- Charter of United Nations is the founding document of United Nations.
- It was signed on 26 June 1945, in San Francisco, at the conclusion of United Nations Conference on International Organization and came into force on 24 October 1945.
- UN can act on a wide variety of issues due to its unique international character & powers vested in its Charter, which is considered an international treaty.
- As such, UN Charter is an instrument of international law, and UN Member States are bound by it.
- UN Charter codifies major principles of international relations, from sovereign equality of States to prohibition of use of force in international relations.
- International Court of Justice, the principal judicial organ of UN, functions in accordance with the Statute of the International Court of Justice, which is annexed to the UN Charter, and forms an integral part of it.
ORGANS OF UN
- Main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the UN.
- All 193 Member States of UN are represented in General Assembly, making it the only UN body with universal representation.
- Decisions on important questions, such as those on peace and security, admission of new members and budgetary matters, require a two-thirds majority of the General Assembly. Decisions on other questions are by simple majority.
UN SECURITY COUNCIL
- Security Council has primary responsibility, under the UN Charter, for maintenance of international peace and security.
- It has 15 Members (5 permanent and 10 non- permanent members). Each Member has one vote.
- Elections of Non-Permanent Members of UNSC: Each year the UN General Assembly elects 5 non- permanent members (out of total 10 non-permanent members) for a two-year term. The 10 non-permanent seats are distributed on a regional basis: Five for African & Asian States; One for Eastern European States; Two for Latin American & Caribbean States; Two for Western European and other States. A retiring member is not eligible for immediate re-election.
- The election is held by a secret ballot and there are no nominations. Non-permanent members of the UNSC are elected by two-thirds majority in UNGA. (India was elected as the non-permanent member of the UN Security Council on January 1, 2021. Term of India as non-permanent member ended on December 31, 2022. India has earlier been a non-permanent member of the Security Council in 1950-51, 1967-68, 1972-73, 1977-78, 1984-85, 1991-92 and 2011-12.)
- UN Security Council is organised to be able to function as continuous body. Meetings of UNSC are held at the call of the President of UNSC at any time he deems necessary, but that interval between meetings shall not exceed 14 days.
Under the Charter, all Member States are obligated to comply with Council decisions.
- Subsidiary bodies of Security Council: UN Charter empowers the UNSC to establish subsidiary bodies as needed for the performance of its functions. All existing committees are comprised of 15 members of UNSC. Standing committees are chaired by the President of UNSC, rotating monthly, other committees and working groups are chaired by designated members of UNSC who are announced on an annual basis by a Note of the President of UNSC.
- Under Article 41 of UN Charter, Security Council has authority to impose measures not involving the use of armed forces. In some cases, Security Council can resort to imposing sanctions or even authorize the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security.
- All members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council.
- While other organs of the United Nations make recommendations to member states, only the Security Council has the power to make decisions that member states are then obligated to implement under the Charter.
Consist of military, police and civilian personnel, who work to deliver security, political and early peacebuilding support. They are usually led by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and many although not all – peacekeeping operations have a Chapter VII mandate. In addition, peacekeeping operations, as opposed to other missions, have a military or international police presence in the field.
- PEACEBUILDING & POLITICAL OFFICES: They are generally overseen by the Department of Political Affairs. These missions are part of a continuum of UN peace operations working in different stages of the conflict cycle. PEACEBUILDING COMMISSION is an intergovernmental advisory body that supports peace efforts in countries emerging from conflict.
ARTICLE 27 OF THE UN CHARTER STATES THAT
- Each member of Security Council shall have one vote.
- Decisions of Security Council on procedural matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members.
- Decisions of Security Council on all other matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members including the concurring votes of the permanent members.
- Right to Veto: US, China, France, UK and Russia have been granted the Right to Veto.
- If any one of the five permanent members cast a negative vote in the 15-member Security Council, the resolution or decision would not be approved.
- All five permanent members have exercised the right of veto at one time or another.
- If a permanent member does not fully agree with a proposed resolution but does not wish to cast a veto, it may choose to abstain, thus allowing the resolution to be adopted if it obtains the required number of nine favourable votes.
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL
- It is the principal body for coordination, policy review, policy dialogue and recommendations on economic, social and environmental issues, as well as implementation of internationally agreed development goals.
- It serves as the central mechanism for activities of the UN system and its specialized agencies in the economic, social and environmental fields, supervising subsidiary and expert bodies.
- It has 54 Members, elected by the General Assembly for overlapping three-year terms.
- Established in 1945 by the UN Charter to provide international supervision for 11 Trust Territories that had been placed under the administration of seven Member States and ensure that adequate steps were taken to prepare the Territories for self-government and independence.
- By 1994, all Trust Territories had attained self- government or independence.
- Trusteeship Council suspended operation on 1 November 1994.