This article is a part of the lawmatics series on ‘Simplifying the Charter of United Nation’. In our last articles, we have discussed the

Part I- purposes and principles of United Nation ,

Part II- Membership and Organs of United Nations,

Part III- General Assembly,

Part IV- Security Council, as per its charter,

Part V- Pacific Settlement, use of force by Security council and Military staff committee

Part VI- Simplifying the UN Charter-Part VI- International Economic and Social Corporation and Economic and social council

In this article, we will discuss chapter XIII and XIV, these chapters explain the trusteeship system of United Nation.

 At the end of World War I, control over territories that had once been part of the German and Ottoman Empires was transferred by the League of Nations to other European countries. These territories, referred to as League of Nations Mandates, were renamed United Nations Trust Territories once the UN Charter came into force in late 1945.


Article 75 (Establishment)

The United Nations shall establish under its authority an international trusteeship system for the administration and supervision of such territories as may be placed thereunder by subsequent individual agreements. These territories are hereinafter referred to as trust territories.

Article 76 (Object)

The basic objectives of the trusteeship system, shall be:

a) to further international peace and security;

b) to promote the political, economic, social, and educational advancement of the inhabitants of the trust territories, and their progressive development towards self-government or independence as may be appropriate to the particular circumstances of each territory and its peoples and the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned, and as may be provided by the terms of each trusteeship agreement;

c) to encourage respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion, and to encourage recognition of the interdependence of the peoples of the world; and

d) to ensure equal treatment in social, economic, and commercial matters for all Members of the United Nations and their nationals, and also equal treatment for the latter in the administration of justice.

Article 77 (Territories under trusteeship system)

1. The trusteeship system shall apply to such territories in the following categories as may be placed thereunder by means of trusteeship agreements:

a. territories now held under mandate;

b. territories which may be detached from enemy states as a result of the Second World War; and c. territories voluntarily placed under the system by states responsible for their administration.

Article 78 (Non-application of trusteeship system)

The trusteeship system shall not apply to territories which have become Members of the United Nations, relationship among which shall be based on respect for the principle of sovereign equality.

Article 79 (terms of trusteeship)

The terms of trusteeship for each territory to be placed under the trusteeship system, including any alteration or amendment, shall be agreed upon by the states directly concerned.

Article 81 (Administering authority)

The trusteeship agreement shall in each case include the terms under which the trust territory will be administered and designate the authority which will exercise the administration of the trust territory. Such authority, hereinafter called the administering authority, may be one or more states or the Organization itself.

Article 83 (Functions by Security Council)

1. All functions of the United Nations relating to strategic areas, including the approval of the terms of the trusteeship agreements and of their alteration or amendment, shall be exercised by the Security Council.

2. The Security Council shall, subject to the provisions of the trusteeship agreements and without prejudice to security considerations, avail itself of the assistance of the Trusteeship Council to perform those functions of the United Nations under the trusteeship system relating to political, economic, social, and educational matters in the strategic areas.


Composition Article 86

1. The Trusteeship Council shall consist of the following Members of the United Nations:

a. those Members administering trust territories;

b. such of those Members mentioned by name in Article 23 (permanent members of security council) as are not administering trust territories; and

c. as many other Members elected for three year terms by the General Assembly as may be necessary to ensure that the total number of members of the Trusteeship Council is equally divided between those Members of the United Nations which administer trust territories and those which do not.

2. Each member of the Trusteeship Council shall designate one specially qualified person to represent it therein.

Functions and Powers Article 87

The General Assembly and, under its authority, the Trusteeship Council, in carrying out their functions, may:

a. consider reports submitted by the administering authority;

b. accepts petitions and examine them in consultation with the administering authority;

c. provides for periodic visits to the respective trust territories at times agreed upon with the administering authority; and

d. takes these and other actions in conformity with the terms of the trusteeship agreements.

Article 88

The Trusteeship Council shall

  • formulate a questionnaire on the political, economic, social, and educational advancement of the inhabitants of each trust territory, and
  • the administering authority for each trust territory within the competence of the General Assembly
  • shall make an annual report to the General Assembly upon the basis of such questionnaire.

Voting Article 89

1. Each member of the Trusteeship Council shall have one vote.

2. Decisions of the Trusteeship Council shall be made by a majority of the members present and voting.

Procedure Article 90

1. The Trusteeship Council shall adopt its own rules of procedure, including the method of selecting its President.

2. The Trusteeship Council shall meet as required in accordance with its rules, which shall include provision for the convening of meetings on the request of a majority of its members.

Article 91

The Trusteeship Council shall, when appropriate, avail itself of the assistance of the Economic and Social Council and of the specialized agencies in regard to matters with which they are respectively concerned.

At present, there is not any territory under trusteeship council and therefore, this council is almost obsolete but we cannot say for future. By 1994, all Trust Territories had attained self-government or independence, either as separate States or by joining neighboring independent countries.

The last to do so was the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands —Palau— which was administered by the United States and became the 185th UN Member State.

One month after Palau’s independence, the Trusteeship Council suspended its operations. Although the Council’s work has been completed, the formal elimination of the Trusteeship Council would require the revision of the UN Charter.


Charter of United Nation