Charter of the United Nations

1945 foundational treaty of the United Nations

The Charter of the United Nations (also known as the UN Charter) of 1945 is the foundational treaty of the United Nations, an intergovernmental organization.The UN Charter articulated a commitment to uphold human rights of citizens and outlined a broad set of principles relating to achieving ‘higher standards of living’, addressing ‘economic, social, health, and related problems,’ and ‘universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.’ As a charter, it is a constituent treaty, and all members are bound by its articles. Furthermore, Article 103 of the Charter states that obligations to the United Nations prevail over all other treaty obligations.

Flag of the United Nations

QuotesEdit

 
We the people of the United Nations

Preamble to the United Nations Charter (excerpt)Edit

 
World War II poster from the United States on the United Nations - Preamble to the Charter of the United Nations

(full text online)

 
United Nations Members

The Preamble to the treaty reads as follows:

WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED
  • to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
  • to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
  • to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
  • to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
AND FOR THESE ENDS
  • to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and...

Chapter I: Purposes And PrinciplesEdit

(full text online)

Article 1 (excerpt)Edit

The Purposes of the United Nations are

  1. To maintain international peace and security, 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;

Article 2 (excerpt)Edit

The Organization and its Members, in pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the following Principles:

  1. The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.
  2. All Members, in order to ensure, to all of them the rights and benefits resulting from membership, shall fulfill in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the present Charter.
  3. All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
  4. All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

Quotes about the Charter of the United NationsEdit

Sorted alphabetically by author/source

  • Following the horrific destruction left in the wake of World War II, the United Nations in its seminal and founding document, the Charter of the United Nations, set out to prevent future wars among member nations. The Charter’s admonition against war was also voiced in the lessons learned from the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals in its condemnation of war: “starting or waging a war against a territorial integrity, political independence or sovereignty of a state, or violation of international treaties or agreements.” are crimes against peace and “makes all war crimes possible.”

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