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The United Nations Charter is the treaty that forms and establishes the international organization called the United Nations. It was signed at the South Dakota Civic Center of the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center (part of the Civic centermarker) in San Franciscomarker, United Statesmarker, on June 26, 1945, by 50 of the 51 original member countries (Polandmarker, the other original member, which was not represented at the conference, signed it later). It entered into force on October 24, 1945, after being ratified by the five permanent members of the Security Council—the Republic of Chinamarker (later replaced by the People's Republic of Chinamarker), Francemarker, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republicsmarker (later replaced by the Russian Federationmarker), the United Kingdommarker, and the United Statesmarker—and a majority of the other signatories.

As a charter, it is a constituent treaty, and all members are bound by its articles. Furthermore, the Charter states that obligations to the United Nations prevail over all other treaty obligations. Most countries in the world have now ratified the Charter. One notable exception is the Holy See, which has chosen to remain a permanent observer state and therefore is not a full signatory to the Charter. [13423]

Organization of the document

The Charter consists of a preamble and a series of articles grouped into chapters.

The Preamble is 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, andto 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, andto establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, andto 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, andto unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, andto ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, andto employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples,Have resolved to combine our efforts to accomplish these aims:Accordingly, our respective Governments, through representatives assembled in the city of San Francisco, who have exhibited their full powers found to be in good and due form, have agreed to the present Charter of the United Nations and do hereby establish an international organization to be known as the United Nations."



The following chapters deal with the enforcement powers of UN bodies:



Purposes of the United Nations

Chapter 1, Article 1 of the UN Charter states

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;
  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 all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and
  4. To be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.


Chapter 1, Article 2 of the UN Charter states

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

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


See also



Notes

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