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United Nations Content Collection

 

The United Nations (UN) was established in 1945, with the signing of the UN Charter, and has one central mission: the maintenance of international peace and security. With 193 member states and two observer states, the UN is the largest and most internationally represented intergovernmental organization in the world. The key purpose and guiding principles of the organization include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development, and upholding international law through the establishment of “conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained".

To learn more about the United Nations, explore our collection of freely available chapters on key UN documents from across Oxford Scholarly Authorities on International Law, and browse a selection of related articles from the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law.

The Charter of the United Nations
Purposes and Principles, Article 1 by Rüdiger Wolfrum

from The Charter of the United Nations: A Commentary (3rd Edition). Edited by Bruno Simma, Daniel-Erasmus Khan, Georg Nolte, Andreas Paulus, and Nikolai Wessendorf (Assistant Editor).

The Convention on the Privileges and Immunities
Introduction to the General Convention
from The Conventions on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations and its Specialized Agencies: A Commentary. Edited by August Reinisch.

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
Obligations to Eliminate Racial Discrimination
from The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination: A Commentary by Patrick Thornberry.

The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development
The Philosophy of the Rio Declaration by Pierre-Marie Dupuy

from The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development: A Commentary. Edited by Jorge E. Viñuales.

The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)
Introduction and General Issues
from The Chemical Weapons Convention: A Commentary. Edited by Walter Krutzsch, Eric Myjer, and Ralf Trapp.

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses
The Path to the UN Watercourses Convention and Beyond by Stephen C. McCaffrey
from The UN Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses: A Commentary. Edited by Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, Makane Moïse Mbengue, Mara Tignino, Komlan Sangbana, and Jason Rudall.

The UN Set of Principles for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights Through Action to Combat Impunity
Combating Impunity: General Obligations, Principle 1 General Obligations of States to Take Effective Action to Combat Impunity by Naomi Roht-Arriaza

from The United Nations Principles to Combat Impunity: A Commentary. Edited by Frank Haldemann and Thomas Unge.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
General Principles by Sarah Arduin

from The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: A Commentary. Edited by Ilias Bantekas, Michael Ashley Stein, and Dimitris Anastasiou.

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)
The UNDRIP’s Relationship to Existing International Law, Who Are ‘Indigenous Peoples’? by Joshua Castellino and Cathal Doyle

from The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: A Commentary. Edited by Jessie Hohmann and Marc Weller.

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)
General Implementation

from The Arms Trade Treaty: A Commentary by Andrew Clapham, Stuart Casey-Maslen, Gilles Giacca, and Sarah Parker.

Six Principal Organs of the UN (Back to top)

Explore articles on the six principal organs of the United Nations from the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law:

United Nations, General Assembly

United Nations, Security Council

United Nations, Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

United Nations Trusteeship System

The International Court of Justice

United Nations Secretariat

Further Reading (Back to top)

The African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights

The United Nations Convention Against Corruption

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

The Statute of the International Court of Justice