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Part 2 The United Nations: What it is, 4 The Trusteeship Council

Dame Rosalyn Higgins DBE QC, Philippa Webb, Dapo Akande, Sandesh Sivakumaran, James Sloan

From: Oppenheim's International Law: United Nations

Rosalyn Higgins, Philippa Webb, Dapo Akande, Sandesh Sivakumaran, James Sloan

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 20 March 2023


The Trusteeship Council was established as a principal organ of the UN and charged with responsibility for assisting in the administration and supervision of ‘trust territories’. It carried out this function in relation to 11 trust territories between 1946 and 1994. On 25 May 1994, the process of self-government or independence for the people of Palau—the last remaining trust territory—was completed. On 1 November 1994, the Trusteeship Council suspended its functioning. Despite calls for its dissolution, the Trusteeship Council remains in existence and continues to meet periodically. However, it does not carry on any substantive activity and is instead ‘reduced to a purely formal existence’. This chapter discusses the Council’s membership, procedure and meetings, functions, objectives, trust territories, non-self-governing territories, relations with other principal organs, and reform.

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