The Charter of the United Nations is the document by which all member states agree to uphold. Introduced and signed on June 25, 1945, in San Francisco the Charter outlines the responsibilities and jobs the United Nations holds. One integral part of the Charter states that it supersedes all other treaties and agreements.
The Charter came into force on October 24, following ratification by the US, UK, China, France and Russia. It has since been signed by all 191 nations except for the Holy See.
The Charter consists of a preamble and chapters outlining the specific parts and duties.
- Chapter I sets forth the purposes of the United Nations, including the important provisions of the maintenance of international peace and security.
- Chapter II defines the criteria for membership in the United Nations.
- Chapter III establishes the six principal organs of the United Nations.
- Chapter IV describes the General Assembly's duties and procedures and voting of matters assigned to it.
- Chapter V describes the Security Council's membership, functions, powers and procedures.
- Chapter VI describes the Security Council's power to investigate and mediate disputes.
- Chapter VII describes the Security Council's power to authorize economic, diplomatic, and military sanctions, as well as the use of military force, to resolve disputes.
- Chapter VIII describes the Security Council's cooperation with local agencies to seek a peaceful resolution.
- Chapter IX describes the UN's powers for economic and social cooperation.
- Chapter X describes the Economic and Social Council's duties and purposes for economic and social cooperation.
- Chapter XI describes the administarting of territories and rights subject to territories.
- Chapter XII describes the Trusteeship Council's duties and goals for decolonization.
- Chapter XIII describes the Trusteeship Council's membership, functions and powers.
- Chapter XIV describes the International Court of Justice's status as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations.
- Chapter XV describes Secretariat's duties to the fellow organs and membership.
- Chapter XVI describes the enforcement of international agreements passed by the United Nations.
- Chapter XVII describes the preclusion of powers of hostile countries during World War II.
- Chapter XVIII describes the coming into force of the Charter upon adoption by two-thirds of the member nations.
- Chapter XIX describes the coming into force of the Charter upon the ratification by the US, UK, France, China and Russia.