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Purpose and Principles of United Nations Organization


United Nations Flag

Before we begin to discuss the purpose and principles of the United Nations Organization, let’s see what it is.

Back in 1945, after WWII got over, the nations were shattered. The entire world wanted peace. That’s when this organization came into force.

Post World War II, some powerful nations made efforts against wars. As many as 51 nations signed and adopted the United Nations Charter in San Francisco Conference in June 1945. After being ratified by these nations, the organization came into effect in October that year.

Purposes of the United Nations Organization

Since the League of Nations failed to prevent WWII, a strong and more promising body came into existence. It is Article 1 under Chapter 1 which has the mention of purposes of the UNO.

  • Maintain International Peace

This one is the most important purpose of the United Nations Organization. The organization is aimed to bring to about peace among nations which are indulged in some sort of international dispute(s). UN needs to provide balanced measures to settle or adjust international disputes.

  • Develop friendly relations among nations

To strengthen universal peace, it is necessary for every nation to respect the principle of equal rights of every other nation. This is what the UN ensures some states cannot do it by themselves.

  • Solve International problems

It is the duty of and purpose of the United Nations Organization to solve international disputes. These problems may be social, cultural, or humanitarian in nature.

  • Make the United Nations a Center for the attainment of above common ends

United Nations is a principal world organization. This purpose is to make it serve it as a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations to meet above-mentioned goals.


The purposes of the UN seem to be a repetition of its preamble. This is because it is quite difficult to draw a sharp distinction between these two. However, some ideas like ‘equal rights of men and women’ and ‘dignity of human’ proclaimed in preamble have no mention in the charter.

Principles of the United Nations Organization

Article 2 of Chapter 1 contains six principles of the organization. These are:

  • Principle of Sovereign Equality

According to this principle, every member of the UN is equal before law, irrespective of its size and strength. Nothing can be a base for any kind of discrimination in the charter. Article 21 of the UN charter quotes; “United Nations is based on sovereign equality of all nations.”

  • Principle of the fulfilment of obligations

Para 2 of Article 12 says every member of the organization shall fulfill in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the charter. This one is the basic principle of International Law. It is “Pacta sunt servanda.”

  • Principle of peaceful settlement of international disputes

Para 3 of Article 2 mentions that all members of the UN charter must resolve their international dispute(s) by adopting peaceful measures. This is to prevent any danger to justice and international peace and security.

  • Principle of non-intervention

It states that no member of the charter must threaten to or use its force against the territorial integrity of any state. No action of any member must be inconsistent with the purpose of the United Nations Organization.

  • Principle of Assistance of the United Nations

This principle directs the members to give the UN every assistance in common action it takes in accordance with the present charter. They shall also refrain from giving any assistance to the state(s) against which the UN is taking preventive enforcement action.

  • Principle of non-intervention in domestic matters of a state

The final principle of the UN says nothing in the charter must authorize the UN to interfere with the matters that lie within the domestic jurisdiction of any state. However, article 2(7) provides that this principle must not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under chapter 7 of the charter.

The interpretation of the term ‘domestic jurisdiction’ is not yet clear in the charter. Thus, this principle imposes a giant restriction upon the powers of the United Nations.

Six Principal Organs that combine to make United Nations Organization are:

  • The General Assembly
  • The Security Council
  • International Court of Justice
  • The Secretariat
  • The Economic and Social Council
  • The Trusteeship Council

Key Points About UNO

HeadquartersNew York City
Members193 Member States

2 Observer States
EstablishmentCharter Signed on June 26, 1945.

Charter entered into force on October 24, 1945.
TypeIntergovernmental Organization

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