The Charter of the United Nations was signed on 26 June 1945, in San Francisco, at the conclusion of the United Nations Conference on International Organization, and came into force on 24 October 1945. The Statute of the International Court of Justice is an integral part of the Charter.

Its full text is available here:


In Art. 1 of the Charter, the purposes are defined as follows:

  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 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.



All peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the Charter, and are able and willing to carry out these obligations.

See Chapter II: Membership and (relevant for the colonial era Chapter XI: Declaration regarding non-self-governing territories.


The Charter establishes six principal organs ( Chapter III: Organs, for each of which the composition, functions and powers, voting, and procedure are specified.

Specialized Agencies

As referred to in Article 57 (in Chapter IX: International Economic and Social Co-operation):

  1. The various specialized agencies, established by intergovernmental agreement and having wide international responsibilities, 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 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.

Values & Claims

(from the preamble)

  • International peace and security
  • Fundamental human rights
  • The equal rights of men and women
  • The equal rights of nations large and small
  • Justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law
  • Social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom


For each organ, the functions and procedures are defined in the related chapters of the Charter

Compliance and Service Levels

The Charter is not very explicit on these matters.

The Secretary-General shall make an annual report to the General Assembly on the work of the Organization. (Art. 98 of Chapter XV)

Competent Courts

The International Court of Justice (Art. 92 of Chapter XIV: The International Court of Justice)


See the page of each organ.