 
normally the country which gave hospitality to the treaty-making 


190 



RATIFICATION AND SIGNATURE 


191 


conference. In accordance with this practice, the Charter provided 
for the deposit of ratifications with the United States Government. 
Entry into force. Treaties normally specify the number of ratifi¬ 
cations which are necessary to bring them into force. In the case 
of the Charter, which had fifty-one original signatories, twenty- 
nine ratifications were necessary : those of the Great Powers 
(five) and the majority (twenty-four) of the other signatories 
(forty-six). 

These ratifications were completed by October 24,1945; and the 
Charter came into force on that day. The remaining signatories 
completed their ratifications by December 27, 1945. 

Article 111 

The present Charter, of which the Chinese, French, Russian, 
English and Spanish Texts are equally authentic, shall remain 
deposited in the archives of the Government of the United States 
of America. Duly certified copies thereof shall be transmitted 
by that Government to the Governments of the other signatory 
States. 

In faith whereof the representatives of the Governments of 
the United Nations have signed the present Charter. 

Done at the city of San Francisco the twenty-sixth day of 
June, one thousand nine hundred and forty-five. 

Texts. The Charter was signed in five languages. The five texts 
are declared to be equally authentic. This provision may yet 
cause difficulties in view of such discrepancies in shades of 
expression as are inevitable in a highly technical document. 
No provision is made in the Charter for the solution of difficulties 
should they arise ; recourse will have to be taken to the debates 
and papers of the San Francisco Conference. 

Interpretation. Even without textual discrepancies between five 
equally authentic versions, a complex document like the Charter 
is certain to give rise to controversial interpretations. Notwith¬ 
standing that certainty, the San Francisco Conference was un¬ 
able to agree, indeed, it denied the need to agree, on the manner 
in which controversies of this kind should be settled. The sug¬ 
gestion to give the International Court of Justice compulsory 
jurisdiction in the matter was rejected. The right of Members to 
refer to the Court by ad hoc agreement is beyond dispute ; but 
the experience of the first few years has shown that no such 
agreement can be taken for granted. Under Article 96 the General 



192 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


Assembly and the Security Council (and with the authority of 
the Assembly, other organs and specialized agencies), may call 
for the Court’s advisory opinion ; or, if they prefer that course, 
they can set up ad hoc committees of jurists. But though every 
organ is free to work out and apply its own interpretation, or 
accept the advisory opinion of the Court, or of an ad hoc com¬ 
mittee of jurists, none of these interpretations will be binding 
on a Member who chooses to differ. With this possibility in 
mind, Committee IV/2 of the San Francisco Conference pointed 
to the likelihood that authoritative interpretations may have to 
take the form of amendments to the Charter. In view of the 
right of veto which any Great Power may apply to amendments, 
that advice may be regarded as a counsel of despair. For practical 
purposes the only way is to allow each organ of the United Nations 
not only to formulate, but also to enforce, its own interpretation 
of those provisions of the Charter upon which it must rely for 
the discharge of its functions. 



APPENDIX I 


THE COVENANT OF THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS 


THE HIGH CONTRACTING PARTIES, in order to promote international 
co-operation and to achieve international peace and security by the acceptance of 
obligations not to resort to war, by the prescription of open, just and honourable relations 
between nations, by the firm establishment of the understandings of international law 
as the actual rule of conduct among Governments, and by the maintenance of justice 
and a scrupulous respect for all treaty obligations in the dealings of organized peoples 
with one another, agree to this Covenant of the League of Nations. 

Article 1 

1. The original Members of the League of Nations shall be those of the Signatories 
which are named in the Annex to this Covenant and also such of those other States named 
in the Annex as shall accede without reservation to this Covenant. Such accession shall 
be effected by a Declaration deposited with the Secretariat within two months of the 
coming into force of the Covenant. Notice thereof shall be sent to all other Members 
of the League. 

2. Any fully self-governing State, Dominion or Colony not named in the Annex may 
become a Member of the League if its admission is agreed to by two-thirds of the Assembly, 
provided that it shall give effective guarantees of its sincere intention to observe its inter¬ 
national obligations, and shall accept such regulations as may be prescribed by the 
League in regard to its military, naval and air forces and armaments. 

3. Any Member of the League may, after two years’ notice of its intention so to do, 
withdraw from the League, provided that all its international obligations and all its 
obligations under this Covenant shall have been fulfilled at the time of its withdrawal. 

Article 2 

The action of the League under this Covenant shall be effected through the instrument¬ 
ality of an Assembly and of a Council, with a permanent Secretariat. 

Article 3 

1. The Assembly shall consist of Representatives of the Members of the League. 

2. The Assembly shall meet at stated intervals and from time to time as occasion may 
require, at the Seat of the League or at such other place as may be decided upon. 

3. The Assembly may deal at its meetings with any matter within the sphere of action 
of the League or affecting the peace of the world. 

4. At meetings of the Assembly, each Member of the League shall have one vote, and 
may have not more than three Representatives. 

Article 4 

1. The Council shall consist of Representatives of the Principal Allied and Associated 
Powers, together with Representatives of four other Members of the League. These four 
Members of the League shall be selected by the Assembly from time to time in its dis¬ 
cretion. Until the appointment of the Representatives of the four Members of the League 
first selected by the Assembly, Representatives of Belgium, Brazil, Spain and Greece shall 
be members of the Council. 

2. With the approval of the majority of the Assembly, the Council may name additional 
Members of the League whose Representatives shall always be members of the Council ; 
the Council with like approval may increase the number of Members of the League to 
be selected by the Assembly for representation on the Council. The Assembly shall fix 
by a two-thirds majority the rules dealing with the election of the non-permanent 
Members of the Council, and particularly such regulations as relate to their term of 
office and the conditions of re-eligibility. 


193 



194 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


3. The Council shall meet from time to time as occasion may require, and at least once a 
year, at the Seat of the League, or at such other place as may be decided upon. 

4. The Council may deal at its meetings with any matter within the sphere of action of 
the League or affecting the peace of the world. 

5. Any Member of the League not represented on the Council shall be invited to send a 
Representative to sit as a member at any meeting of the Council during the consideration 
of matters specially affecting the interests of that Member of the League. 

6. At meetings of the Council each Member of the League represented on the Council 
shall have one vote, and may have not more than one Representative. 

Article 5 

1. Except where otherwise expressly provided in this Covenant or by the terms of the 
present Treaty, decisions at any meeting of the Assembly or of the Council shall require 
the agreement of all the Members of the League represented at the meeting. 

2. All matters of procedure at meetings of the Assembly or of the Council, including the 
appointment of Committees to investigate particular matters, shall be regulated by the 
Assembly or by the Council, and may be decided by a majority of the Members of the 
League represented at the meeting. 

3. The first meeting of the Assembly and the first meeting of the Council shall be sum¬ 
moned by the President of the United States of America. 

Article 6 

1. The permanent Secretariat shall be established at the Seat of the League. The 
Secretariat shall comprise a Secretary-General and such secretaries and staff as may be 
required. 

2. The first Secretary-General shall be the person named in the Annex; thereafter the 
Secretary-General shall be appointed by the Council with the approval of the majority 
of the Assembly. 

3. The secretaries and staff of the Secretariat shall be appointed by the Secretary-General 
with the approval of the Council. 

4. The Secretary-General shall act in that capacity at all meetings of the Assembly and 
of the Council. 

5. The expenses of the League shall be borne by the Members of the League in the 
proportion decided by the Assembly. 


Article 7 

1. The Seat of the League is established at Geneva. 

2. The Council may at any time decide that the Seat of the League shall be established 
elsewhere. 

3. All positions under or in connection with the League, including the Secretariat, shall 
be open equally to men and women. 

4. Representatives of the Members of the League and officials of the League when en¬ 
gaged on the business of the League shall enjoy diplomatic privileges and immunities* 

5. The buildings and other property occupied by the League or its officials or by Repre¬ 
sentatives attending its meetings shall be inviolable. 

Article 8 

1. The Members of the League recognize that the maintenance of peace requires the 
reduction of national armaments to the lowest point consistent with national safety 
and the enforcement by common action of international obligations. 

2. The Council, taking account of the geographical situation and circumstances of each 
State, shall formulate plans for such reduction for the consideration and action of the 
several Governments. 

3. Such plans shall be subject to reconsideration and revision at least every ten years. 

4. After these plans shall have been adopted by the several Governments, the limits of 
armaments therein fixed shall not be exceeded without the concurrence of the Council. 

5. The Members of the League agree that the manufacture by private enterprise of 
munitions and implements of war is open to grave objections. The Council shall advise 
how the evil effects attendant upon such manufacture can be prevented, due regard 
being had to the necessities of those Members of the League which are not able to manu¬ 
facture the munitions and implements of war necessary for their safety. 



APPENDIX I 


195 


6. The Members of the League undertake to interchange full and frank information as 
to the scale of their armaments, their military, naval and air programmes and the 
condition of such of their industries as are adaptable to war>like purposes. 

Article 9 

A permanent Commission shall be constituted to advise the Council on the execution 
of the provisions of Articles 1 and 8 and on military, naval and air questions generally. 

Article 10 

The Members of the League undertake to respect and preserve as against external 
aggression the territorial integrity and existing political independence of all Members 
of the League. In case of any such aggression or in case of any threat or danger of such 
aggression the Council shall advise upon the means by which this obligation shall be 
fulfilled. 

Article 11 

1. Any war or threat of war, whether immediately affecting any of the Members of the 
League or not, is hereby declared a matter of concern to the whole League, and the 
League shall take any action that may be deemed wise and effectual to safeguard the 
peace of nations. In case any such emergency should arise the Secretary-General shall 
on the request of any Member of the League forthwith summon a meeting of the Council. 

2. It is also declared to be the friendly right of each Member of the League to bring to 
the attention of the Assembly or of the Council any circumstance whatever affecting 
international relations which threatens to disturb international peace or the good under¬ 
standing between nations upon which peace depends. 

Article 12 

1. The Members of the League agree that if there should arise between them any 
dispute likely to lead to a rupture, they will submit the matter either to arbitration or 
judicial settlement or to inquiry by the Council, and they agree in no case to resort to 
war until three months after the award by the arbitrators or the judicial decision or the 
report by the Council. 

2. In any case under this Article the award of the arbitrators or the judicial decision 
shall be made within a reasonable time, and the report of the Council shall be made 
within six months after the submission of the dispute. 

Article 13 

1. The Members of the League agree that whenever any dispute shall arise between 
them which they recognize to be suitable for submission to arbitration or judicial settle¬ 
ment and which cannot be satisfactorily settled by diplomacy, they will submit the whole 
subject-matter to arbitration or judicial settlement. 

2. Disputes as to the interpretation of a treaty, as to any question of international law, 
as to the existence of any fact which if established would constitute a breach of any inter¬ 
national obligation, or as to the extent and nature of the reparation to be made for any 
such breach, are declared to be among those which are generally suitable for submission 
to arbitration or judicial settlement. 

3. For the consideration of any such dispute, the court to which the case is referred shall 
be the Permanent Court of International Justice, established m accordance with Article 14, 
or any tribunal agreed on by the parties to the dispute or stipulated in any convention 
existing between them. 

4. The Members of the League agree that they will carry out in full good faith any 
award or decision that may be rendered and that they will not resort to war against a 
Member of the League which complies therewith. In the event of any failure to carry 
out such an award or decision, the Council shall propose what steps should be taken 
to give effect thereto. 

Article 14 

The Council shall formulate and submit to the Members of the League for adoption 
plans for the establishment of a Permanent Court of International Justice. The Court 
shall be competent to hear and determine any dispute of an international character 
which the parties thereto submit to it. The Court may also give an advisory opinion 
upon any dispute or question referred to it by the Council or by the Assembly. 



196 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


Article 15 

1. If there should arise between Members of the League any dispute likely to lead to a 
rupture, which is not submitted to arbitration or judicial settlement in accordance with 
Article 13, the Members of the League agree that they will submit the matter to the 
Council. Any party to the dispute may effect such submission by giving notice of the 
existence of the dispute to the Secretary-General, who will make all necessary arrange¬ 
ments for a full investigation and consideration thereof. 

2. For this purpose the parties to the dispute will communicate to the Secretary-General, 
as promptly as possible, statements of their case with all the relevant facts and papers, 
and the Council may forthwith direct the publication thereof. 

3. The Council shall endeavour to effect a settlement of the dispute, and if such efforts 
are successful, a statement shall be made public giving such facts and explanations 
regarding the dispute and the terms of settlement thereof as the Council may deem 
appropriate. 

4 . If the dispute is not thus settled, the Council, either unanimously or by a majority 
vote, shall make and publish a report containing a statement of the facts of the dispute 
and the recommendations which are deemed just and proper in regard thereto. 

5. Any Member of the League represented on the Council may make public a statement 
of the facts of the dispute and of its conclusions regarding the same. 

6. If a report by the Council is unanimously agreed to by the members thereof other than 
the Representatives of one or more of the parties to the dispute, the Members of the 
League agree that they will not go to war with any party to the dispute which complies 
with the recommendations of the report. 

7. If the Council fails to reach a report which is unanimously agreed to by the members 
thereof, other than the Representatives of one or more of the parties to the dispute, the 
Members of the League reserve to themselves the right to take such action as they shall 
consider necessary for the maintenance of right and justice. 

8. If the dispute between the parties is claimed by one of them, and is found by the 
Council to arise out of a matter which by international law is solely within the domestic 
jurisdiction of that party, the Council shall so report, and shall make no recommendation 
as to its settlement. 

9. The Council may in any case under this Article refer the dispute to the Assembly. 
The dispute shall be so referred at the request of either party to the dispute, provided 
that such request be made within fourteen days after the submission of the dispute to 
the Council. 

10. In any case referred to the Assembly, all the provisions of this Article and of Article 
12 relating to the action and powers of the Council shall apply to the action and powers 
of the Assembly, provided that a report made by the Assembly, if concurred in by the 
Representatives of those Members of the League represented on the Council and of a 
majority of the other Members of the League, exclusive in each case of the Representatives 
of the parties to the dispute, shall have the same force as a report by the Council con¬ 
curred in by all the members thereof other than the Representatives of one or more of 
the parties to the dispute. 


Article 16 

1. Should any Member of the League resort to war in disregard of its covenants under 
Articles 12, 13 or 15, it shall ipso facto be deemed to have committed an act of war 
against all other Members of the League, which hereby undertake immediately to subject 
it to the severance of all trade or financial relations, the prohibition of all intercourse 
between their nationals and the nationals of the covenant-breaking State, and the 
prevention of all financial, commercial or personal intercourse between the 
nationals of the covenant-breaking State and the nationals of any other State, whether 
a Member of the League or not. 

2. It shall be the duty of the Council in such case to recommend to the several Govern¬ 
ments concerned what effective military, naval or air force the Members of the League 
shall severally contribute to the armed forces to be used to protect the covenants of the 
League. 

3. The Members of the League agree, further, that they will mutually support one 
another in the financial and economic measures which are taken under this article, in order 
to minimize the loss and inconvenience resulting from the above measures, and that they 
will mutually support one another in resisting any special measures aimed at one of their 
number by the covenant-breaking State, and that they will take the necessary steps to 



APPENDIX I 197 

afford passage through their territory to the forces of any of the Members of the League 
which are co-operating to protect the covenants of the League. 

4. Any Member of the League which has violated any covenant of the League may be 
declared to be no longer a Member of the League by a vote of the Council concurred 
in by the Representatives of all the other Members of the League represented thereon. 

Article 17 

1. In the event of a dispute between a Member of the League and a State which is not a 
Member of the League, or between States not Members of the League, the State or States 
not Members of the League shall be invited to accept the obligations of membership 
in the League for the purposes of such dispute, upon such conditions as the Council may 
deem just. If such invitation is accepted, the provisions of Articles 12 to 16 inclusive 
shall be applied with such modifications as may be deemed necessary by the Council. 

2. Upon such invitation being given the Council shall immediately institute an inquiry 
into the circumstances of the dispute and recommend such action as may seem best and 
most effectual in the circumstances. 

3. If a State so invited shall refuse to accept the obligations of membership in the League 
for the purposes of such dispute, and shall resort to war against a Member of the League, 
the provisons of Article 16 shall be applicable as against the State taking such action. 

4. If both parties to the dispute when so invited refuse to accept the obligations of 
membership in the League for the purposes of such dispute, the Council may take such 
measures and make such recommendations as will prevent hostilities and will result in 
the settlement of the dispute. 

Article 18 

Every treaty or international engagement entered into hereafter by any Member of the 
League shall be forthwith registered with the Secretariat and shall as soon as possible 
be published by it. No such treaty or international engagement shall be binding until 
so registered. 

Article 19 

The Assembly may from time to time advise the reconsideration by Members of the 
League of treaties which have become inapplicable and the consideration of international 
conditions whose continuance might endanger the peace of the world. 

Article 20 

1. The Members of the League severally agree that this Covenant is accepted as abro¬ 
gating all obligations or understandings inter se which are inconsistent with the terms 
thereof, and solemnly undertake that they will not hereafter enter into any engagements 
inconsistent with the terms thereof. 

2. In case any Member of the League shall, before becoming a Member of the League, 
have undertaken any obligations inconsistent with the terms of this Covenant, it shall 
be the duty of such Member to take immediate steps to procure its release from such 
obligations. 

Article 21 

Nothing in this Covenant shall be deemed to affect the validity of international engage¬ 
ments, such as treaties of arbitration or regional understandings like the Monroe Doctrine, 
for securing the maintenance of peace. 

Article 22 

1. To those colonies and territories which as a consequence of the late war have ceased 
to be under the sovereignty of the States which formerly governed them and which are 
inhabited by peoples not yet able to stand by themselves under the strenuous conditions 
of the modem world, there should be applied the principle that the well-being and 
development of such peoples form a sacred trust of civilization and that securities for 
the performance of this trust should be embodied in this Covenant. 

2. The best method of giving practical effect to this principle is that the tutelage of such 
peoples should be entrusted to advanced nations who by reason of their resources, their 
experience or their geographical position can best undertake this responsibility, and 
who are willing to accept it, and that this tutelage should be exercised by them as Manda¬ 
tories on behalf of the League. 


a 



198 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


3. The character of the mandate must differ according to the stage of the development 
of the people, the geographical situation of the territory, its economic conditions and other 
similar circumstances. 

4. Certain communities formerly belonging to the Turkish Empire have reached a stage 
of development where their existence as independent nations can be provisionally recog¬ 
nized subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory 
until such time as they are able to stand alone. The wishes of these communities must 
be a principal consideration in the selection of the Mandatory. 

5. Other peoples, especially those of Central Africa, are at such a stage that the Manda¬ 
tory must be responsible for the administration of the territory under conditions which will 
guarantee freedom of conscience and religion, subject only to the maintenance of public 
order and morals, the prohibition of abuses such as the slave trade, the arms traffic and 
the liquor traffic, and the prevention of the establishment of fortifications or military 
and naval bases and of military training of the natives for other than police purposes and 
the defence of territory, and will also secure equal opportunities for the trade and com¬ 
merce of other Members of the League. 

6. There are territories, such as South-West Africa and certain of the South Pacific 
Islands, which, owing to the sparseness of their population, or their small size, or their 
remoteness from the centres of civilization, or their geographical contiguity to the territory 
of the Mandatory, and other circumstances, can be best administered under the laws of 
the Mandatory as integral portions of its territory, subject to the safeguards above 
mentioned in the interests of the indigenous population. 

7. In every case of mandate, the Mandatory shall render to the Council an annual report 
in reference to the territory committed to its charge. 

8. The degree of authority, control, or administration to be exercised by the Mandatory 
shall, if not previously agreed upon by the Members of the League, be explicitly defined 
in each case by the Council. 

9. A permanent Commission shall be constituted to receive and examine the annual 
reports of the Mandatories and to advise the Council on all matters relating to the ob¬ 
servance of the mandates. 

Article 23 

Subject to an in accordance with the provisions of international conventions existing 
or hereafter to be agreed upon, the Members of the League : 

(а) will endeavour to secure and maintain fair and humane conditions of labour for 
men, women, and children, both in their own countries and in all countries to which 
their commercial and industrial relations extend, and for that purpose will establish 
and maintain the necessary international organizations ; 

(б) undertake to secure just treatment of the native inhabitants of territories under 
their control; 

(c) will entrust the League with the general supervision over the execution of agreements 
with regard to the traffic in women and children, and the traffic in opium and other 
dangerous drugs ; 

(d) will entrust the League with the general supervision of the trade in arms and 
ammunition with the countries in which the control of this traffic is necessary in 
the common interest; 

(t) will make provision to secure and maintain freedom of communications and of 
transit and equitable treatment for the commerce of all Members of the League. 
In this connexion, the special necessities of the regions devastated during the war 
of 1914-1918 shall be borne in mind ; 

(/) will endeavour to take steps in matters of international concern for the prevention 
and control of disease. 

Article 24 

1. There shall be placed under the direction of the League all international bureaux 
already established by general treaties if the parties to such treaties consent. All such 
international bureaux and all commissions for the regulation of matters of international 
interest hereafter constituted shall be placed under the direction of the League. 

2. In all matters of international interest which are regulated by general conventions 
but which are not placed under the control of international bureaux or commissions, 
the Secretariat of the League shall, subject to the consent of the Council and if desired 
by the parties, collect and distribute all relevant information and shall render any other 
assistance which may be necessary or desirable. 



APPENDIX I 199 

3. The Council may include as part of the expenses of the Secretariat the expenses of any 
bureau or commission which is placed under the direction of the League. 

Article 25 

The Members of the League agree to encourage and promote the establishment and 
co-operation of duly authorized voluntary national Red Cross organizations having as 
purposes the improvement of health, the prevention of disease and the mitigation of 
suffering throughout the world. 

Article 26 

1. Amendments to this Covenant will take effect when ratified by the Members of the 
League whose Representatives compose the Council and by a majority of the Members 
of the League whose Representatives compose the Assembly. 

2. No sucly amendment shall bind any Member of the League which signifies its dissent 
therefrom, but in that case it shall cease to be a Member of the League. 



APPENDIX II 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


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 practise 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 inter¬ 
national 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. 

CHAPTER I 

PURPOSES AND PRINCIPLES 
Article 1 

The Purposes of the United Nations are : 

1. To maintain international peace and security, and to that end : 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 and self-determination 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 alt 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 fulfil 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 • 
manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered. 


200 



APPENDIX II 


201 


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 main¬ 
tenance of international peace and security. 

7. Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to inter¬ 
vene 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 VII. 


CHAPTER II 
MEMBERSHIP 

Article 3 

The original Members of the United Nations shall be the States which, having partici¬ 
pated in the United Nations Conference on International Organization at San Francisco, 
or having previously signed the Declaration by United Nations of 1st January, 1942, sign 
the present Charter and ratify it in accordance with Article 110. 

Article 4 

1. Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peace-loving States which 
accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgement of the 
Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations. 

2. The admission of any such State to membership in the United Nations will be 
effected by a decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security 
Council. 

Article 5 

A Member of the United Nations against which preventive or enforcement action has 
been taken by the Security Council may be suspended from the exercise of the rights 
and privileges of membership by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of 
the Security Council. The exercise of these rights and privileges may be restored by the 
Security Council. 

Article 6 

A Member of the United Nations which has persistently violated the Principles con¬ 
tained in the present Charter may be expelled from the Organization by the General 
Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council. 


CHAPTER III 
ORGANS 
Article 7 

1. There are established as the 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. 

Article 8 

The United Nations shall place no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to 
participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary 

organs. 



202 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

CHAPTER IV 

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 

Composition 

Article 9 

1. The General Assembly shall consist of all the Members of the United Nations. 

2. Each Member shall have not more than five representatives in the General Assembly. 

Functions and Powers Article 10 

The General Assembly may discuss any questions or any matters within the scope of 
the present Charter or relating to the powers and functions of any organs provided for 
in the present Charter, and, except as provided in Article 12, may make recommendations 
to the Members of the United Nations or to the Security Council or to both on any such 
questions or matters. 

Article 11 

1. The General Assembly may consider the general principles of co-operation in the 
maintenance of international peace and security, including the principles governing 
disarmament and the regulation of armaments, and may make recommendations with 
regard to such principles to the Members or to the Security Council or to both. 

2. The General Assembly may discuss any questions relating to the maintenance of 
international peace and security brought before it by any Member of the United Nations, 
or by the Security Council, or by a State which is not a Member of the United Nations 
in accordance with Article 35, paragraph 2, and, except as provided in Article 12, may 
make recommendations with regard to any such questions to the State or States concerned 
or to the Security Council or to both. Any such question on which action is necessary 
shall be referred to the Security Council by the General Assembly either before or after 
discussion. 

3. The General Assembly may call the attention of the Security Council to situations 
which are likely to endanger international peace and security. 

4. The powers of the General Assembly set forth in this Article shall not limit the 
general scope of Article 10. 

Article 12 

1. While the Security Council is exercising in respect of any dispute or situation the 
functions assigned to it in the present Charter, the General Assembly shall not make any 
recommendation with regard to that dispute or situation unless the Security Council 
so requests. 

2. The Secretary-General, with the consent of the Security Council, shall notify the 
General Assembly at each session of any matters relative to the maintenance of inter¬ 
national peace and security which are being dealt with by the Security Council, and shall 
similarly notify the General Assembly, or the Members of the United Nations if the 
General Assembly is not in session, immediately the Security Council ceases to deal with 
such matters. 

Article 13 

1. The General Assembly shall initiate studies and make recommendations for the 
purpose of — 

(а) promoting international co-operation in the political field and encouraging the pro¬ 
gressive development of international law and its codification ; 

(б) promoting international co-operation in the economic, social, cultural, educational 
and health fields, and assisting in the realization of human rights and fundamental free¬ 
doms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion. 

2. The further responsibilities, functions and powers of the General Assembly with 
resoect to matters mentioned in paragraph 1(6) above are set forth in Chapters IX and X. 

Article 14 

Subject to the provisions of Article 12, the General Assembly may recommend measures 
for the peaceful adjustment of any situation, regardless of origin, which it deems likely 
to impair the general welfare or friendly relations among nations, including situations 
resulting from a violation of the provisions of the present Charter setting forth the 
Purposes and Principles of the United Nations. 



APPENDIX II 203 

Article 15 

1. The General Assembly shall receive and consider annual and special reports from the 
Security Council ; these reports shall include an account of the measures that the Security 
Council has decided upon or taken to maintain international peace and security. 

2. The General Assembly shall receive and consider reports from the other organs of 
the United Nations. 


Article 16 

The General Assembly shall perform such functions with respect to the international 
trusteeship system as are assigned to it under Chapters XII and XIII, including the 
approval of the trusteeship agreements for areas not designated as strategic. 


Article 17 

1. The General Assembly shall consider and approve the budget of the Organization. 

2. The expenses of the Organization shall be borne by the Members as apportioned by 
the General Assembly. 

3. The General Assembly shall consider and approve any financial and budgetary 
arrangements with specialized agencies referred to in Article 57 and shall examine the 
administrative budgets of such specialized agencies with a view to making recommend¬ 
ations to the agencies concerned. 

Voting 

Article 18 

1. Each Member of the General Assembly shall have one vote. 

2. Decisions of the General Assembly on important questions shall be made by a two- 
thirds majority of the members present and voting. These questions shall include : 
recommendations with respect to the maintenance of international peace and security, 
the election of the non-permanent members of the Security Council, the election of the 
members of the Economic and Social Council, the election of members of the Trustee¬ 
ship Council in accordance with paragraph 1(c) of Article 86, the admission of new 
Members to the United Nations, the suspension of the rights and privileges of member¬ 
ship, the expulsion of Members, questions relating to the operation of the trusteeship 
system, and budgetary questions. 

3. Decisions on other questions, including the determination of additional categories 
of questions to be decided by a two-thirds majority, shall be made by a majority of the 
members present and voting. 


Article 19 

A Member of the United Nations which is in arrears in the payment of its financial 
contributions to the Organization shall have no vote in the General Assembly if the 
amount of its arrears equals or exceeds the amount of the contributions due from it 
for the preceding two full years. The General Assembly may, nevertheless, permit such 
a Member to vote if it is satisfied that the failure to pay is due to conditions beyond 
the control of the Member. 

Procedure 

Article 20 

The General Assembly shall meet in regular annual sessions and in such special sessions 
as occasion may require. Special sessions shall be convoked by the Secretary-General 
at the request of the Security Council or of a majority of the Members of the United 
Nations. 


Article 21 

The General Assembly shall adopt its own rules of procedure. It shall elect its President 
for each session. 


Article 22 

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



204 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 
CHAPTER V 


THE SECURITY COUNCIL 

Composition 

Article 23 

1. The Security Council shall consist of eleven 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 per¬ 
manent members of the Security Council. The General Assembly shall elect six 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, however, three 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 seven members. 

3. Decisions of the Security Council on all other matters shall be made by an affirmative 
vote of seven 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. 



APPENDIX II 


205 


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 judgement 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 con¬ 
ditions as it deems just for the participation of a State which is not a Member of the 
United Nations. 


CHAPTER VI 

PACIFIC SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES 

Article 33 

1. The parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the main¬ 
tenance of international peace and security, shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, 
enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional 
agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice. 

2. The Security Council shall, when it deems necessary, call upon the parties to settle 
their dispute by such means. 

Article 34 

The Security Council may investigate any dispute, or any situation which might lead 
to international friction or give rise to a dispute, in order to determine whether the 
continuance of the dispute or situation is likely to endanger the maintenance of inter¬ 
national peace and security. 

Article 35 

1. Any Member of the United Nations may bring any dispute, or any situation of the 
nature referred to in Article 34, to the attention of the Security Council or of the General 
Assembly. 

2. A State which is not a Member of the United Nations may bring to the attention of 
the Security Council or of the General Assembly any dispute to which it is a party if it 
accepts in advance, for the purposes of the dispute, the obligations of pacific settlement 
provided in the present Charter. 

3. The proceedings of the General Assembly in respect of matters brought to its attention 
under this Article will be subject to the provisions of Articles 11 and 12. 

Article 36 

1. The Security Council may, at any stage of a dispute of the nature referred to in Article 
33 or of a situation of like nature, recommend appropriate procedures or methods of 
adjustment. 

2. The Security Council should take into consideration any procedures for the settle¬ 
ment of the dispute which have already been adopted by the parties. 



206 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


3. In making recommendations under this Article the Security Council should also 
take into consideration that legal disputes should as a general rule be referred by the 
parties to the International Court of Justice in accordance with the provisions of the 
Statute of the Court. 

Article 37 

1. Should the parties to a dispute of the nature referred to in Article 33 fail to settle it 
by the means indicated in that Article, they shall refer it to the Security Council. 

2. If the Security Council deems that the continuance of the dispute is in fact likely to 
endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, it shall decide whether to 
take action under Article 36 or to recommend such terms of settlement as it may con¬ 
sider appropriate. 

Article 38 

Without prejudice to the provisions of Articles 33 to 37, the Security Council may, 
if all the parties to any dispute so request, make recommendations to the parties with a 
view to a pacific settlement of the dispute. 


CHAPTER VII 

ACTION WITH RESPECT TO THREATS TO THE PEACE, BREACHES OF THE 
PEACE, AND ACTS OF AGGRESSION 

Article 39 

The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach 
of the peace, or act of aggression, and shall make reco mmendations, or decide what 
measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42 to maintain or restore 
international peace and security. 


Article 40 

In order to prevent an aggravation of the situation, the Security Council may, before 
making the recommendations or deciding upon the measures provided for in Article 39, 
call upon the parties concerned to comply with such provisional measures as it deems 
necessary or desirable. Such provisional measures shall be without prejudice to the 
rights, claims or position of the parties concerned. The Security Council shall duly 
take account of failure to comply with such provisional measures. 

Article 41 

The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force 
are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the Members of 
the United Nations to apply such measures. These may include complete or partial 
interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio and 
other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations. 

Article 42 

Should the Security Council consider that measures provided for in Article 41 would 
be inadequate or have proved to be inadequate, it may take such action by air, sea or 
land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. 
Such action may include demonstrations, blockade and other operations by air, sea or 
land forces of Members of the United Nations. 

Article 43 

1. All Members of the United Nations, in order to contribute to the maintenance of 
international peace and security, undertake to make available to the Security Council, 
on its call and in accordance with a special agreement or agreements, armed forces, 
assistance and facilities, including rights of passage, necessary for the purpose of main¬ 
taining international peace and security. 

2. Such agreement or agreements shall govern the numbers and types of forces, their 
degree of readiness and general location, and the nature of the facilities and assistance 
to be provided. 



APPENDIX II 


207 


3. The agreement or agreements shall be negotiated as soon as possible on the initiative 
of the Security Council. They shall be concluded between the Security Council and 
Members or between the Security Council and groups of Members and shall be subject 
to ratification by the signatory States in accordance with their respective constitutional 
processes. 

Article 44 

When the Security Council has decided to use force it shall, before calling upon a 
Member not represented on it to provide armed forces in fulfilment of the obligations 
assumed under Article 43, invite that Member, if the Member so desires, to participate 
in the decisions of the Security Council concerning the employment of contingents of 
that Member's armed forces. 


Article 45 

In order to enable the United Nations to take urgent military measures. Members shall 
hold immediately available national air force contingents for combined international 
enforcement action. The strength and degree of readiness of these contingents and plans 
for their combined action shall be determined, within the limits laid down in the special 
agreement or agreements referred to in Article 43, by the Security Council with the 
assistance of the Military Staff Committee. 


Article 46 

Plans for the application of armed force shall be made by the Security Council with the 
assistance of the Military Staff Committee. 

Article 47 

1. There shall be established a Military Staff Committee to advise and assist the Security 
Council on all questions relating to the Security Council’s military requirements for the 
maintenance of international peace and security, the employment and command of 
forces placed at its disposal, the regulation of armaments, and possible disarmament. 

2. The Military Staff Committee shall consist of the Chiefs of Staff of the permanent 
members of the Security Council or their representatives. Any Member of the United 
Nations not permanently represented on the Committee shall be invited by the Com¬ 
mittee to be associated with it when the efficient discharge of the Committee's responsi¬ 
bilities requires the participation of that Member in its work. 

3. The Military Staff Committee shall be responsible under the Security Council for the 
strategic direction of any armed forces placed at the disposal of the Security Council. 
Questions relating to the command of such forces shall be worked out subsequently. 

4. The Military Staff Committee, with the authorization of the Security Council and 
after consultation with appropriate regional agencies, may establish regional sub¬ 
committees. 


Article 48 

1. The action required to carry out the decisions of the Security Council for the main¬ 
tenance of international peace and security shall be taken by all the Members of the 
United Nations or by some of them, as the Security Council may determine. 

2. Such decisions shall be carried out by the Members of the United Nations directly 
and through their action m the appropriate international agencies of which they are 
members. 


Article 49 

The Members of the United Nations shall join in affording mutual assistance in carrying 
out the measures decided upon by the Security Council. 


Article 50 

If preventive or enforcement measures against any State are taken by the Security 
Council, any other State, whether a Member of the United Nations or not, which finds 
itself confronted with special economic problems arising from the carrying out of those 
measures shall have the right to consult the Security Council with regard to a solution 
of those problems. 



208 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


Article 51 

Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective 
self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until 
the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to maintain international peace 
and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence 
shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect 
the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to 
take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore inter¬ 
national peace and security. 

REGIONAL ARRANGEMENTS 
Article 52 

1. Nothing in the present Charter precludes the existence of regional arrangements 
or agencies for dealing with such matters relating to the maintenance of international 
peace and security as are appropriate for regional action, provided that such arrange¬ 
ments or agencies and their activities are consistent with the Purposes and Principles 
of the United Nations. 

2. The Members of the United Nations entering into such arrangements or consti¬ 
tuting such agencies shall make every effort to achieve pacific settlement of local disputes 
through such regional arrangements or by such regional agencies before referring them 
to the Security Council. 

3. The Security Council shall encourage the development of pacific settlement of local 
disputes through such regional arrangements or by such regional agencies either on the 
initiative of the States concerned or by references from the Security Council. 

4 . This Article in no way impairs the application of Articles 34 and 35. 

Article 53 

1. The Security Council shall, where appropriate, utilize such regional arrangements 
or agencies for enforcement action under its authority. But no enforcement action shall 
be taken under regional arrangements or by regional agencies without the authorization 
of the Security Council, with the exception of measures against an enemy State, as defined 
in paragraph 2 of this Article, provided for pursuant to Article 107 or in regional arrange¬ 
ments directed against renewal of aggressive policy on the part of any such State, until 
such time as the Organization may, on request of the Governments concerned, be charged 
with the responsibility for preventing further aggression by such a State. 

2. The term “enemy State” as used in paragraph 1 of this Article applies to any State 
which during the Second World War has been an enemy of any signatory of the present 
Charter. 


Article 54 

The Security Council shall at all times be kept fully informed of activities undertaken 
or in contemplation under regional arrangements .or by regional agencies for the main¬ 
tenance of international peace and security. 

CHAPTER IX 

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL CO-OPERATION 

Article 55 

With a view to the creation of conditions of stability and well-being which are necessary 
for peaceful and friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of 
equal rights and self-determination of peoples, the United Nations shall promote — 

(a) higher standards of living, full employment, and conditions of economic and social 
progress and development; 

(b) solutions of international economic, social, health, and related problems ; and inter¬ 
national cultural and educational co-operation ; and 

(c) universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms 
for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion. 



209 


APPENDIX II 

Article 56 

All Members pledge themselves to take joint and separate action in co-operation with 
the Organization for the achievement of the purposes set forth in Article 55. 

Article 57 

1. The various specialized agencies, established by inter governmental agreement and 
having wide international responsibilities, as defined in their basic instruments, in econo¬ 
mic, social, cultural, educational, health, and related fields, shall be brought into relation¬ 
ship with the United Nations in accordance with the provisions of Article 63. 

2. Such agencies thus brought into relationship with the United Nations are hereinafter 
referred to as specialized agencies. 


Article 58 

The Organization shall make recommendations for the co-ordination of the policies 
and activities of the specialized agencies. 

Article 59 

The Organization shall, where appropriate, initiate negotiations among the States con¬ 
cerned for the creation of any new specialized agencies required for the accomplishment 
of the purposes set forth in Article 55. 


Article 60 

Responsibility for the discharge of the functions of the Organization set forth in this 
Chapter shall be vested in the General Assembly and, under the authority of the General 
Assembly, in the Economic and Social Council, which shall have for this purpose the 
powers set forth in Chapter X. 


CHAPTER X 

THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL 


Composition 

Article 61 

1. The Economic and Social Council shall consist of eighteen Members of the United 
Nations elected by the General Assembly. 

2. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 3, six members of the Economic and Social 
Council shall be elected each year for a term of three years. A retiring member shall be 
eligible for immediate re-election. 

3. At the first election, eighteen members of the Economic and Social Council shall be 
chosen. The term of office of six members so chosen shall expire at the end of one year, 
and of six other members at the end of two years, in accordance with arrangements 
made by the General Assembly. 

4. Each member of the Economic and Social Council shall have one representative. 
Functions and Powers 

Article 62 

1. The Economic and Social Council may make or initiate studies and reports with 
respect to international economic, social, cultural, educational, health, and related 
matters and may make recommendations with respect to any such matters to the General 
Assembly, to the Members of the United Nations, and to the specialized agencies con¬ 
cerned. 

2. It may make recommendations for the purpose of promoting respect for, and ob¬ 
servance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all. 

3. It may prepare draft conventions for submission to the General Assembly, with 
respect to matters falling within its competence. 

4. It may call, in accordance with the rules prescribed by the United Nations, inter¬ 
national conferences on matters falling within its competence. 



210 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


Article 63 

1. The Economic and Social Council may enter into agreements with any of the agencies 
referred to in Article 57 t defining the terms on which the agency concerned shall be 
brought into relationship with the United Nations. Such agreements shall be subject 
to approval by the General Assembly. 

2. It may co-ordinate the activities of the specialized agencies through consultation 
with and recommendations to such agencies and through recommendations to the General 
Assembly and to the Members of the United Nations. 

Article 64 

1. The Economic and Social Council may take appropriate steps to obtain regular 
reports from the specialized agencies. It may make arrangements with the Members of 
the United Nations and with the specialized agencies to obtain reports on the steps taken 
to give effect to its own recommendations and to recommendations on matters falling 
within its competence made by the General Assembly. 

2. It may communicate its observations on these reports to the General Assembly. 

Article 65 

The Economic and Social Council may furnish information to the Security Council 
and shall assist the Security Council upon its request. 

Article 66 

1. The Economic and Social Council shall perform such functions as fall within its 
competence in connection with the carrying out of the recommendations of the General 
Assembly. 

2. It may, with the approval of the General Assembly, perform services at the request 
of Members of the United Nations and at the request of specialized agencies. 

3. It shall perform such other functions as are specified elsewhere in the present 
Charter or as may be assigned to it by the General Assembly. 

Voting 

Article 67 

1. Each Member of the Economic and Social Council shall have one vote. 

2. Decisions of the Economic and Social Council shall he made by a majority of the 
members present and voting. 

Procedure 

Article 68 

The Economic and Social Council shall set up commissions in economic and social 
fields and for the promotion of human rights, and such other commissions as may be 
required for the performance of its functions. 

Article 69 

The Economic and Social Council shall invite any Member of the United Nations 
to participate, without vote, in its deliberations on any matter of particular concern to 
that Member. 

Article 70 

The Economic and Social Council may make arrangements for representatives of the 
specialized agencies to participate, without vote, in its deliberations and in those of the 
commissions established by it, and for its representatives to participate in the deliberations 
of the specialized agencies. 


Article 71 

The Economic and Social Council may make suitable arrangements for consultation 
with non-governmental organizations which are concerned with matters within its 
competence. Such arrangements may be made with international organizations and, 
where appropriate, with national organizations after consultation with the Member of 
the United Nations concerned. 



APPENDIX II 211 

Article 72 

1. The Economic and Social Council shall adopt its own rules of procedure, including 
the method of selecting its President. 

2. The Economic and Social Council shall meet as required in accordance with its 
rules, which shall include provision for the convening of meetings on the request of a 
majority of its members. 


CHAPTER XI 

DECLARATION REGARDING NON-SELF-GOVERNING TERRITORIES 

Article 73 

Members of the United Nations which have or assume responsibilities for the adminis¬ 
tration of territories whose peoples have not yet attained a full measure of self-govern¬ 
ment recognize the principle that the interests of the inhabitants of these territories are 
paramount, and accept as a sacred trust the obligation to promote to the utmost, within 
the system of international peace and security established by the present Charter, the 
well-being of the inhabitants of these territories, and, to this end — 

(a) to ensure, with due respect for the culture of the peoples concerned, their political, 
economic, social, and educational advancement, their just treatment, and their pro¬ 
tection against abuses ; 

(b) to develop self-government, to take due account of the political aspirations of the 
peoples, and to assist them in the progressive development in their free political institutions, 
according to the particular circumstances of each territory and its peoples and their varying 
stages of advancement ; 

(c) to further international peace and security ; 

( d ) to promote constructive measures of development, to encourage research, and to 
co-operate with one another and, when and where appropriate, with specialized inter¬ 
national bodies with a view to the practical achievement of the social, economic, and 
scientific purposes set forth in this Article ; and 

( e ) to transmit regularly to the Secretary-General for information purposes, subject to 
such limitation as security and constitutional considerations may require, statistical and 
other information of a technical nature relating to economic, social, and educational 
conditions in the territories for which they are respectively responsible other than those 
territories to which Chapters XII and XIII apply. 

Article 74 

Members of the United Nations also agree that their policy in respect of the territories 
to which this Chapter applies, no less than in respect of their metropolitan areas, must be 
based on the general principle of good-neighbourliness, due account being taken of the 
interests and well-being of the rest of the world, in social, economic, and commercial 
matters. 


CHAPTER XII 

INTERNATIONAL TRUSTEESHIP SYSTEM 
Article 75 

The United Nations shall establish under its authority an international trusteeship 
system for the administration and supervision of such territories as may be placed there¬ 
under by subsequent individual agreements. These territories are hereinafter referred to 
as trust territories. 

Article 76 

The basic objectives of the trusteeship system, in accordance with the Purposes of the 
United Nations laid down in Article 1 of the present Charter, shall be — 

(a) to further international peace and security ; 

( b ) to promote the political, economic, social and educational advancement of the 
inhabitants of the trust territories, and their progressive development towards self- 
government or independence as may be appropriate to the particular circumstances of 
each territory and its peoples and the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned 
and as may be provided by the terms of each trusteeship agreement; 



212 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


(c) to encourage respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without 
distinction as to race, sex, language or religion, and to encourage recognition of the 
interdependence of the peoples of the world ; and 

(i d) to ensure equal treatment in social, economic and commercial matters for all 
Members of the United Nations and their nationals, and also equal treatment for the 
latter in the administration of justice, without prejudice to the attainment of the fore¬ 
going objectives and subject to the provisions of Article 80. 

Article 77 

1. The trusteeship system shall apply to such territories in the following categories as 
may be placed thereunder by means of trusteeship agreements — 

(a) territories now held under mandate ; 

(b) territories which may be detached from enemy States as a result of the Second 
World War ; and 

(c) territories voluntarily placed under the system by States responsible for their 
administration. 

2. It will be a matter for subsequent agreement as to which territories in the foregoing 
categories will be brought under the trusteeship system and upon what terms. 

Article 78 

The trusteeship system shall not apply to territories which have become Members of 
the United Nations, relationship among which shall be based on respect for the principle 
of sovereign equality. 

Article 79 

The terms of trusteeship for each territory to be placed under the trusteeship system, 
including any alteration or amendment, shall be agreed upon by the States directly con¬ 
cerned, including the mandatory Power in the case of territories held under mandate 
by a Member of the United Nations, and shall be approved as provided for in Articles 
83 and 83. 


Article 80 

1. Except as may be agreed upon in individual trusteeship agreements, made under 
Articles 77, 79 and 81, placing each territory under the trusteeship system, and until such 
agreements have been concluded, nothing in this Chapter shall be construed in or of 
itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any States or any peoples or the 
terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations 
may respectively be parties. 

2. Paragraph 1 of this Article shall not be interpreted as giving grounds for delay or 
postponement of the negotiation and conclusion of agreements for placing mandated 
and other territories under the trusteeship system as provided for in Article 77. 

Article 81 

The trusteeship agreement shall in each case include the terms under which the trust 
territory will be administered and designate the authority which will exercise the adminis¬ 
tration of the trust territory. Such authority, hereinafter called the administering authority, 
may be one or more States or the Organizations itself. 

Article 82 

There may be designated, in any trusteeship agreement, a strategic area or areas which 
may include part or all of the trust territory to which the agreement applies, without 
prejudice to any special agreement or agreements made under Article 43. 

Article 83 

1. All functions of the United Nations relating to strategic areas, including the approval 
of the terms of the trusteeship agreements and of their alteration or amendment, shall be 
exercised by the Security Council. 

2. The basic objectives set forth in Article 76 shall be applicable to the people of each 
strategic area. 



APPENDIX II 


213 


3. The Security Council shall, subject to the provisions of the trusteeship agreements 
and without prejudice to security considerations, avail itself of the assistance of the 
Trusteeship Council to perform those functions of the United Nations under the trustee¬ 
ship system relating to political, economic, social and educational matters in the strategic 
areas. 

Article 84 

It shall be the duty of the administering authority to ensure that the trust territory 
shall play its part in the maintenance of international peace and security. To this end 
the administering authority may make use of volunteer forces, facilities and assistance 
from the trust territory in carrying out the obligations towards the Security Council 
undertaken in this regard by the administering authority, as well as for local defence 
and the maintenance of law and order within the trust territory. 

Article 85 

1. The functions of the United Nations with regard to trusteeship agreements for all 
areas not designated as strategic, including the approval of the terms of the trusteeship 
agreements and of their alteration or amendment, shall be exercised by the General 
Assembly. 

2. The Trusteeship Council, operating under the authority of the General Assembly, 
shall assist the General Assembly in carrying out these functions. 

CHAPTER XIII 

THE TRUSTEESHIP COUNCIL 


Composition 

Article 86 

1. The Trusteeship Council shall consist of the following Members of the United 
Nations — 

(a) those Members administering trust territories ; 

(b) such of those Members mentioned by name in Article 23 as are not administering 
trust territories ; and 

(c) as many other Members elected for three-year terms by the General Assembly as 
may be necessary to ensure that the total number of members of the Trusteeship Council 
is equally divided between those Members of the United Nations which administer trust 
territories and those which do not. 

2. Each member of the Trusteeship Council shall designate one specially qualified 
person to represent it therein. 

Functions and Powers Article 87 

The General Assembly and, under its authority, the Trusteeship Council, in carrying 
out their functions, may — 

(a) consider reports submitted by the administering authority ; 

(b) accept petitions and examine them in consultation with the administering authority ; 

(c) provide for periodic visits to the respective trust territories at times agreed upon 
with the administering authority ; and 

(i d) take these and other actions in conformity with the terms of the trusteeship agree¬ 
ments. 

Article 88 

The Trusteeship Council shall formulate a questionnaire on the political, economic, 
social, and educational advancement of the inhabitants of each trust territory, and the 
administering authority for each trust territory within the competence of the General 
Assembly shall make an annual report to the General Assembly upon the basis of such 
questionnaire. 

Voting 

Article 89 

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

2 . Decisions of the Trusteeship Council shall be made by a majority of the members 
Present and voting. 



214 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

Procedure 

Article 90 

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

2. The Trusteeship Council shall meet as required in accordance with its rules, which 
shall include provision for the convening of meetings on the request of a majority of its 
members. 

Article 91 

The Trusteeship Council shall, when appropriate, avail itself of the assistance of the 
Economic and Social Council and of the specialized agencies in regard to matters with 
which they are respectively concerned. 

CHAPTER XIV 

THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE 

Article 92 

The International Court of Justice shall be the principal judicial organ of the United 
Nations. It shall function in accordance with the annexed Statute, which is based upon the 
Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice and forms an integral part of the 
present Charter. 

Article 93 

1. All Members of the United Nations are, ipso facto , parties to the Statute of the Inter¬ 
national Court of Justice. 

2. A State which is not a Member of the United Nations may become a party to the 
Statute of the International Court of Justice on conditions to be determined in each case 
by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council. 

Article 94 

1. Each Member of the United Nations undertakes to comply with the decision of the 
International Court of Justice in any case to which it is a party. 

2. If any party to a case fails to perform the obligations incumbent upon it under a 
judgement rendered by the Court, the other party may have recourse to the Security 
Council, which may, if it deems necessary, make recommendations or decide upon 
measures to be taken to give effect to the judgement. 

Article 95 

Nothing in the present Charter shall prevent Members of the United Nations from en¬ 
trusting the solution of their differences to other tribunals by virtue of agreements already 
in existence or which may be concluded in the future. 

Article 96 

1. The General Assembly or the Security Council may request the International Couit 
of Justice to give an advisory opinion on any legal question. 

2. Other organs of the United Nations and specialized agencies, which may at any time 
be so authorized by the General Assembly, may also request advisory opinions of the 
Court on legal questions arising within the scope of their activities. 

CHAPTER XV 
THE SECRETARIAT 

Article 97 

The Secretariat shall comprise a Secretary-General and such staff as the Organization 
may require. The Secretary-General shall be appointed by the General Assembly upon 
the recommendation of the Security Council. He shall be the chief administrative officer 
of the Organization. 



APPENDIX II 


215 


Article 98 

The Secretary-General shall act in that capacity in all meetings of the General Assembly, 
of the Security Council, of the Economic and Social Council, and of the Trusteeship 
Council, and shall perform such other functions as are entrusted to him by these organs. 
The Secretary-General shall make an annual report to the General Assembly on the work 
of the Organization. 

Article 99 

The Secretary-General may bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter 
which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security. 

Article 100 

1. In the performance of their duties the Secretary-General and the staff shall not seek 
or receive instructions from any Government or from any other authority external to 
the Organization. They shall refrain from any action which might reflect on their position 
as international officials responsible only to the Organization. 

2. Each Member of the United Nations undertakes to respect the exclusively inter¬ 
national character of the responsibilities of the Secretary-General and the staff and not 
to seek to influence them in the discharge of their responsibilities. 

Article 101 

1. The staff shall be appointed by the Secretary-General under regulations established 
by the General Assembly. 

2. Appropriate staffs shall be permanently assigned to the Economic and Social Council, 
the Trusteeship Council, and, as required, to other organs of the United Nations. These 
staffs shall form a part of the Secretariat. 

3. The paramount consideration in the employment of the staff and in the determination 
of the conditions of service shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of 
efficiency, competence, and integrity. Due regard shall be paid to the importance of 
recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. 

CHAPTER XVI 

MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS 

Article 102 

1. Every treaty and every international agreement entered into by any Member of the 
United Nations after the present Charter comes into force shall as soon as possible be 
registered with the Secretariat and published by it. 

2. No party to any such treaty or international agreement which has not been registered 
in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article may invoke that treaty 
or agreement before any organ of the United Nations. 

Article 103 

In the event of a conflict between the obligations of the Members of the United Nations 
under the present Charter and their obligations under any other international agreement, 
their obligations under the present Charter shall prevail. 

Article 104 

The Organization shall enjoy in the territory of each of its Members such legal capacity 
as may be necessary for the exercise of its functions and the fulfilment of its purposes. 

Article 105 

1. The Organization shall enjoy in the territory of each of its Members such privileges 
•nd immunities as are necessary for the fulfilment of its purposes. 

2. Representatives of the Members of the United Nations and officials of the Or¬ 
ganization shall similarly enjoy such privileges and immunities as are necessary for the 
independent exercise of their functions in connection with the Organization. 

3. The General Assembly may make recommendations with a view to determining the 
details of the application of paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article or may propose con¬ 
ventions to the Members of the United Nations for this purpose. 



216 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

CHAPTER XVII 

TRANSITIONAL SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS 
Article 106 

Pending the coming into force of such special agreements referred to in Article 43 as 
in the opinion of the Security Council enable it to begin the exercise of its responsibilities 
under Article 42, the parties to the Four-Nation Declaration, signed at Moscow, 30th 
October 1943, and France shall, in accordance with the provisions of paragraph S of 
that Declaration, consult with one another and as occasion requires with other Members 
of the United Nations with a view to such joint action on behalf of the Organization as 
may be necessary for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security. 

Article 107 

Nothing in the present Charter shall invalidate or preclude action, in relation to any 
State which during the Second World War has been an enemy of any signatory to the 
present Charter, taken or authorized as a result of that war by the Governments having 
responsibility for such action. 


CHAPTER XVIII 
AMENDMENTS 
Article 108 

Amendments to the present Charter shall come into force for all Members of the United 
Nations when they have been adopted by a vote of two-thirds of the members of the 
General Assembly and ratified in accordance with their respective constitutional pro¬ 
cesses by two-thirds of the Members of the United Nations, including all the permanent 
members of the Security Council. 

Article 109 

1. A General Conference of the Members of the United Nations for the purpose of 
reviewing the present Charter may be held at a date and place to be fixed by a two-thirds 
vote of the members of the General Assembly and by a vote of any seven members of 
the Security Council. Each Member of the United Nations shall have one vote in the 
conference. 

2. Any alteration of the present Charter recommended by a two-thirds vote of the 
conference shall take effect when ratified in accordance with their respective constitutional 
processes by two-thirds of the Members of the United Nations, including all the per¬ 
manent members of the Security Council. 

3. If such a conference has not been held before the tenth annual session of the General 
Assembly following the coming into force of the present Charter, the proposal to call 
such a conference shall be placed on the agenda of that session of the General Assembly, 
and the conference shall be held if so decided by a majority vote of the members of the 
General Assembly and by a vote of any seven members of the Security Council. 

CHAPTER XIX 

RATIFICATION AND SIGNATURE 
Article 110 

1. The present Charter shall be ratified by the signatory States in accordance with their 
respective constitutional processes. 

2. The ratifications shall be deposited with the Government of the United States of 
America, which shall notify all the signatory States of each deposit as well as the Secretary- 
General of the Organization when he has been appointed. 

3. The present Charter shall come into force upon the deposit of ratifications by 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, and by a 
majority of the other signatory States. A protocol of the ratifications deposited shall there¬ 
upon be drawn up by the Government of the United States of America which shall com¬ 
municate copies thereof to all the signatory States. 



APPENDIX II 


217 


4. The States signatory to the present Charter which ratify it after it has come into force 
will become original Members of the United Nations on the date of the deposit of their 
respective ratifications. 

Article 111 

The present Charter, of which the Chinese, French, Russian, English and Spanish 
texts are equally authentic, shall remain deposited in the archives of the Government 
of the United States of America. Duly certified copies thereof shall be transmitted by that 
Government to the Governments of the other signatory States. 

IN FAITH WHEREOF the representatives of the Governments of the United Nations 
have signed the present Charter. 

DONE at the city of San Francisco the twenty-sixth day of June, one thousand nine 
hundred and forty-five. 


China 

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics 

United Kingdom 

United States of America 

France 

Argentina 

Australia 

Belgium 

Bolivia 

Brazil 

Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic 

Canada 

Chile 

Colombia 

Costa Rica 

Cuba 

Czechoslovakia 

Denmark 

Dominican Republic 

Ecuador 

Egypt 

El Salvador 

Ethiopia 

Greece 

Guatemala 

Haiti 


Honduras 

India 

Iran 

Iraq 

Lebanon 

Liberia 

Luxembourg 

Mexico 

Netherlands 

New Zealand 

Nicaragua 

Norway 

Panama 

Paraguay 

Peru 

Philippine Commonwealth 

Poland 

Saudi Arabia 

Syria 

Turkey 

Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic 

Union of South Africa 

Uruguay 

Venezuela 

Yugoslavia 



APPENDIX III 


STATUTE OF 

THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE 


Article 1 

THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE established by the Charter of the 
United Nations as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations shall be constituted 
and shall function in accordance with the provisions of the present Statute. 

CHAPTER I 

ORGANIZATION OF THE COURT 

Article 2 

The Court shall be composed of a body of independent judges, elected regardless of 
their nationality from among persons of high moral character, who possess the qualifi¬ 
cations required in their respective countries for appointment to the highest judicial 
offices, or are jurisconsults of recognized competence in international law. 

Article 3 

1. The Court shall consist of fifteen members, no two of whom may be nationals of the 
same State. 

2. A person who for the purposes of membership in the Court could be regarded as a 
national of more than one State shall be deemed to be a national of the one in which he 
ordinarily exercises civil and political rights. 

Article 4 

1. The members of the Court shall be elected by the General Assembly and by the 
Security Council from a list of persons nominated by the national groups in the Per¬ 
manent Court of Arbitration, in accordance with the following provisions. 

2. In the case of Members of the United Nations not represented in the Permanent 
Court of Arbitration, candidates shall be nominated by national groups appointed for 
this purpose by their Governments under the same conditions as those prescribed for 
members of the Permanent Court of Arbitration by Article 44 of the Convention of 
The Hague of 1907 for the pacific settlement of international disputes. 

3. The conditions under which a State which is a party to the present Statute but is not 
a Member of the United Nations may participate in electing the members of the Court 
shall, in the absence of a special agreement, be laid down by the General Assembly upon 
recommendation of the Security Council. 

Article 5 

1. At least three months before the date of the election, the Secretary-General of the 
United Nations shall address a written request to the members of the Permanent Court 
of Arbitration belonging to the States which are parties to the present Statute, and 
to the members of the national groups appointed under Article 4, paragraph 2, inviting 
them to undertake, within a given time, by national groups, the nomination of persons in 
a position to accept the duties of a member of the Court. 

2. No group may nominate more than four persons, not more than two of whom shall 
be of their own nationality. In no case may the number of candidates nominated by a 
group be more than double the number of seats to be filled. 

Article 6 

Before making these nominations, each national group is recommended to consult its 
highest court of justice, its legal faculties and schools of law, and its national academies 
and national sections of international academies devoted to the study of law. 

218 



APPENDIX III 


219 


Article 7 

1. The Secretary-General shall prepare a list in alphabetical order of all the persons 
thus nominated. Save as provided in Article 12, paragraph 2, these shall be the only 
persons eligible. 

2. The Secretary-General shall submit this list to the General Assembly and to the 
Security Council. 

Article 8 

The General Assembly and the Security Council shall proceed independently of one 
another to elect the members of the Court. 

Article 9 

At every election, the electors shall bear in mind not only that the persons to be elected 
should individually possess the qualifications required, but also that in the body as a 
whole the representation of the main forms of civilization and of the principal legal systems 
of the world should be assured. 

Article 10 

1. Those candidates who obtain an absolute majority of votes in the General Assembly 
and in the Security Council shall be considered as elected. 

2. Any vote of the Security Council, whether for the election of judges or for the 
appointment of members of the conference envisaged in Article 12, shall be taken without 
any distinction between permanent and non-permanent members of the Security Council. 

3. In the event of more than one national of the same State obtaining an absolute 
majority of the votes both of the General Assembly and of the Security Council, the 
eldest of these only shall be considered as elected. 

Article 1! 

If, after the first meeting held for the purpose of the election, one or more seats remain 
to be filled, a second and, if necessary, a third meeting shall take place. 

Article 12 

1. If, after the third meeting, one or more seats still remain unfilled, a joint conference 
consisting of six members, three appointed by the General Assembly and three by the 
Security Council, may be formed at any time at the request of either the General Assembly 
or the Security Council, for the purpose of choosing by the vote of an absolute majority 
one name for each seat still vacant, to submit to the General Assembly and the Security 
Council for their respective acceptance. 

2. If the joint conference is unanimously agreed upon any person who fulfils the re¬ 
quired conditions, he may be included in its list, even though he was not included in the 
list of nominations referred to in Article 7. 

3. If the joint conference is satisfied that it will not be successful in procuring an election, 
those members of the Court who have already been elected shall, within a period to be 
fixed by the Security Council, proceed to fill the vacant seats by selection from among 
those candidates who have obtained votes either in the General Assembly or in the 
Security Council. 

4. In the event of an equality of votes among the judges, the eldest judge shall have a 
casting vote. 

Article 13 

1. The members of the Court shall be elected for nine years and may be re-elected ; 
provided, however, that, of the judges elected at the first election, the terms of five judges 
shall expire at the end of three years, and the terms of five more judges shall expire at the 
end of six years. 

2 . The judges whose terms are to expire at the end of the above-mentioned initial periods 
of three and six years shall be chosen by lot to be drawn by the Secretary-General im¬ 
mediately after the first election has been completed. 

3. The members of the Court shall continue to discharge their duties until their places 
have been filled. Though replaced, they shall finish any cases which they may have begun. 

4. In the case of the resignation of a member of the Court, the resignation shall be 
addressed to the President of the Court for transmission to the Secretary-General. The 
last notification makes the place vacant. 



220 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

Article 14 

Vacancies shall be filled by the same method as that laid down for the first election, 
subject to the following provision : the Secretary-General shall, within one month of 
the occurrence of the vacancy, proceed to issue the invitations provided for in Article 5, 
and the date of the election shall be fixed by the Security Council. 

Article 15 

A member of the Court elected to replace a member whose term of office has not 
expired shall hold office for the remainder of his predecessor's term. 

Article 16 

1. No member of the Court may exercise any political or administrative function, or 
engage in any other occupation of a professional nature. 

2. Any doubt on this point shall be settled by the decision of the Court. 

Article 17 

1. No member of the Court may act as agent, counsel, or advocate in any case. 

2. No member may participate in the decision of any case in which he has previously 
taken part as agent, counsel, or advocate for one of the parties, or as a member of a 
national or international court, or of a commission of inquiry, or in any other capacity. 

3. Any doubt on this point shall be settled by the decision of the Court. 

Article 18 

1. No member of the Court can be dismissed unless, in the unanimous opinion of the 
other members, he has ceased to fulfil the required conditions. 

2. Formal notification thereof shall be made to the Secretary-General by the Registrar. 

3. This notification makes the place vacant. 

Article 19 

The members of the Court, when engaged on the business of the Court, shall enjoy 
diplomatic privileges and immunities. 

Article 20 

Every member of the Court shall, before taking up his duties, make a solemn declaration 
in open court that he will exercise his powers impartially and conscientiously. 

Article 21 

1. The Court shall elect its President and Vice-President for three years ; they may be 
re-elected. 

2. The Court shall appoint its Registrar and may provide for the appointment of such 
other officers as may be necessary. 


Article 22 

1. The seat of the Court shall be established at The Hague. This, however, shall not 
prevent the Court from sitting and exercising its functions elsewhere whenever the Court 
considers it desirable. 

2. The President and the Registrar shall reside at the seat of the Court. 

Article 23 

1. The Court shall remain permanently in session, except during the judicial vacations, 
the dates and duration of which shall be fixed by the Court. 

2. Members of the Court are entitled to periodic leave, the dates and duration of which 
shall be fixed by the Court, having in mind the distance between The Hague and the home 
of each judge. 

3. Members of the Court shall be bound, unless they are on leave or prevented from 
attending by illness or other serious reasons duly explained to the President, to hold 
themselves permanently at the disposal of the Court. 



APPENDIX III 221 

Article 24 

1. If, for some special reason, a member of the Court considers that he should not take 
part in the decision of a particular case, he shall so inform the President. 

2. If the President considers that for some special reason one of the members of the 
Court should not sit in a particular case, he shall give him notice accordingly. 

3. If in any such case the member of the Court and the President disagree, the matter 
shall be settled by the decision of the Court. 

Article 25 

1. The full Court shall sit except when it is expressly provided otherwise in the present 
Statute. 

2. Subject to the condition that the number of judges available to constitute the Court 
is not thereby reduced below eleven, the Rules of the Court may provide for allowing 
one or more judges, according to circumstances and in rotation, to be dispensed from 
sitting. 

3. A quorum of nine judges shall suffice to constitute the Court. 

Article 26 

1. The Court may from time to time form one or more chambers, composed of three or 
more judges as the Court may determine, for dealing with particular categories of cases ; 
for example, labour cases and cases relating to transit and communications. 

2. The Court may at any time form a chamber for dealing with a particular case. The 
number of judges to constitute such a chamber shall be determined by the Court with 
the approval of the parties. 

3. Cases shall be heard and determined by the chambers provided for in this Article 
if the parties so request. 

Article 27 

A judgement given by any of the chambers provided for in Articles 26 and 29 shall be 
considered as rendered by the Court. 


Article 28 

The chambers provided for in Articles 26 and 29 may, with the consent of the parties, 
sit and exercise their functions elsewhere than at The Hague. 

Article 29 

With a view to the speedy despatch of business, the Court shall form annually a chamber 
composed of five judges which, at the request of the parties, may hear and determine 
cases by summary procedure. In addition, two judges shall be selected for the purpose of 
replacing judges who find it impossible to sit. 

Article 30 

1. The Court shall frame rules for carrying out its functions. In particular, it shall lay 
down rules of procedure. 

2. The Rules of the Court may provide for assessors to sit with the Court or with any 
of its chambers, without the right to vote. 

Article 31 

1. Judges of the nationality of each of the parties shall retain their right to sit in the case 
before the Court. 

2. If the Court includes upon the Bench a judge of the nationality of one of the parties, 
any other party may choose a person to sit as judge. Such person shall be chosen prefer¬ 
ably from among those persons who have been nominated as candidates as provided in 
Articles 4 and 5. 

3. If the Court includes upon the Bench no judge of the nationality of the parties, each 
of these parties may proceed to choose a judge as provided in paragraph 2 of this Article. 

4. The provisions of this Article shall apply to the case of Articles 26 and 29. In such 
cases, the President shall request one or, if necessary, two of the members of the Court 
forming the chamber to give place to the members of the Court of the nationality of the 
parties concerned, and, failing such, or if they are unable to be present, to the judges 
specially chosen by the parties. 



222 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATION 

5. Should there be several parties in the same interest, they shall, for the purpose of the 
preceding provisions, be reckoned as one party only. Any doubt upon this point shall be 
settled by the decision of the Court. 

6. Judges chosen as laid down in paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of this Article shall ftilfil the 
conditions required by Articles 2, 17 (paragraph 2), 20, and 24 of the present Statute. 
They shall take part in the decision on terms of complete equality with their colleagues. 

Article 32 

1. Each member of the Court shall receive an annual salary. 

2. The President shall receive a special annual allowance. 

3. The Vice-President shall receive a special allowance for every day on which he acts as 
President. 

4. The judges chosen under Article 31, other than members of the Court, shall receive 
compensation for each day on which they exercise their functions. 

5. These salaries, allowances, and compensation shall be fixed by the General Assembly. 
They may not be decreased during the term of office. 

6. The salary of the Registrar shall be fixed by the General Assembly on the proposal 
of the Court. 

7. Regulations made by the General Assembly shall fix the conditions under which 
retirement pensions may be given to members of the Court and to the Registrar, and the 
conditions under which members of the Court and the Registrar shall have their travel¬ 
ling expenses refunded. 

8. The above salaries, allowances, and compensation shall be free of all taxation. 

Article 33 

The expenses of the Court shall be borne by the United Nations in such a manner as 
shall be decided by the General Assembly. 

CHAPTER II 

COMPETENCE OF THE COURT 

Article 34 

1. Only States may be parties in cases before the Court. 

2. The Court, subject to and in conformity with its Rules, may request of public inter¬ 
national organizations information relevant to cases before it, and shall receive such 
information presented by such organizations on their own initiative. 

3. Whenever the construction of the constituent instrument of a public international 
organization or of an international convention adopted thereunder is in question in a 
case before the Court, the Registrar shall so notify the public international organization 
concerned and shall communicate to it copies of all the written proceedings. 

Article 35 

1. The Court shall be open to the States parties to the present Statute. 

2. The conditions under which the Court shall be open to other States shall, subject 
to the special provisions contained in treaties in force, be laid down by the Security Council, 
but in no case shall such conditions place the parties in a position of inequality before the 
Court. 

3. When a State which is not a Member of the United Nations is a party to a case, 
the Court shall fix the amount which that party is to contribute towards the expenses of 
the Court. This provision shall not apply if such State is bearing a share of the expenses 
of the Court. 

Article 36 

1. The jurisdiction of the Court comprises all cases which the parties refer to it and all 
matters specially provided for in the Charter of the United Nations or in treaties and con¬ 
ventions in force. 

2. The States parties to the present Statute may at any time declare that they recognize 
as compulsory, ipso facto and without special agreement, in relation to any other State 
accepting the same obligation, the jurisdiction of the Court in all legal disputes con¬ 
cerning— 



APPENDIX III 


223 


(a) the interpretation of a treaty ; 

( b ) any question of international law ; 

(c) the existence of any fact which, if established, would constitute a breach of an inter¬ 
national obligation ; 

(d) the nature or extent of the reparation to be made for the breach of an international 
obligation. 

3. The declarations referred to above may be made unconditionally or on condition of 
reciprocity on the part of several or certain States, or for a certain time. 

4. Such declarations shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United 
Nations, who shall transmit copies thereof to the parties to the Statute and to the Regis¬ 
trar of the Court. 

5. Declarations made under Article 36 of the Statute of the Permanent Court of Inter¬ 
national Justice and which are still in force shall be deemed, as between the parties to the 
present Statute, to be acceptances of the compulsory jurisdiction of the International 
Court of Justice for the period which they still have to run and in accordance with their 
terms. 

6. In the event of a dispute as to whether the Court has jurisdiction, the matter shall 
be settled by the decision of the Court. 

Article 37 

Whenever a treaty or convention in force provides for reference of a matter to a tri¬ 
bunal to have been instituted by the League of Nations, or to the Permanent Court of 
International Justice, the matter shall, as between the parties to the present Statute, be 
referred to the International Court of Justice. 

Article 38 

1. The Court, whose function is to decide in accordance with international law such 
disputes as are submitted to it, shall apply — 

(< a ) international conventions, whether general or particular, establishing rules expressly 
recognized by the contesting States ; 

( b ) international custom, as evidence of a general practice accepted as law ; 

(c) the general principles of law recognized by civilized nations ; 

{d) subject to the provisions of Article 59, judicial decisions and the teachings of the 
most highly qualified publicists of the various nations, as subsidiary means for the 
determination of rules of law. 

2. This provision shall not prejudice the power of the Court to decide a case ex aequo 
et bono , if the parties agree thereto. 

CHAPTER III 
PROCEDURE 

Article 39 

1. The official languages of the Court shall be French and English. If the parties agree 
that the case shall be conducted in French, the judgement shall be delivered in French. 
If the parties agree that the case shall be conducted in English, the judgement shall be 
delivered in English. 

2. In the absence of an agreement as to which language shall be employed, each party 
may, in the pleadings, use the language which it prefers ; the decision of the Court shall 
be given in French and English. In this case the Court shall at the same time determine 
which of the two texts shall be considered as authoritative. 

3. The Court shall, at the request of any party, authorize a language other than French 
or English to be used by that party. 


Article 40 

1. Cases are brought before the Court, as the case may be, either by the notification of 
the special agreement or by a written application addressed to the Registrar. In either case 
the subject of the dispute and the parties shall be indicated. 

2. The Registrar shall forthwith communicate the application to all concerned. 

3. He shall also notify the Members of the United Nations through the Secretary- 
General, and also any other States entitled to appear before the Court. 



224 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


Article 41 

1. The Court shall have the power to indicate, if it considers that circumstances so 
require, any provisional measures which ought to be taken to preserve the respective 
rights of either party. 

2. Pending the final decision, notice of the measures suggested shall forthwith be given 
to the parties and to the Security Council. 

Article 42 

1. The parties shall be represented by agents. 

2. They may have the assistance of counsel or advocates before the Court. 

3. The agents, counsel and advocates of parties before the Court shall enjoy the privi¬ 
leges and immunities necessary to the independent exercise of their duties. 

Article 43 

1. The procedure shall consist of two parts : written and oral. 

2. The written proceedings shall consist of the communication to the Court and to the 
parties of memorials, counter-memorials and, if necessary, replies ; also all papers and 
documents in support. 

3. These communications shall be made through the Registrar, in the order and within 
the time fixed by the Court. 

4. A certified copy of every document produced by one party shall be communicated 
to the other party. 

5. The oral proceedings shall consist of the hearing by the Court of witnesses, experts, 
agents, counsel, and advocates. 


Article 44 

1. For the service of all notices upon persons other than the agents, counsel, and advo¬ 
cates, the Court shall apply direct to the Government of the State upon whose territory 
the notice has to be served. 

2. The same provision shall apply whenever steps are to be taken to procure evidence 
on the spot. 

Article 45 

The hearing shall be under the control of the President or, if he is unable to preside, 
of the Vice-President ; if neither is able to preside, the senior judge present shall preside. 

Article 46 

The hearing in Court shall be public, unless the Court shall decide otherwise, or unless 
the parties demand that the public be not admitted. 

Article 47 

1. Minutes shall be made at each hearing and signed by the Registrar and the President. 

2. These minutes alone shall be authentic. 

Article 48 

The Court shall make orders for the conduct of the case, shall decide the form and time 
in which each party must conclude its arguments, and make all arrangements connected 
with the taking of evidence. 

Article 49 

The Court may, even before the hearing begins, call upon the agents to produce any 
document or to supply any explanations. Formal note shall be taken of any refusal. 

Article 50 

The Court may, at any time, entrust any individual, body, bureau, commission, or 
other organization that it may select, with the task of carrying out an inquiry or giving 
an expert opinion. 

Article 51 

During the hearing any relevant questions are to be put to the witnesses and experts 
under the conditions laid down by the Court in the rules of procedure referred to in 
Article 30. 



APPENDIX III 225 

Article 52 

After the Court has received the proofs and evidence within the time specified for the 
purpose, it may refuse to accept any further oral or written evidence that one party may 
desire to present unless the other side consents. 

Article 53 

1. Whenever one of the parties does not appear before the Court, or fails to defend 
its case, the other party may call upon the Court to decide in favour of its claim. 

2. The Court must, before doing so, satisfy itself, not only that it has jurisdiction in 
accordance with Articles 36 and 37, but also that the claim is well founded in fact and law. 

Article 54 

1. When, subject to the control of the Court, the agents, counsel, and advocates have 
completed their presentation of the case, the President shall declare the hearing closed. 

2. The Court shall withdraw to consider the judgement. 

3. The deliberations of the Court shall take place in private and remain secret. 


Article $5 

1. All questions shall be decided by a majority of the judges present. 

2. In the event of an equality of votes, the President or the judge who acts in his place 
shall have a casting vote. 


Article 56 

1. The judgement shall state the reasons on which it is based. 

2. It shall contain the names of the judges who have taken part in the decision. 

Article 57 

If the judgement does not represent in whole or in part the unanimous opinion of the 
judges, any judge shall be entitled to deliver a separate opinion. 

Article 58 

The judgement shall be signed by the President and by the Registrar. It shall be read 
in open court, due notice having been given to the agents. 


Article 59 

The decision of the Court has no binding force except between the parties and in respect 
of that particular case. 


Article 60 

The judgement is final and without appeal. In the event of dispute as to the meaning 
or scope of the judgement, the Court shall construe it upon the request of any party. 

Article 61 

1. An application for revision of a judgement may be made only when it is based upon 
the discovery of some fact of such a nature as to be a decisive factor, which fact was, when 
the judgement was given, unknown to the Court and also to the party claiming revision, 
always provided that such ignorance was not due to negligence. 

2. The proceedings for revision shall be opened by a judgement of the Court expressly 
recording the existence of the new fact, recognizing that it has such a character as to lay 
the case open to revision, and declaring the application admissible on this ground. 

3. The Court may require previous compliance with the terms of the judgement before 
it admits proceedings in revision. 

4. The application for revision must be made at latest within six months of the discovery 
of the new fact. 

5. No application for revision may be made after the lapse of ten years from the date 
of the judgement. 



226 CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

Article 62 

1. Should a State consider that it has an interest of a legal nature which may be affected 
by the decision in the case, it may submit a request to the Court to be permitted to inter¬ 
vene. 

2. It shall be for the Court to decide upon this request. 


Article 63 

1. Whenever the construction of a convention to which States other than those con¬ 
cerned in the case are parties is in question, the Registrar shall notify all such States forth¬ 
with. 

2. Every State so notified has the right to intervene in the proceedings ; but if it uses this 
right, the construction given by the judgement will be equally binding upon it. 

Article 64 

Unless otherwise decided by the Court, each party shall bear its own costs. 

CHAPTER IV 
ADVISORY OPINIONS 
Article 65 

1. The Court may give an advisory opinion on any legal question at the request of 
whatever body may be authorized by or in accordance with the Charter of the United 
Nations to make such a request. 

2. Questions upon which the advisory opinion of the Court is asked shall be laid before 
the Court by means of a written request containing an exact statement of the question 
upon which an opinion is required, and accompanied by all documents likely to throw 
light upon the question. 


Article 66 

1. The Registrar shall forthwith give notice of the request for an advisory opinion to ail 
States entitled to appear before the Court. 

2. The Registrar shall also, by means of a special and direct communication, notify 
any State entitled to appear before the Court or international organization considered by 
the Court, or, should it not be sitting, by the President, as likely to be able to furnish 
information on the question, that the Court will be prepared to receive, within a time 
limit to be fixed by the President, written statements, or to hear, at a public sitting to be 
held for the purpose, oral statements relating to the question. 

3. Should any such State entitled to appear before the Court have failed to receive the 
special communication referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article, such State may express 
a desire to submit a written statement or to be heard ; and the Court will decide. 

4. States and organizations having presented written or oral statements or both shall be 
permitted to comment on the statements made by other States or organizations in the 
form, to the extent, and within the time limits which the Court, or, should it not be sitting, 
the President, shall decide in each particular case. Accordingly, the Registrar shall in 
due time communicate any such written statements to States and organizations having 
submitted similar statements. 


Article 67 

The Court shall deliver its advisory opinions in open court, notice having been given 
to the Secretary-General and to the representatives of Members of the United Nations, 
of other States and of international organizations immediately concerned. 


Article 68 

In the exercise of its advisory functions the Court shall further be guided by the pro¬ 
visions of the present Statute which apply in contentious cases to the extent to which it 
recognizes them to be applicable. 



APPENDIX III 

CHAPTER V 


227 


AMENDMENT 
Article 69 

Amendments to the present Statute shall be effected by the same procedure as is pro¬ 
vided by the Charter of the United Nations for amendments to that Charter, subject 
however to any provisions which the General Assembly upon recommendation of the 
Security Council may adopt concerning the participation of States which are parties to 
the present Statute but are not Members of the United Nations. 

Article 70 

The Court shall have power to propose such amendments to the present Statute as it 
may deem necessary, through written communications to the Secretary-General, for 
consideration in conformity with the provisions of Article 69. 




SHORT BIBLIOGRAPHY 


Atomic Energy , Its International Implications. Chatham House Study Group. 
London, Royal Institute of International Affairs, 1948. 

Bentwich, Norman. From Geneva to San Francisco. An Account of the Inter¬ 
national Organization of the New Order. London, Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1946. 
Brierly, J. L. The Covenant and the Charter. London, Cambridge University 
Press, 1947. 

Burton, Margaret E. The Assembly of the League of Nations. Chicago, 
University of Chicago Press, 1941. 

Conwell-Fvans, T. P. The League Council in Action. London, Oxford Univer¬ 
sity Press, 1939. 

Davis, Harriet Eager, ed. Pioneers in World Order: An American Appraisal 
of the League of Nations. New York, Columbia University Press, 1944. 
Evatt, H. V. The United Nations. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University 
Press, 1948. 

Finer, Herman. The United Nations Social and Economic Council. Boston, 
World Peace Foundation, 1946. 

Gathorne-Hardy, Geoffrey M. A Short History of International Affairs , 
1920 to 1939. Third revised edition to the outbreak of war. London, Royal 
Institute of International Affairs, 1942. 

Goodrich, L. M. and Hambro, E. Charter of the United Nations: Commentary 
and Documents. Boston, World Peace Foundation, 1946. 

Great Britain. Foreign Office. Commentary on the Charter of the United 
Nations. London, H.M.S.O., 1945. 

Hawtrey, R. S. Bretton Woods: For Better or Worse. London, Longmans, 
1946. 

Hill, Martin. The Economic and Financial Organization of the League of 
Nations , A Survey of Twentyfive Years ' Experience. Washington, Carnegie 
Endowment for International Peace, 1945. 

Huxley, Julian. U.N.E.S.C.O.: Its Purpose and Its Philosophy . Washington, 
Public Affairs Press, 1947. 

Hudson, Manley O. The Permanent Court of International Justice, 1920- 
1942: A Treatise. New York, Macmillan, 1943. 

International Sanctions. Report by a group of members of the Royal Institute 
of International Affairs. London, Oxford University Press, 1938. 

The International Secretariat of the Future: Lessons from Experience of a 
Group of Former Officials of the League of Nations. London, Royal Institute 
of International Affairs, 1944. 

Jenks, C. Wilfred. The Headquarters of International Institutions: A Study 
of their Location and Status. London, Royal Institute of International 
Affairs, 1945. 


229 



230 


SHORT BIBLIOGRAPHY 


Kelsen, Hans. Law and Peace in International Relations. Cambridge, Harvard 
University Press, 1942. 

Kelsen, Hans. Peace Through Law. Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina 
Press, 1944. 

Koo, Wellington, Jr. Voting Procedures in International Political Organiza¬ 
tions. New York, Columbia University Press, 1947. 

Kopelmanas, Lazare. U Organisation des Nations Unies. I: VOrganisation 
constitutionelle des Nations Unies. Paris, Sirey, 1947. 

League of Nations. The League Hands Over. London, Allen & Unwin, 1946. 
Lauterpacht, Hersch. An International Bill of the Rights of Man. New York, 
Columbia University Press, 1945. 

Masters, Ruth D. Handbook of International Organisations in the Americas. 
New York, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1945. 

Mitrany, David. A Working Peace System:An Argument for the Functional 
Development of International Organization. 4th edition. London, National 
Peace Council, 1946. 

Moore, Bernard. The United Nations Second Assembly , New York 1947. 
London, United Nations Association, 1948. 

Morgenthau, Hans T., ed. Peace , Security and the United Nations. Chicago, 
University of Chicago Press, 1946. 

Murray, Gilbert. From the League to U.N. London, Oxford University 
Press, 1948. 

Oppenheim, L. International Law. (6th edition, ed. Lauterpacht, H.) London, 
Longmans, 1947. 

Patterson, E. M. ed. “ Making the United Nations Work” The American 
Academy of Political and Social Science, The Annals , CCXLVI (July, 1946). 
Potter, Pitman B. An Introduction to the Study of International Organization. 
New York, Appleton (5th ed. rev.), 1948. 

Price, John. The International Labour Movement. Issued under the auspices 
of the Royal Institute of International Affairs. New York and Toronto, 
Oxford University Press, 1945. 

Purves, Chester. The Internal Administration of an International Secretariat: 
Some Notes Based on the Experience of the League of Nations. London, 
Royal Institute of International Affairs, 1946. 

Ranshofen-Wertheimer, Egon F. The International Secretariat: A Great 
Experiment in International Administration. Washington, Carnegie Endow¬ 
ment for International Peace, 1945. 

Royal Institute of International Affairs. United Nations Documents , 1941- 
1945 . London, 1946. 

Schiicking, W. and Wehberg, H. Die Satzung des Volkerbundes . Berlin, 
F. Vahlen, 1931. (3rd ed.). 

The United States and Non-Self-Governing Territories . Washington, Depart¬ 
ment of State Publication 2812, United States—United Nations Information 
Series 18, 1947. 

Webster, Sir Charles. “The United Nations Reviewed,” International 
Conciliation , No. 443 (September 1948). 



CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 231 

White, Freda. United Nations , the First Assembly , London , 1946 . London, 
United Nations Association, 1946. 

Yearbook of the United Nations , 1946-47 . Lake Success, Department of 
Public Information, 1947. 

Zimmera, Alfred. 7%e League of Nations and the Rule of Law , 1918-1935 . 
London, Macmillan, 1939. 




INDEX 


ABBREVIATIONS : ECOSOC, Economic and Social Council; FAO, 
Food and Agriculture Organization; GA, General Assembly; ICAO, 
International Civil Aviation Organization; ILO, International Labour 
Organization; 1MCO, Intergovernmental Maritime Consultative Organiza¬ 
tion; IRO, International Refugee Organization; ITO, International Trade 
Organization; ITU, International Telecommunications Union; SC, 
Security Council; TC, Trusteeship Council; UN, United Nations; 
UNESCO, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization; 
UNO, United Nations Organization; UNRRA, United Nations Relief and 
Rehabilitation Administration; UPU, Universal Postal Union; WHO, 
World Health Organization; WMO, World Meteorological Organization. 


Abstention from voting (SC), 68-70 
Administrative and Budgetary 
Questions, Advisory Committee 
on (GA), 49 

Administrative Committee on 
Co-ordination, 124 
Afghanistan, admission to member¬ 
ship, 24 
Agression, 

definition of, 83-89 
enforcement action against, 88-108 
Air striking force, 100-101 
Albania. See Corfu Channel case 
Alliances, 107-108, 110-111 
Allied Ministers of Education, Con¬ 
ference, of, 125 

Alternate representatives (GA), 33 
Amendments to Charter, 187-189 
Arbitration, 77 

Armaments, regulation of. See Dis¬ 
armament 

Armistice Agreements, enforcement 
of, 186 

Arrears of financial contributions, 53 
Atlantic Charter, xiii-xiv 
Atlantic Pact, xxvi-xxvii, 7, 107, 110 
Atomic energy, control of, 38 
Atomic Energy Commission (SC), 
38, 64-65 

Austria, application for membership, 
23 

Authentic texts, of Charter, 191 


Aviation. See International Civil 
Aviation Organization. 

Berlin Blockade question, 68, 85 
Bernadotte, Count Folke, assassina¬ 
tion of, 169, 181 

Blockade. See Military sanctions 
Breaches of the peace. See Sanctions 
Bruce Committee (League of 
Nations), xv 

Brussels Pact, xxvi-xxvii, 110 
Budget, 48-50 

Bulgaria, application for member¬ 
ship, 21, 22 

observance of human rights, in, 36 
Burma, admission to membership, 24 
Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Repub¬ 
lic, 20 

Cameroons, 149 

Canberra, Convention of, 144, 148 
Caribbean Commission, 144 
Charter, of U.N., scope of, 35-36; 

interpretation, 191-192; text, 200 
Civil aviation. See International 
Civil Aviation Organization 
Collective security, viii, x, xiv, xxvi- 
xxvii, 6, 88-105 
Colonies, 141-145 

Committee of Jurists (April 1945). 

See International Court of Justice 
Committee of Experts (SC), 72 


233 



234 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


Common Plan, for transfer of League 
assets to UNO, xxv 
Compensation, for excessive burden 
of sanctions, 105-106 
Compulsory jurisdiction. See Inter¬ 
national Court of Justice 
Conciliation, 77 

Conference and General Services, 
Department of, Secretariat, 172 
Conferences (ECOSOQ, 131 
Conflicting obligations, 14, 179-180 
Contingents, national. See Military 
Sanctions 

Contributions, of Members, 49-50 
Contributions, Committee on (GA), 
49 

Conventional Armaments, Commis¬ 
sion for (SC), 64-65 
Co-ordinating function of U.N.O., 
9, 124, 125, 133 

Corfu Channel question, 73, 75, 84, 
164 

Covenant of League of Nations, text, 
193 

Crimea Conference. See Yalta 
Conference 

“ Czechoslovak question,” 74, 80, 82 

Declaration by United Nations, xiii, 
19-20 

Declaration of Four Nations on 
General Security. See Moscow 
Declaration 

Declaration regarding Non-Self- 
Governing Territories, 141-145 
Demonstrations. See Military Sanc¬ 
tions 

Diplomatic Sanctions, 93-95 
Disarmament, xii, 38-39, 63-65 
Disputes, pacific settlement of, xiv, 
12-13, 39-41, 76-87 
after aggression, 89-90 
disputes and situations distin¬ 
guished, 76, 79-80 
local disputes, 112 
non-member States, 14, 27, 74-75 
Dumbarton Oaks Proposals, xiv- 
xviii 

Domestic jurisdiction, 11, 15-18, 36, 
45, 117 


Eastern bloc, xxvi-xxvii, 110 
Economic Affairs, Department of 
Secretariat, 172 

Economic and social co-operation 
(See also Economic and Social 
Council), xiv, 42-44, 116-127 
Economic and Social Council 
(ECOSOQ (See also Economic 
and Social co-operation), 126-140 
commissions, 136-137 
composition, 128-129 
conferences called by, 131 
draft conventions, initiated by, 
131 

Dumbarton Oaks Proposals, xv 
economic disputes, 134-135 
functions and powers, 129-135 
procedure, 127, 136-140 
specialized agencies, 132-134 
voting, 135-136 

Economic Commission for Europe 
(ECOSOQ, 137 
Economic sanctions, 93-95 
Eire, application for membership, 23 
Enemy states, 113-115, 149, 152 
enforcement action, against, 185- 
186 

Enforcement action. See Sanctions 
Entry into force, of Charter, 191 
Equality of States, 6-7, 10-12 
Equal treatment, principle of, in 
trust territories, 148 
Expenses. See Contributions 
Experts, 137. See also Committee of 
Experts 

Expulsion of Members, 10, 25-27 

Filing and recording, of treaties, 178 
Finland, application for membership, 
23 

Food and Agriculture Organization 
(FAO), 121 

Force, threat or use of, 13 
Four-Nation Declaration. See Mos¬ 
cow Declaration 

Franco Government. See Spanish 
Question 

Freedom of Information, 131 
Freedom of trade, in trust terri¬ 
tories, 148 



INDEX 235 


Fundamental freedoms. See Human 
rights 

General Assembly (GA) 

“ action ” not within competence 
of, 36, 40 

admission of members, 20-24 
amendment of Charter, 187-189 
armaments, 38-39 
assessment of contributions, 49- 
50 

Atomic Energy Commission, 38 
budget of Organization, 48-50 
committee structure, 55-57 
composition, 32-34 
disputes and situations, 39-41, 
45-46 

economic and social co-operation, 
42-44, 126-127 
functions and powers, 32-50 
Interim Committee, 56-57, 61 
peace and security, general prin¬ 
ciples of, 37-39 
President, 54-55 
political co-operation, 42-43 
procedure, 53-57 

recommendations, binding force 
of, 46 

subsidiary organs, 55-57 
supervisory functions, 36, 41, 
47 

voting, 50-53 

General Conference of Members, 66, 
188-189 

General Convention. See Privileges 
and Immunities 
Genocide, 131 
“ Good Faith,” 12 
Great Powers, joint action by. See 
Transitional Security Arrange¬ 
ments 

“ Greek question,” 39, 41 
Guard Force, U.N., 96 

Hague Conventions, ix 
Havana Charter. See International 
Trade Organization 
Headquarters, xxiv, (Convention), 
181-182 

“ Higher law,” 180 


Human rights, xiii, xvii, 8-9, 117, 
130-131, 148 

Universal Declaration of, 127, 
130 

Hungary, application for member¬ 
ship, 21, 22 

observance of human rights in, 36 

Iceland, admission to membership, 
24 

Immunities. See Privileges and im¬ 
munities 

Indians, treatment of, in South 
Africa, 36, 39, 45, 82 
India-Pakistan question, 81, 86 
Indonesian question, 74, 82, 83, 86 
Information, freedom of, 131 
Inquiry, as method of pacific settle¬ 
ment, 77 

Inter-American Conference, Mexico 
City (February-March 1945), xix 
Inter-American System, xix, xxvi- 
xxvii, 110 

Inter-governmental Maritime Con¬ 
sultative Organization (IMCO), 
124 

Interim Committee (GA), 56-57, 61 
International agreements, registra¬ 
tion of, 177-179 

International Bank for Reconstruc¬ 
tion and Development, 122 
International Bill of Rights, 130 
International Chamber of Com¬ 
merce, 139 

International Children’s Emergency 
Fund (ECOSOQ, 137 
International Civil Aviation Or¬ 
ganization (ICAO), 122 
International Civil Service Advisory 
Board, 176 

International co-operation, as pur¬ 
pose of U.N., 7-9 
International Co-operative Alliance, 
139 

International Court of Justice, 163- 
170 

advisory opinions, 23, 165, 168- 
170 

Charter, interpretation of, 170, 
191 



236 CHARTER OF THE 

International Court of Justice ( cont .) 

Committee of Jurists, xix-xx 
compulsory jurisdiction, question 
of, 163-164 

Corfu Channel dispute, 84, 164 
election of judges, 71, 165 
enforcement of judgements, 167- 
168 

independence of judges, 165 
judicial settlement of disputes, 77 
law applied, by, 164 
optional clause, 164 
privileges and immunities, 165 
reference of legal disputes, to, 164 
specialized agencies, legal advice 
to, 168-170 
Statute (text), 218 

International Health Conference, 131 
International Labour Organization 
(ILO), xi, 120-121 

International law, development and 
codification of xviii, 43-44 
International Law Commission 
(GA), 44 

International military force, 96 
International Monetary Fund (IMF), 
122-123 

International Refugee Organization 
(IRO), 123, 125 

International Telecommunications 
Union (ITU), 123-124 
International Trade Organization 
(ITO), 123, 125 

Inter-Parliamentary Union, 139 
Interpretation of Charter, 3, 191-192 
Intervention, 7, 17 
Iranian question, 78, 80, 84 
Israel, admission to membership, 
24, 149 

Italy, application for membership, 23 

Jammu. See India-Pakistan question 
Japanese-mandated islands, 150 
Jordan. See Transjordan 
Judicial settlement of disputes. See 
Legal disputes 

Jurists. See Committee of Jurists 

Kashmir. See India-Pakistan 
question 


UNITED NATIONS 

Korean question, 39 

“ Laissez-passer," U.N., 183 
Languages, official, 54 
League of Nations, ix-xi 
Assembly, final session, xxv 
Bruce Committee, xv 
Covenant, text, 193 
Permanent Mandates Commis¬ 
sion, 142, 159-161 
Supervisory Commission, xi, xxv 
Transfer of functions to U.N.O., 
xxv 

Lebanon. See Syrian-Lebanese 
question 

Legal capacity of UNO, 180-182 
Legal disputes, 77, 83-84, 164 
Little Assembly. See Interim Com¬ 
mittee (GA) 

Majority rule, 11, 51-52 
Mandates, system of, ix, 142. See 
also Trusteeship system 
Mediation, 77 
Membership, 19-27 
classes of, 19 
expulsion, 25-27 

International Court of Justice, 
advisory opinion, 23 
new members, admission of, 20-24 
original Members, 19 (list) 217 
suspension, 24-25, 53 
termination, 25-27 
withdrawal, 26 
Military sanctions, 95-105 
Military Staff Committee 
composition, 101-102 
functions, 64-65, 98-99, 101-103 
regional sub-committees, 103 
Minorities, 131 

Moscow Declaration (October 30, 
1943), xi-xiii 

Mutual assistance in enforcement 
actions, 104-105 

Name of Organization, 3 
Narcotic drugs, ix 
Nauru, Island of, 150 
Negotiation, as method of peaceful 
settlement, 77 
Neutrality, 14, 95 



INDEX 


Non - governmental organizations, 
138-139 

Non-member States 

admission to International Court 
of Justice, 166 

compensation for losses suffered 
through sanctions, 105-106 
disputes, pacific settlement of, 
14, 27, 74-75, 81-82 
principles of Charter, in relation 
to, 14, 17, 27 
provisional measures, 92 
sanctions, 95 

treaties, registration of, 178-179 
Non-military sanctions, 93-95 
Non-Self-Governing Territories, Dec¬ 
laration Regarding, 141-145. See 
also Trusteeship system 
North-Atlantic Pact. See Atlantic 
Pact 

Obligations under Charter, superi¬ 
ority of, 179-180 

Optional clause. See International 
Court of Justice 

Organization for European Econo¬ 
mic Co-operation (OEEC), xxvi, 
xxvii 

Organs of U.N., 28-31 
Original Members (list), 217 

Pacific Islands, under trusteeship, 
150 

Pacific settlement of disputes. See 
Disputes, pacific settlement of 
Pakistan, admission to membership, 
24 

See also India-Pakistan question 
Palestine question, 46, 92 
Peace and security, as main purpose 
of U.N., 6 

Peaceful change, 45-46 
Peace Treaties, xxvi, 186 
Peace-lovingness, as condition of 
membership, 21 

Permanent Court of Arbitration, ix, 
xix 

Permanent Court of International 
Justice, xi 

Permanent Mandates Commission, 
League of Nations, 142, 159*161 


237 

Portugal, application for member¬ 
ship, 23 

Potsdam Agreement, 21, 186 

Preamble, 1-3 

Preparatory Commission, xxiii-xxiv 

Press, Freedom of Information and 
of the, 131 

Principal organs. See Organs 

Principles. See Purposes and Prin¬ 
ciples 

Privileges and immunities, 181-183 

Procedural vote. See Voting pro¬ 
cedure (SC) 

Provisional measures, 91-93 

Provisional Rules of Procedure (G A), 
54-55 

Public Information, Department of, 
Secretariat, 172 

Purposes and Principles of U.N., 
4-18, 45-46, 62; binding force, 4, 
10 


Ratification, xxiii, 190-191 
Recognition, 20 

Refugees. See International Refugee 
Organization 

Regional arrangements, xxvii, 78, 
109-115 

economic organizations, xxvi- 
xxvii 

enforcement action, 112-115 
pacific settlement of local dis¬ 
putes, 112 

Regional co-operation in colonial 
affairs, 144 

Regional economic commissions 
(ECOSOC), 137 
Registration of treaties, 177-179 
Rio de Janeiro, Treaty of, for the 
Mutual Defence of the Americas, 
110 

Reports of U.N. organs, 46-48 
Representatives of Members (GA), 
32-33; (SC), 71-72; (ECOSOC), 
129, 140; (TC), 159-160 
Revision of Charter, 188-189 
Rotary International, 139 
Ruanda-Urundi, 149, 161 
Rules of Procedure 
GA, 54-55 



238 


CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 


Rules of Procedure (cont.) 

ECOSOC, 140 
TC, 162 

Roumania, application for member¬ 
ship, 21,22 

San Francisco Conference, xviii, 
xx-xxii 

Sanctions, x, xvi, 10, 13, 88-108. See 
also Transitional Security Arrange¬ 
ments 

Secretariat, 171-176 

International Civil Service, 173- 
175 

organization, 171-172 
personnel, 172, 175-176 
recruitment, 176 

privileges and immunities, 174- 
175, 183 

Staff Regulations, 174-176 
Secretary-General 
appointment, 52, 171 
emoluments, 172 
functions, 172-173 
Reports, 173 

Security Council (SC). See also 
Disputes, pacific settlement of 
composition, 58-60 
functions and powers, 61-65 
President, 73 
procedure, 71-75 
reports, 46-47 
subsidiary organs, 72-73 
transitional security arrange¬ 
ments, 185 
voting, 65-71 

Security Council Affairs, Depart¬ 
ment of, Secretariat, 172 
Self-defence, 106-108 
Self-determination, 6-7 
Sessions (GA), 53-54 
Siam, admission to membership, 24 
Signature. See Ratification 
Situations. See Disputes, pacific 
settlement of 

Social Affairs, Department of. Sec¬ 
retariat, 172 

South West Africa, 149-150, 153 
Sovereign equality, 10-12, 179, 187 


Sovereignty, xvi-xvii, 10-12 
as a condition of membership, 20 
Spain, not admissible to U.N., 21 
Spanish question, 36, 39, 41, 80, 
82 

Specialized agencies: 
agreements with U.N.O., 132-133 
defined, 120 

enforcement action through, 104 
financial and budgetary arrange¬ 
ments, 50 
list, 120-124 

privileges and immunities, 183 
Sponsoring Governments, xviii 
Joint Statement on Voting Pro¬ 
cedure, 66 

Statute of International Court of 
Justice, text, 218 

Subsidiary organs, 28-29; (GA), 55- 
57; (SC), 64-65,72-73; (ECOSOC), 
136-137 

Suspension of membership rights, 
24-25, 53, 93 

Sweden, admission to membership, 
24 

Switzerland, admission to Inter¬ 
national Court of Justice, 166 
Syrian-Lebanese question, 79-80 

Tanganyika, 149, 161 

Text of Charter, 200 

Threats to the peace. See Sanctions 

Togoland, 149 

Trade and Employment, U.N. Con¬ 
ference on, 131 

Traffic in women and children, x 
Transitional security arrangements, 
113-115,184-186 

Transjordan, application for mem¬ 
bership, 23 

Treaties, registration of, 177-179 
Treaty Series, 177-178 
Trusteeship Council (TC). See also 
Trusteeship system 
composition, 159-160 
functions and powers, 160-162 
procedure, 160-162 
subordination to GA, 157 
visits to trust territories. 161 
voting, 162 



INDEX 


239 


Trusteeship system, 146-158. See 
also Trusteeship Council 
Declaration Regarding Non- 
Self-Governing Territories 141 - 
145 

definition, 146 

“directly concerned” States, 151- 
152 

functions of GA, 48, 157 
objectives, 146-149 
status quo, 152 
strategic areas, 154-156 
territories eligible for, xviii, 149 
trusteeship agreements, terms of 
153-155 

trusteeship agreements, termina¬ 
tion or transfer of, 157-158 


Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, 
20 

Union of South Africa, treatment of 
Indians in, 36, 45; incorporation 
of S.W. Africa, 149-150, 153 
United Nations International Chil¬ 
dren’s Emergency Fund, 137 
United Nations Conference on Inter¬ 
national Organization. See San 
Francisco Conference 
United Nations Conference on Trade 
and Employment, 131 
United Nations Declaration, xiii, 
19-20 


United Nations Educational, Scien¬ 
tific and Cultural Organization 
(UNESCO), 121-122, 125 
United Nations Maritime Confer¬ 
ence, 131 

United Nations Relief and Rehabili¬ 
tation Administration (UNRRA), 
120 

Universal Postal Union (UPU), 123 

Veto. See Voting procedure (SC) 
Voting procedure: 

GA, 50-52 

SC, viii, xiv, xviii, xxii, 65-71, 89 
ECOSOC, 135-136 
TC, 162 

War criminals, 39 
Western Samoa, 150, 161 
Withdrawal from Organization, 26, 
187-189 

Women, status of, 30-31, 130 
World Federation of Trade Unions, 
139 

World Health Organization (WHO), 
123, 125 

World Meteorological Organization 
(WMO), 124 

World Statistical Congress, 131 

Yalta Conference, xviii 

Yemen, admission to membership, 24 

Yugoslav gold, question of, 134